| ERANOS CONFERENCE |

TAG2019

The Names of the Absolute. Cultures and Eras in the Presence of the Fundament: Myth, Religion, Philosophy, Science

CONVEGNO DI ERANOS 2019

Casa Eranos, Ascona (Svizzera), 4-7 settembre 2019

Eranos CONFERENCE 2019

Casa Eranos, Ascona (Svizzera), 4-7 settembre 2019

ERANOS CONFÉRENCE 2019

Casa Eranos, Ascona (Suisse), 4-7 septembre 2019

ERANOS TAGUNG 2019

Casa Eranos, Ascona (Schweiz), 4.-7. September 2019

"I Nomi dell'Assoluto. Culture ed epoche al cospetto del fondamento: mito, religione, filosofia, scienza"

'The Names of The Absolute. Cultures and Eras in the Presence of the Fundament: Myth, Religion, Philosophy, Science'

« Les Noms de l'Absolu. Cultures et époques face au fondement : mythe, religion, philosophie, science »

„Die Begriffe des Absoluten. Kulturen und Zeiten in ihrer Sicht auf das Unbegreifliche: Mythos, Religion, Philosophie, Wissenschaft“

Iscrizione obbligatoria / Registration is required

Relatori / Lecturers
- Hervé Clerc (Nice)
- Adriano Fabris (Università di Pisa)
- Franco Ferrari (Università di Salerno)
- Franco Giudice (Università di Bergamo)
- Grazia Shōgen Marchianò (Fondo Scritti Elémire Zolla, Montepulciano)
- Silvano Tagliagambe (Università di Sassari)
- Amelia Valtolina (Università di Bergamo)
- Vana Xenou (National Technical University of Athens NTUA)
- Paolo Zellini (Università degli Studi di Roma "Tor Vergata")

In collaborazione con il Dottorato di ricerca in Studi umanistici transculturali, Università di Bergamo, e il Dottorato di ricerca in Filosofia, Università di Pisa e Università di Firenze
In collaboration with the Ph.D. program in Transcultural Studies in Humanities, University of Bergamo, and the Ph.D. program in Philosophy, University of Pisa and University of Florence
En collaboration avec le Doctorat de recherche en Études humanistes transculturelles, Université de Bergamo, et le Doctorat de recherche en Philosophie, Université de Pise et Université de Florence
In Zusammenarbeit mit dem PhD in Transkulturellen Geisteswissenschaften, Universität Bergamo, und den PhD in Philosophie, Universität Pisa und Universität Florenz

Presentazione

Dio, Essere, Uno, Tutto, Principio, Eternità, Origine: sono nomi attraverso i quali nei secoli si è cercato di nominare qualcosa che è al di là del visibile, e forse della ragione, e tuttavia lo istituisce e compenetra dandogli forma e senso. Qualcosa che risiede però anche sempre oltre le nostre capacità cognitive, logiche e razionali, e che tuttavia non è del tutto precluso all'esperienza o all'intuizione: un fondamento con il quale la ragione e la conoscenza non smettono di confrontarsi, senza però mai riuscire a venirne a capo per una incommensurabilità che mette in gioco la nostra stessa finitudine. Quanti e quali nomi sono stati dati all'"Assoluto"? A che cosa risponde questa necessità di nominare ciò che la conoscenza incontra come non padroneggiabile e in ultima analisi inconoscibile?

Presentation

God, Being, One, All, Beginnings, Eternity, Origin - these are names through which, over the centuries, humanity has tried to name something that is beyond the visible (and perhaps beyond reason) and yet establishes and penetrates it, giving it form and meaning. Something which, however, always resides beyond our cognitive, logical, and rational capacities, and which nevertheless is not completely precluded from experience or intuition: a foundation with which reason and knowledge never cease to confront each other, but never succeed in coming to terms with it because of an incommensurability that puts our own finitude into play. How many and which names have been given to the 'Absolute'? What does this need to name what knowledge meets as unmanageable and ultimately unknowable answer?

Présentation

Dieu, être, Un, Tout, Principe, éternité, Origine : ce sont des noms à travers lesquels, au cours des siècles, nous avons essayé de nommer quelque chose qui est au-delà du visible et peut-être au-delà de la raison, mais qui l'établit et le pénètre, lui donnant forme et sens. Quelque chose qui, cependant, se situe toujours au-delà de nos capacités cognitives, logiques et rationnelles, et qui, cependant, n'est pas complètement exclu de l'expérience ou de l'intuition : un fondement sur lequel la raison et la connaissance ne cessent de s'affronter, mais ne parviennent jamais à l'accepter pour une incommensurable qui met notre propre finitude en jeu. Combien et quels noms ont été donnés à l' « Absolu » ? Qu'est-ce qu'il faut faire pour nommer ce que le savoir rencontre comme une réponse ingérable et finalement inconnaissable ?

Vorbemerkung

Gott, Sein, das Eine, Alles, Anfang, Ewigkeit, Ursprung: das sind Begriffe, die in den Zeitläuften dazu verwendet wurden, etwas zu benennen, das jenseits des Sichtbaren und des Verstandes angesiedelt ist, aber das Konkrete und die Vernunft voraussetzt und durchdringt, ohne die sie form- und bedeutungslos blieben. Etwas, das immer jenseits unserer kognitiven, logischen und rationalen Fähigkeiten liegt, aber dennoch ihrer Erfahrung und Eingebung bedarf: ein Empfindungszustand, der sich im ständigen, ungleichen, nicht messbaren Wettstreit mit der Vernunft und dem Wissen befindet, um uns unsere eigene Endlichkeit nur umso deutlicher vor Augen zu führen. Wie viele Versuche hat es gegeben, das „Absolute" zu beschreiben, zu erfassen? Können wir mit Hilfe unseres Wissens eine zufriedenstellende, eine zutreffende Bezeichnung finden, oder bleibt es das Unbegreifliche?

Iscrizioni

Il Convegno è a numero chiuso. Per questa ragione, l'iscrizione è obbligatoria, via email, scrivendo a info@eranosfoundation.org, o telefonicamente, al numero +41 (0)91 792 20 92.
La quota di partecipazione è di CHF 50.- per l'intero Convegno e di CHF 25.- per le singole giornate.

Registration

Please note that the Conference has limited places. For this reason, advanced registration is required, by email, info@eranosfoundation.org, or by phone, at +41 (0) 91 792 20 92.
The registration fee is CHF 50.- for the entire Conference and CHF 25.- for single day sessions.

Trasporto

A Eranos non vi sono parcheggi per automobili. È possibile raggiungere Eranos con bus (n. 316) o il taxi da Ascona.

Transport

Please, note that there are no parking places at Eranos. You may reach Eranos from Ascona by bus (no. 316) or by taxi cab.

Pranzi

La quota per i pranzi è di CHF 30.- /giorno. Si raccomanda l'iscrizione, poiché non ci sono opportunità di pranzare nelle immediate vicinanze.

Lunches

The fee for lunches is of CHF 30.- /day. It is recommended to register for meals because there are no opportunities nearby.

Lingua

Le conferenze sono in lingua francese oppure italiana a dipendenza del relatore.

Language

The lectures will be either in French or in Italian language, depending on the speaker.

 

Programma / Program

Mercoledì 04 settembre / Wednesday, September 04

09.00-09.45 Registrazione al Convegno per gli ascoltatori / Conference Registration for the Attendees

09.45-10.00 Fabio Merlini (Eranos Foundation, Ascona, Switzerland): Apertura al Convegno / Opening of the Conference

10.00-11.00 Franco Ferrari (Università di Salerno, Italy): Dire l'indicibile: la natura e i nomi dell'Assoluto da Platone al Neoplatonismo ['To Speak the Unspeakable: The Nature and Names of the Absolute, from Plato to Neoplatonism'] (I) (Lecture in Italian)

11.00-11.30 Pausa caffè / Coffee Break

11.30-12.30 Franco Ferrari (Università di Salerno, Italy): Dire l'indicibile: la natura e i nomi dell'Assoluto da Platone al Neoplatonismo ['To Speak the Unspeakable: The Nature and Names of the Absolute, from Plato to Neoplatonism'] (II) (Lecture in Italian)

12.30-13.00 Discussione / Discussion

13.00-14.30 Pranzo / Lunch

14.30-15.30 Vana Xenou (National Technical University of Athens NTUA, Greece): « Pourquoi Elefsína aujourd’hui. De la mélancolie à la vision » [‘Why Elefsína Today. From Melancholy to the Vision’] (I) (Lecture in French)

15.30-16.00 Pausa caffè / Coffee Break

16.00-17.00 Vana Xenou (National Technical University of Athens NTUA, Greece): « Pourquoi Elefsína aujourd’hui. De la mélancolie à la vision » [‘Why Elefsína Today. From Melancholy to the Vision’] (II) (Lecture in French)

17.00-17.30 Discussione / Discussion

 

Giovedì 05 settembre / Thursday, September 05

09.45-10.45 Paolo Zellini (Università degli Studi di Roma "Tor Vergata", Italy): “L’infinito del continuo e la realtà del discreto” [‘The Infinity of the Continuum and the Reality of the Discrete’] (I) (Lecture in Italian)

10.45-11.15 Pausa caffè / Coffee Break

11.15-12.15 Paolo Zellini (Università degli Studi di Roma "Tor Vergata", Italy): “L’infinito del continuo e la realtà del discreto” [‘The Infinity of the Continuum and the Reality of the Discrete’] (II) (Lecture in Italian)

12.15-12.45 Discussione / Discussion

13.00-14.30 Pranzo / Lunch

14.30-15.30 Silvano Tagliagambe (Università di Sassari, Italy): “I nomi dell’Assoluto e la rottura spontanea della simmetria” [‘The Names of the Absolute and the Spontaneous Symmetry Breaking’] (I) (Lecture in Italian)

15.30-16.00 Pausa caffè / Coffee break

16.00-17.00 Silvano Tagliagambe (Università di Sassari, Italy): “I nomi dell’Assoluto e la rottura spontanea della simmetria” [‘The Names of the Absolute and the Spontaneous Symmetry Breaking’] (II) (Lecture in Italian)

17.00-17.30 Discussione / Discussion

 

Venerdì 06 settembre / Friday, September 06

09.45-10.45 Grazia Shōgen Marchianò (Fondo Scritti Elémire Zolla, Montepulciano, Italy): “I volti mutevoli dell’Assoluto: una storia infinita che si svolge nel tessuto della mente umana” [‘The Changing Faces of the Absolute: An Unending Story Taking Place within the Fabric of the Human Mind’] (I) (Lecture in Italian)

10.45-11.15 Pausa caffè / Coffee break

11.15-12.15 Grazia Shōgen Marchianò (Fondo Scritti Elémire Zolla, Montepulciano, Italy): “I volti mutevoli dell’Assoluto: una storia infinita che si svolge nel tessuto della mente umana” [‘The Changing Faces of the Absolute: An Unending Story Taking Place within the Fabric of the Human Mind’] (II) (Lecture in Italian)

12.15-12:45 Discussione / Discussion

13.00-14.30 Pausa pranzo / Lunch break

14.30-15.30 Hervé Clerc (autore / author, Nice, France) « Les noms de l’absolu : un tour d’horizon (quelques points de repère) » [‘The Names of the Absolute: An Overview (Some Landmarks)’] (I) (Lecture in French)

15.30-16.00 Pausa caffè / Coffee break

16.00-17.00 Hervé Clerc (autore / author, Nice, France) « Les noms de l’absolu : un tour d’horizon (quelques points de repère) » [‘The Names of the Absolute: An Overview (Some Landmarks)’] (II) (Lecture in French)

17.00-17.30 Discussione / Discussion

 

Sabato 07 settembre / Saturday, September 07

09.45-10.00 Seminario dottorale coordinato da / Ph.D. Seminar chaired by Adriano Fabris (Università di Pisa, Italy), Franco Giudice (Università di Bergamo, Italy), Amelia Valtolina (Università di Bergamo, Italy): Introduzione / Introduction

10.00-10.30 Luca Cabassa (UniPi-UniFi): "Del nominare l'Assoluto: negazione, equivalenza e analogia"

10.30-11.00 Sara Cianciullo (UniBg): "Dio e Trascendenza nel platonismo cantabrigense"

11.00-11.30 Raul Buffo (UniPi-UniFi): "L'Assoluto come unità e relazione. Poetica e metafora dell'amore in Paul Ricoeur"

11.30-12.00 Pausa caffè / Coffee break

12.00-11.30 Enrico Previtali (UniBg): "Ereignis, Dio e passaggio"

12.30-13.00 Bryan Irias Alfaro (UniPi-UniFi): "Il problema della conoscenza di Dio come realtà e non come concetto, nell'antropologia metafisica della scuola di Madrid"

13.00-14.30 Pausa pranzo / Lunch break

14.30-15.00 Silvia Dadà (UniPi-UniFi): "Cancellare il nome di Dio per la pace nell'Universo. La concezione del divino in Emmanuel Lévinas"

15.00-15.30 Elena Ravera (UniBg): "Quale Dio? La parola come desiderio infrangibile di vita ne 'La main hantée' di Louise Dupré"

15.30-16.00 Francesco Pisano (UniPi-UniFi): "L'assoluto in quanto conosciuto. Psicologia e costituzione dell'oggettualità tra Herbart e Mach"

16.00-16.30 Stefano Rozzoni (UniBg): "Misticismo e (post)antropocentrismo nelle cattedral(i) vegetal(i) di Giuliano Mauri: una riflessione postumana"

Discussants: Francesco Sala (UniBg), Alessandra Tosi (UniBg), Sara Volpi (UniBg)

16.30-17.00 Fabio Merlini (Eranos Foundation, Ascona, Switzerland): Chiusura del Convegno / Closing of the Conference

11.30-12.00 Aperitivo / Apéritif

 

Relatori e Abstract / Lecturers and Abstracts

 

Hervé Clerc

« Les noms de l’absolu : un tour d’horizon (quelques points de repère) »

[‘The Names of the Absolute: An Overview (Some Landmarks)’]

Introduction sur l'idée, développée par Heidegger, qu'un philosophe est un « débutant ». C'est particulièrement vrai sur un sujet aussi ambitieux que les noms de l'absolu. Nous entrons dans une forêt obscure - la métaphysique ? - dont les arbres sont immenses. Nous apercevons bien en levant la tête ce qui nous semble un tronc, mais la cime pas du tout.

Première partie : les noms de l'absolu dans les monothéismes

1/ Première position : l'absolu est identique à Dieu. C'est la position de la grande majorité des croyants du judaïsme, du christianisme et de l'islam, pour lesquels Dieu est la réalité ultime. Il n'y a pas d'au-delà de Dieu. Racine indo-européenne du mot Dieu : dev. Cette racine figure également dans le mot indien deva, dans le latin dies, qui désigne le jour, dans le nom grec Zeus, le roi des dieux de l'Olympe, le grand foyer de lumière, et dans le mot diva, la grande et radieuse actrice ou cantatrice, « qui en jette », comme on dit familièrement, autour d'elle des étincelles et de la lumière. Le dieu, c'est le brillant, le lumineux, et ajouterons-nous, le « numineux » (Rudolf Otto), celui dont la présence provoque un tressaillement dans le fond de l'âme. Soudain, il y a comme une reconnaissance. On se dit : « c'est ça ! c'est là que je veux être ». Pour les trois monothéismes, reconnaître et adorer ce « « brillant » est le véritable but de la vie sur terre. Notons que l'adoration d'un dieu personnel, doté d'attributs comme la bonté et la toute-puissance, n'est pas le propre des monothéismes. On le retrouve également en Inde. C'est la voie de la bhakti, la voie de l'amour (racine bhaj), qui prend place à côté de la voie de la connaissance. On en trouve des traces, dans le Bhagavadg?t?, le chant du bienheureux, compendium de la pensée indienne, composé peut-être au deuxième siècle de notre ère.

2/ Deuxième position : l'absolu est distinct de Dieu. Certains mystiques ont pris conscience que, passé un certain seuil, l'absolu et Dieu sont appréhendés, expérimentés comme deux réalités distinctes, un peu comme l'étincelle est distincte du feu dont elle émane. Dieu émane de quelque chose de plus profond, infiniment profond, indicible, insaisissable, que nous appelons ici l'absolu. Le besoin s'est alors fait sentir de donner à cet absolu un nom distinct de Dieu : Dans la cabale : en-sof. La déité (gottheit) chez maître Eckhart, père de la mystique rhénane. Le réel (al-Haqq) dans le soufisme. Ces deux positions sont partiellement contradictoires. Il en est résulté de multiples conflits entre les docteurs, les gardiens de la loi, et les mystiques. Condamnation de maître Eckhart par l'église catholique, Ibn 'Arabi condamné par les fuquhats (les docteurs de la loi en islam), Al-Hallaj crucifié en 922 sous le califat des Abassides, pour avoir proclamé « Ana Al-Haqq : je suis Dieu »).

Deuxième partie : les noms de l'absolu en Inde

- Le brahman. L'absolu dans l'hindouisme est désigné par le mot brahman. Mot neutre, qui s'écrit sans majuscule, à la différence de Dieu. Il provient de la racine brh, laquelle exprime une idée de « grandeur intensive » (Shankara). Le vedanta, la grande philosophie de l'Inde, dont Shankara est le plus éminent représentant, dit que le brahman est « sans second » : il occupe pleinement toutes choses avec sa formidable intensité. On en chercherait en vain un autre que lui. L'absolu est la réalité sans autre (donc sans dehors). Problème : il est partout et nous ne le voyons nulle part. Comment cela se fait-il ? Réponse du vedanta : Maya, mot que nous traduisons ordinairement par illusion. Image de la corde et du serpent.

- L'atman. Autre nom de l'absolu en Inde. On traduit fréquemment ce mot par « le Soi », ou pire par l'âme. Mais l'atman n'a rien à voir cette marmelade de pensées, émotions, sentiments, impressions changeantes que nous appelons l'âme, la personnalité, ou notre moi. L'atman est identique au brahman. C'est le brahman qui git, caché, fond de chacun d'entre nous. Atman et brahman sont une seule et même réalité mais vue et approchée selon deux modes distincts.

- Kaïvalya. C'est le nom de l'absolu dans le yoga de Patanjali. Le yogi, étant parvenu au bout de son ascèse, ayant accompli les huit phases du yoga, bascule soudainement, dans l'état de « kaïvalya », où le monde se détache de lui et lui du monde. Il se « désolidarise du cosmos » (Mircea Eliade). Le voilà tout autre, mort au monde, et le monde est mort pour lui. C'est proprement un mort vivant. Son cheminement est une initiation. On traduit parfois le mot kaïvalya par isolement, isolement libérateur ou esseulement. Plotin, évoquant absolu, parle lui aussi du Seul ou de l'Esseulé. Cette solitude totale du yogi est un état de liberté et de plénitude totales.

- Nirvana est le nom donné par le Bouddha non pas à l'absolu mais à l'instant hors du temps (akaliko) où l'homme est confronté à l'absolu. D'autres mots sont également utilisés, dans le bouddhisme, pour définir cet état paradoxal : le mot nirodha, qui signifie cessation, ou le mot asamkhata mot que l'on peut traduire par non-composé non conditionné, non construit. Nirvana signifie littéralement extinction. L'homme, devenu un « nirvané », entre dans l'absolu, devient l'absolu, et ce faisant « s'éteint », comme une bougie qui s'éteint. Il n'a plus conscience de lui-même et du monde. Sa conscience elle-même semble avoir disparu. Évanouie, volatilisée, éteinte. On dira : c'est triste. A quoi bon tous ces efforts si c'est pour aboutir à rien, au néant ? Mais l'état qui résulte de cette « extinction » radicale n'est pas une perte, dit le Bouddha, c'est mieux, infiniment mieux, que maintenant. « Le nirvana est la félicité suprême », dit simplement le Bouddha. Une jouissance inouïe, au-delà des sensations, hors du temps. Inversement, l'état dans lequel nous sommes à présent, le samsara - cycle indéfini des naissances et des morts- est caractérisé par la douleur (dukkha), l'impermanence (anicca), et l'inconsistance (anatta). De l'état paradoxal de nirvana, il est très difficile de parler. Nos mots butent sur cette réalité comme des balles tirées contre un rocher. Le « nirvané », voulant expliquer ce qui a été vécu, est comme la tortue, qui, ayant fait un petit tour sur la terre, tenterait d'expliquer sa promenade au poisson. Autre image : c'est comme vouloir faire comprendre les couleurs à un aveugle de naissance.

Troisième partie : les noms de l'absolu en Chine

La Chine est « l'autre pôle » de l'expérience humaine, disait le grand sinologue Simon Leys. Dans ce tour d'horizon des noms de l'absolu &endash; c'est-à-dire de quelque chose d'universel, qui dépasse les frontières- nous ne pouvions passer sous silence l'apport de la Chine, je ne parle pas de la Chine d'aujourd'hui, le grand atelier du monde, mais de la Chine d'autrefois, mythique, des sages et des philosophies, celle de Confucius et Lao-tse même si ceux-ci, sans doute par pudeur et humilité, se contentent d'un discours a-minima sur l'absolu, comme s'il y avait une forme de pollution mentale, ou pire d'hubris, à vouloir nommer ce qui nous dépasse.

- L'exemple de Confucius. « C'est une faute que de parler des choses élevées dans une situation humble » (cité par Mencius). Or ne sommes-nous pas tous, d'être né du ventre de la femme, comme dit l'écriture, dans une situation humble ? Confucius parlait pourtant du ciel, le ciel qui donne honneurs, rangs, richesse et les retire. Le ciel où se trame le destin. Est-ce un mot pour désigner l'absolu ? Confucius aurait sans doute écarté la question : à un disciple qui l'interrogeait sur le mystère de la mort, le sage répondit : « tu ne sais même pas ce qu'est la vie, comment saurais-tu ce qu'est la mort ? » Nous savons ni ce qu'est la vie, ni ce qu'est la mort, comment saurions nous ce qu'est l'absolu ?

- Le taoïsme. Lao Tse, auteur du Tao-te-King, qui a vécu entre le VIème et le Vème avant notre ère, utilise le mot tao pour désigner l'absolu. Mais les taoïstes étaient bien conscients que ce tao n'est qu'un nom, un mot, et comme tel aussi impermanent que les nuages d'automne : « Le nom qui nomme l'absolu n'est pas le nom pour toujours », dit Lao Tse. C'est un point très important : on nomme mais il ne faut pas prendre le nom pour la chose, comme l'idiot auquel on montre la lune et qui prend le doigt pour la lune, comme l'Occident l'a peut-être fait en fétichisant si longtemps le mot dieu. Ce n'est qu'un mot. Tentant de caractériser le Tao, les taoïstes, comme les bouddhistes du nord, lui donnent pour attribut principal le vide. Mais attention ce n'est pas le vide du néant, c'est un vide qui fonctionne, qui anime, qui nourrit et accomplit toutes chose. « L'être a des aptitudes que le non-être emploie », lit-on Tao te king 11. Une telle vision pourrait nous faire penser à Spinoza, ce maître de joie, qui nomme l'absolu « Dieu ou la nature » - et bien sûr il ne s'agit pas du tout du Dieu des monothéismes, qui récompense et punit. Selon Spinoza, nous sommes des parties de la nature, c'est à dire de l'absolu, dont nous suivons nécessairement l'ordre. Mais il est impossible de développer ce point qui nous entraînerait trop loin. Dans le Tao-te-king, on trouve également cette notation que le Tao est grand, mais formulée de façon réticence, comme si déjà c'était trop dire : « faute de mieux, je le dis grand », dit l'auteur du Tao-te-king (et je reprends ici une traduction de François Houang et Pierre Leyris). Rappelons-nous que le brahman aussi, selon Shankara, est « grand », mais d'une « grandeur intensive ». Il est grand mais il échappe en même temps à toute mesure humaine. Cet incommensurable est exactement aussi grand dans les espaces intergalactiques que dans un œuf de mouche. Sa grandeur est très étonnante. Nous l'appelons grand « faute de mieux » ;

Conclusion

Derrière la multiplicité, des noms, il y a une réalité unique. J'en suis convaincu. Mais on peut penser autrement. La grande islamologue Anne-Marie Schimme nous dit que fana - l'extinction qui survient au terme du chemin soufi - et nirvana - l'extinction bouddhiste - sont deux états distincts. Cette notation figure dans son grand livre sur le soufisme, mystique de l'islam. Absurdité de cette position : il y aurait plusieurs réalités ultimes, plusieurs ciels, qui se trouveraient en quelque sorte côte à côte. Ou bien il y aurait imposture d'un côté ou de l'autre ou des deux. Cette réalité unique est mystérieuse. On la définit par ce qu'elle n'est pas. On appelait autrefois en Occident cette approche la théologie négative. Mais elle est connue depuis fort longtemps en Orient. Une parole du Bouddha exprime les choses ainsi : « Il existe, ô disciples, un non-né, un non-devenu, un non-composé. S'il n'existait pas un non-né, un non-devenu, un non-composé, il n'y aurait pas de chemin pour aller au-delà du né, du devenu, du composé, du créé » (Udâna). Il n'y aurait que le samsara. Nous disions au début que ce sujet était trop ambitieux pour nous, et nous avons cité la parole de Confucius, à savoir que c'est une faute de parler de sujets élevés, quand on est un pauvre hère et errant, comme nous sommes tous, comme je suis en tous les cas. Pourtant nous avons tenté l'entreprise. C'est parce que l'enjeu est considérable. Car s'il n'y a pas d'absolu, il n'y a pas de chemin vers l'absolu, comme le dit la parole du Bouddha. S'il n'y a pas de chemin, il n'y a que l'ignorance, il n'y a que l'obscurité, dans lesquelles nous sommes immergés à perte de vue. L'ignorance est l'origine du monde, dit le bouddhisme. Elle est la texture du samsara. Connaissons-nous le nombre des étoiles ? Le nombre de poils sur nos sourcils ? L'heure de notre mort ? Ce qu'est la vie, ce qu'est la mort ? Non bien-sûr. Mais si l'absolu est bien une réalité, si les noms que nous avons mentionnés ne désignent pas une chimère, s'ils ne sont pas le fruit d'une imposture, alors l'ignorance n'est pas le dernier mot de la vie, alors la vie a un sens, alors elle prend un sens, ou plutôt nous pouvons lui donner un sens.

Hervé Clerc was born in Lausanne, in 1952, and has acquired, since then, a double nationality, both Swiss and French. As his father was a journalist in Paris, at that time, he spent the thirty early years of his life in France. He got a diploma from the Institute of political studies (IEP) in Paris, and another one from la Sorbonne with a thesis on Patanjali's yoga. After the university, he was recruited by the French press agency AFP, where he remained for another thirty years. He was posted as a journalist in Madrid, then became bureau chief for Afghanistan and Pakistan, bureau chief in Lyon, and eventually bureau chief for the Netherlands. He terminated his career in Nice (south of France), where he lives now. He wrote three books : the first one on Buddhism (Les choses comme elles sont, édition Galllimard), the second on this unknown entity that we call god (Dieu par la face nord, édition Albin Michel), and the third on hell (L'enfer est une fête, édition Albin Michel). He is currently planning to write another book on happiness and how to get oriented, once and for all, towards a blissful state. But he feels himself only a beginner. He is married and has two children.

 

Franco Ferrari

“Dire l’indicibile: la natura e i nomi dell’Assoluto da Platone al Neoplatonismo”

[‘To Speak the Unspeakable: The Nature and Names of the Absolute, from Plato to Neoplatonism’]

Il luogo di origine del pensiero dell'indicibilità dell'assoluto è costituito dai dialoghi di Platone, e in particolare da passi tratti dalla Repubblica, dal Parmenide, dal Timeo e dalla misteriosa VII Lettera. Tuttavia un'analisi priva di pregiudizi di questi testi dimostra che in Platone non c'è alcuna concezione positiva dell'assoluto come qualcosa di impredicabile e indicibile. Le prime avvisaglie di una simile dottrina si trovano in una fase relativamente avanzata della tradizione platonica in autori come Moderato di Gades e Filone di Alessandria. Ma è a Plotino che si deve la prima teorizzazione organica del principio (arché) come qualcosa che in se stesso è indicibile (arrheton). Nelle Enneadi si assiste a una spregiudicata indagine intorno alle aporie connesse alla nozione di assoluto e ai problemi collegati all'attribuzione all'Uno dello statuto di principio e causa dell'essere. Sulla scorta di Plotino, il platonismo successivo sviluppa un'indagine di notevole livello con Giamblico e Proclo. L'apice di questa riflessione si incontra in Damascio, il quale, nel celebre scritto Aporie e soluzioni sui principi primi, arriva a rovesciare la struttura stessa della metafisica neoplatonico, teorizzando l'impossibilità di attribuire all'assoluto una natura causale.

Franco Ferrari, born in 1964, is Full Professor of History of Ancient Philosophy at the University of Salerno and of History of Ancient Late Philosophy at the University of Pavia, Italy. His scientific interests focus on Plato's philosophy (metaphysics, epistemology, and ethics) and on the platonic tradition in the antiquity (Middle Platonism and Neoplatonism). He has served as a Fellow of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation in Münster (1997;1999 and 2002) and Tübingen (2009 and 2012), Germany. Currently, he coordinates of the Editorial Board of the 'International Plato Studies' series and is a member of the scientific board of several international journals of ancient philosophy, among which the Revue de Philosophie Ancienne. In 2014, he was Scientific Director and Coordinator of the unesco research project entitled, 'La via dell'essere: Elea/Velia.' His works include Dio, idea e materia: la struttura del cosmo in Plutarco di Cheronea (1995), I miti di Platone (2006), Socrate tra personaggio e mito (2007), and the most recent Introduzione a Platone (2018). He also translated and edited, in the Series 'Classici Greci della BUR', the new editions of of Plato's Parmenides (2004), Theaeteus (2011), and Meno (2016), and, for Marsilio Publishers, The Government of Philosophers (Republic, Book IV) (2014). He has recently published the a new Introduzione a Platone (2018) and La via dell'immortalità. Percorsi platonici ('Saggi di Eranos' #5, 2019).

 

Grazia Shōgen Marchianò

“I volti mutevoli dell’Assoluto: una storia infinita che si svolge nel tessuto della mente umana”

[‘The Changing Faces of the Absolute: An Unending Story Taking Place within the Fabric of the Human Mind’]

The human mind has always given the Absolute several names: the One, the All, Being, Truth, God, Śunyatā have been the most recurrent and charismatic in the Western and Eastern theological and philosophical languages of the past. Even though today those names have not waned, others have taken pride of place as in the case of the monosyllable BIT in the language of informatics, of the pronoun IT as expression of cosmic totality in astrophysics, and most recently of the cyborg, a hybrid being supposed to act as the eventful protagonist of a post-human time on Earth. One is facing then a crucial question: which is the ground wherefrom the ever changing faces of the Absolute arise? Is this ground to be properly explored 'outside', namely in the making of the human drama or not rather 'inside' the mind where the fabric of a 'Beyond' in whichever way be it conceived is a sovereign must?

Grazia Shōgen Marchianò is a specialist in East-West aesthetic, philosophic, and religious studies, and former Professor of Comparative Aesthetics and History and Civilizations of Eastern Asia at the University of Siena (Arezzo, Italy). She is author and editor of several scholarly books, as well as a large number of essays, conference papers, and articles in Italian and English on Indian and Buddhist epistemology, transcultural aesthetics, and Shingon esoteric Buddhism. On this last topic she has launched a biannual research project at the Officina Studi Medievali (Medieval Studies Workshop), Palermo, involving scholars from the Middle East and Japan. She is recipient of a doctorate honoris causa from The Open University, Edinburgh. She is scientific advisor of the Advanced Creativity Mind School (Pesaro). She served as the Founding President of the Elémire Zolla International Research Society (AIREZ) and, since 2012, editor of ten volumes of the Collected Works of her late husband Elémire Zolla (1926–2002) with Marsilio Publisher, Venice. She has also authored Zolla’s intellectual biography, Il conoscitore di segreti. Una biografia intellettuale (2012), and edited Labirinti della mente. Visioni del mondo. Il lascito intellettuale di Elémire Zolla nel XXI secolo (2012), a trilingual volume collecting the Proceedings of the international conference on Zolla’s thought held in Montepulciano, Italy (May 29–31, 2012), convening scholars from Asia, Europe, and United States. Some of her recent contributions are scattered in Before Pangaea. New Essays in Transcultural Aesthetics (University of Sydney, Vol. 15, 2005); in Transmutatio. The Hermetic Way to Happiness (eds. D. Boccassini and C. Testa, 2012); in the Eranos Yearbooks (2009–2010–2011 and 2013–2014); in Spring. A Journal of Archetype and Culture (Vol. 92, ed. R. Bernardini, 2015); and in Octagon. La ricerca della totalità riflessa in una biblioteca dedicata alla storia delle religioni, alla filosofia e, soprattutto, all’esoterismo (Vol. 3, ed. H. Th. Hakl, 2017).

 

Silvano Tagliagambe

 “I nomi dell’Assoluto e la rottura spontanea della simmetria”

[‘The Names of the Absolute and the Spontaneous Symmetry Breaking’]

According to Florenskij, positivism has in it itself the elements of its own self-dissolution. In fact it refers to an unlimited, endless, that is, inexhaustible growth, without an idea of infinity as something realized. From an epistemological point of view it is legitimate to speak of the growth of knowledge only if it is considered an indefinite process of approximation to the truth, that is, towards a term, represented by Cantor's Absolute, a infinite not expandable and not mathematically determinable. This term is like Anaximander's ἄπειρον, a fusion and an unlimited combination of equiprobable and interchangeable possibilities, an absolute symmetry, the domain of the identical, of the indefinite, in which all possible meanings are potentially contained, and no one emerges concretely. Giving it a name means breaking this symmetry, keeping it on a reduced scale, and associating the residual elements of symmetry with the establishment of an order, after which some of these possibilities differ from all others and the system contracts, arriving at a dynamic balance and at a metastable structure, which gives it a temporary stability.

Silvano Tagliagambe, born in 1945, is Professor Emeritus of Philosophy of Science at University of Sassari, Italy. Physicist and philosopher, he previously taught at the universities of Pisa, Cagliari, ‘Sapienza’ – University of Rome, and Sassari, at the Faculty of Architecture in Alghero. He now held courses at the Universidad Complutense de Madrid (UCM), Spain, at the Universidade de Lisboa (ULISBOA), and at the Universidade do Porto (UP), Portugal. He also served as the Vice-President of the Centro di Ricerca, Sviluppo, Studi Superiori (CRS4) in the Region of Sardinia, Italy, presided by the physicist, Carlo Rubbia. He authored over two hundred and fifty publications. Among his main works, we mention here L’interpretazione materialistica della meccanica quantistica (1972), Scienza, Filosofia, Politica in Unione Sovietica 1924–1939 (1978), Scienza e marxismo in URSS (1979), La mediazione linguistica. Il rapporto pensiero-linguaggio da Leibniz a Hegel (1980), L’epistemologia contemporanea (1991), Epistemologia del confine (1997), La città possibile (in collaboration with Giovanni Maciocco, 1997), Epistemologia del cyberspazio (1997), L’albero flessibile. La cultura della progettualità (1998), Il sogno di Dostoevskij. Come la mente emerge dal cervello (2002), Come leggere Florenskij (2006), Lo spazio intermedio. Rete, individuo e comunità (2008), Il cielo incarnato. L’epistemologia del simbolo di Pavel Florenskij (2013), Il nodo Borromeo. Corpo, mente, psiche (2015), La divergenza nella rivoluzione. Filosofia, scienza e teologia in Russia (1920–1940) (with G. Rispoli, 2016), Oltre il muro di pietra. La concezione antinomica della verità in Florenskij alla prova delle neuroscienze (2017), and Lo sguardo e l’ombra (2017). In the field of Jungian studies, he also co-authored, along with Angelo Malinconico, Pauli e Jung. Un confronto su materia e psiche (2011) and Jung e il Libro Rosso. Il Sé come sacrificio dell’Io (2014). For the ‘Saggi di Eranos’ editorial series, he also authored Catastrofi dell’immediatezza (with F. Merlini, 2016).

 

Vana Xenou

« Pourquoi Elefsína aujourd’hui. De la mélancolie à la vision »

[‘Why Elefsína Today. From Melancholy to the Vision’]

Nowadays, the key to secret correlations has been lost; the rupture between the divine, the supernatural and the humanly religious is absolute. Yet, a part of human existence is still in demand of symbols. The prelogical and the supralogical subconscious, the whole range of psychosomatic relations call out for this intuitive, alogical meeting with reality. Man is led from the perceptible to the intelligible, thus acquiring the possibility of being in an intermediary inner state in which he can sense both aspects. It is perhaps here that the form’s mystic power resides. Significantly, the word ‘symbol’ has a unifying meaning in Greek, while the word ‘mystery’ suggests a hidden reality, either secret or concealed, which is discovered and revealed through the process of initiation. Believing in the revealing character of art, good fortune led me to Eleusis and its Mysteries. The name itself, Elefsína, Eleusis – ‘arrival’, reveals that nothing indigenous was born here but that it is, rather, the end of an arduous journey. Elefsína’s biological place in the Greek and historical economy, as, also, its universally dynamic existence in the apocryphal spiritual history of the entire world, revealed that this mystical religiosity, preserved unchanged throughout the ages both as a name and as a meaning, used to have other roots. In Greek language, there is a word whose content is inexhaustible, a form flooded by the sacred: ‘aidós’, which we usually interpret as aidemosyne (‘bashfulness’, ‘modesty’), whereas in essence it is nothing other than the sacred understanding of the untouched; it is what expresses that which is not experienced today and seems contradictory, namely that what is true remains a hidden, protected, well-kept secret. Here, it is worth recalling the Heracletian saying to mind, φύσις κρύπτεσθαι φιλεί (‘Nature loves to conceal herself’) that refers to the infinity of Nature, which is not easily grasped – the hidden protective covering does not permit the uninitiated to penetrate it. Just as Nietzsche believed that ‘we no longer believe that truth remains truth when one pulls off the veil ... one should have more respect for the bashfulness with which nature has hidden behind riddles and iridescent uncertainties...’ Today, if we want to turn our thoughts in a direction worthy of the phenomenon of the initiation process, we have to rely on its reductiverevelatory nature. In the concluding ceremony of the Epopteia, knowledge and existence merge into a single unit: Deiknymena – ‘Revelation’. The answer to the question, ‘Why Elefsína today’, can be summed up in the words of the Homeric hymn: HAPPY IS HE WHO HAS SEEN.

Vana Xenou was born in Athens in 1949. She studied painting and stage designing at the School of Fine Arts in Athens (1968–1973). In 1973, she entered the École Supérieure des Arts Décoratifs in Paris. She then pursued her studies in painting and mosaics at the École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts in Paris (1974–1978), while simultaneously attended seminars on aesthetics and philosophy. She is currently an Emeritus Professor at the Department of Architecture of the National Technical University of Athens (ntua). She was the candidate for Greece in 2008 for the ‘Women of Europe’ Award, instituted by the International Association for the Promotion of Women of Europe. In 2014, she was honored by the French Republic with the title of the ‘Officer of the Order of the Academic Palms’. She has held an important number of solo shows with a thematic approach, among which: D’après l’Odalisque de Paul Outerbridge (1978–1987), Artistic exploration in the world of Lewis Caroll (Greece, USA, and Spain, 1980–1991), D’après Judith et Holopherne de Artémisia Gentileschi (Greece, 1983), D’après Lucrèce de Lucas Cranach (Belgium and Greece, 1985–1991), « Kunst Europa » Neuves Berliner kunstverein (Germany, 1984–1991), Angels, Earth and Heaven (Greece, 1989), Hyperion or the Hermit (Greece, 1989–1998), Eleusinian mysteries (Greece, 1990–2010), Malson of Chyprus (Greece, 1995), Chapelle de la Salpêtrière (France, 2000), The «Eleusis-Perasma». «Arrivée-Passage» at Kronos Old Factory, Eleusis (Greece, under the auspices of the Hellenic Ministry of Culture and the Municipality of Eleusis, 2004), Psychagogia (Greece, 2005), «Arrivée-Passage», Jardins du Palais Royal, Paris (France, with the support of the French Ministry of Culture and Communications, 2007–2008), «The Soul of the Place» (National Gardens, Greece, 2010), «Passage». With your eyes cast heavenwards (permanent sculptural Installation, City Link Arcade / Piraeus, Bank Cultural Institution, Athens, Greece, 2012), and Les sens politique des lieux sacrés, Sculptural Installation, Paris, Garches Fonds culturel de l’Ermitage (France, 2017). Vana Xenou has also participated in numerous group exhibitions in Greece and abroad. Among his books, we mention here Selections from the Notebooks of Vana Xenou (1986), Angels, Earth and Heaven (1989), Hyperion or the Hermit in Greece (1998), Mystères d’Éleusis (with texts by J.-M. Tasset, 2000), Eleusis-Perasma (with texts by H. Ladia, 2004), Arrivée-Passage (with texts by C. Buci-Glucksmann, 2008), The Soul of the Place (with texts by by E. Daydé and A. Vozani, 2010), and Ces cites ou passent encore les dieux. Athens – Eleusis – Delphi (2017). That there are numerous texts relevant to Vana Xenou’s work in publication, such as catalogues of solo and group exhibitions, articles, books (e.g., C. Mollard, Vana Xenou, 1995), academic essays, interviews in magazines and newspapers, and plenty of references through the internet.

 

Paolo Zellini

“L’infinito del continuo e la realtà del discreto”

[‘The Infinity of the Continuum and the Reality of the Discrete’]

The concept of the continuum was an integral part of Greek philosophy and mathematics as it was, for other reasons, of the Indian culture of the Vedic period. Today it is the foundation of the analysis and of the equations of mathematical physics. In Greece, since the time of Pythagoras and his followers, continuity was enigmatically linked to the negative principle of the ápeiron and the infinite divisibility of magnitudes. Since then the expedients for understanding the nature of the continuum by means of complex symbolical constructions and effective computational procedures have multiplied. In these procedures what has usually been seen is an instrument of approximation of the infinity of the continuum by means of discrete systems of finite numbers. But the computational mathematics in the last century entitles us to ask ourselves if it is not, in fact, the continuum that should be considered an approximation of discrete data.

Paolo Zellini, a mathematician by education, has carried out research in Rome, Pisa, and the United States. He has taught in the Universities of Pisa, Udine, and ‘Tor Vergata’ in Rome, where he served as Full Professor of Numerical Analysis until 2016 and where he is still pro tempore Emeritus Professor. His scholarly writings, which have appeared in the most renowned periodicals, are in the field of numerical linear algebra, the theory of matrices, the complexity of algorithms and numerical optimization. He has also been interested in the significance of the research done in these areas within the framework of the history of mathematics and, more generally, the history of ideas. He has published for Adelphi publishers the award winning Breve storia dell’infinito (1980), La ribellione del numero (1985), Gnomon. Una indagine sul numero (1999), Numero e logos (2010) (which was awarded the SEFIR Prize in 2011), La matematica degli dèi e gli algoritmi degli uomini (2016) (singled out for honorable mention in the Merck Prize in 2017), and La dittatura del calcolo (2018). He has published for Bollati Boringhieri, in collaboration with other authors, Complessità e iterazione numerica (2013), a treatise on iterative numerical algorithms and their computational complexity. Some of his books have been translated into other languages. He has been writing for some time in the cultural section of the newspaper, Corriere della Sera. He has also contributed to the creation of an interdepartmental research center ‘Forme del sapere nel mondo antico’ at University of Rome ‘Tor Vegata’.

 

Seminario dottorale coordinato da

Ph.D. Seminar chaired by

Adriano Fabris, Franco Giudice, Amelia Valtolina

In collaborazione con il Dottorato di ricerca in Studi umanistici transculturali, Università di Bergamo,

e il Dottorato di ricerca in Filosofia, Università di Pisa e Università di Firenze

In collaboration with the Ph.D. program in Transcultural Studies in Humanities, University of Bergamo,

and the Ph.D. program in Philosophy, University of Pisa and University of Florence

 

Adriano Fabris (Pisa, Italy) is Full Professor of Moral Philosophy at the University of Pisa, where he also teaches Philosophy of Religions and Communication Ethics. In Pisa, he directs the Interdisciplinary Center of Research and Services on Communication (CICo). He also serves as Director of the journal ‘Teoria’ (Pisa) and as Co-Director of the journal ‘Filosofia e Teologia’ (Naples). He teaches Philosophy of Religions and Ethics at the Theological Faculty of Lugano. In the same Faculty, where he directs the ReTe Institute (Religions and Theology), he also promoted the Master in Science, Philosophy, and Theology of Religions (the online version is now available too). Among his most recent publications, we can list TeorEtica. Filosofia della Relazione (2010), La scelta del dialogo. Breviario filosofico per comunicare meglio (2011), Bild als Prozess. Neue Perspektiven einer Phänomologie des Sehens (with A. Lossi and U. Perone, 2011), Filosofia delle religioni (2012), Etica delle nuove tecnologie (2012), Il peccato originale come problema filosofico (2014), Il tempo esploso (2015), Ethical Issues in Internet Communication (2015), RelAzione. Una filosofia performativa (2016), and Ethics of Information and Communication Technologies (2018).

Franco Giudice is Full Professor of History of science at the University of Bergamo, where is also Co-ordinator of the Ph.D. program in Transcultural Studies in Humanities. He is co-editor of ‘Galilaeana. Studies in Renaissance and Early Modern Science’. He has widespread research interests, including Hobbes, Galileo, Kepler, Descartes, Huygens, Newton, and especially theories of light in the Scientific Revolution. He has published a number of articles and books, including Luce e visione. Thomas Hobbes e la scienza dell’ottica (1999), Lo spettro di Newton. La rivelazione della luce e dei colori (2009), and Galileo’s Telescope: A European Story (with Massimo Bucciantini and Michele Camerota, 2015). He has recently translated and edited Newton’s Philosophiae naturalis principia matematica (2018). In cooperation with Elaine C. Stroud, he is currently editing a volume of Hobbes’s Optical Works for The Clarendon Edition of the Works of Thomas Hobbes.

Amelia Valtolina teaches Modern German Literature at the University of Bergamo (Department of Humanities), where she serves as a member of the Doctorate School in Studi Umanistici Transculturali. Expert of 19th century German prose and poetry, and in particular of Gottfried Benn’s œuvre, she devotes her attention to the analysis of aesthetic categories (form, figure, fragment) in the literary text. She has edited the Italian translation of works by Ilse Aichinger, Gottfried Benn, Theodor Fontane, Rainer M. Rilke, and Lou Andreas-Salomé. Among her books, Blu e poesia. Metamorfosi di un colore nella moderna lirica tedesca (2002; French edition, 2006), Parole con figura (2010), and Il sogno della forma. Un’idea tedesca nel Novecento di Gottfried Benn (2016). She regularly takes part to the activities of the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung in Berlin and of the Eranos Foundation in Ascona and is a member of the Gottfried-Benn-Gesellschaft. Together with Andrea Bajani, Maurizio Ferraris, Paolo Fabbri, and Talia Pecker-Berio, she is also a member of the scientific board of the Fondazione Europea del Disegno, founded in 1997 by Valerio Adami, Jacques Derrida, Carlos Fuentes, Daniel Arasse, and Saul Steinberg, and is chief editor of its Annali (Bruno Mondadori, il Melangolo, Quodlibet).


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