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Apocalypses and Catastrophes

The Cunning of Totality

Jun 14,15:00, 2014
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‘Apocalypse’ and ‘catastrophe’ conjure up misfortunes, evoking final events marked by disastrous endings. The etymologies of both terms, however, recall different meanings – revelation (apokalypsis) and overturning (katastrophe), respectively – that allow us to read all endeavors of language and thought to totalize history and meaning against the grain. What happens when the end does not come to an end, when the absolute turns out to be conditioned, when the logos is confronted by its impossibility to signify? Catastrophic outcomes retroactively transform the processes from which they result and may be interpreted as refutations that sabotage the very aims guiding such ventures. Yet apocalyptic reversals do not prevent us from making the wager to totalize. Indeed they reveal and challenge the idea of a ‘cunning of totality’. Through discussions on Hegel, Sophists, Lacan, Kojève, and Wittgenstein, this conference aimed to explore the dangers, crises, and compulsions at stake in theoretical engagements with the notion of totality.


15:00 Introduction: The Cunning of Totality 

15:15 Jamila M.H. Mascat (ICI Berlin): In the Time of Wisdom. Kojeve’s Philosophy after the End of History 

16:00 Paolo Vinci (Università La Sapienza, Roma): Recognition and Accomplishment between Hegel and Lacan 

16:45 Coffee break  

17:00 Fiorinda Li Vigni (Istituto Italiano per gli Studi Filosofici, Scuola di Roma): Gorgias and Rhetoric: A Catastrophe of Logos?   

17:45  Sara Fortuna (Università Guglielmo Marconi, Roma): Crisis, Totality, Anti-Philosophy. Some Remarks around Wittgenstein and Pasolini 

18:30 Discussion   

Sara Fortuna is Professor of Philosophy of Language at the Università Guglielmo Marconi (Rome) and associate member at the ICI Berlin. Her recent publications include The Power of Disturbance: Elsa Morante’s ‘Aracoeli’ (Oxford: Legenda, 2009; ed. with Manuele Gragnolati), Dante´s Plurilingualism (ed. with M. Gragnolati and Jürgen Trabant); Il giallo di Wittgenstein (Milan: Mimesis, 2009), Wittgensteins Philosophie des Kippbildes (2012), On Dogville (2012). 

Fiorinda Li Vigni is Associate Researcher at the Istituto Italiano di Studi filosofici – Scuola di Roma. Among her books are Jacques D’Hondt et le parcours de la raison hégélienne (L’Harmattan, 2005); Protagora e l’arte della politica (La Scuola di Pitagora Editrice, 2010), Il concetto di astratto nel giudizio sulla Rivoluzione francese. Burke, Maistre, Cuoco, Hegel, Marx (Istituto Italiano per gli Studi Filosofici, 2006).    

Paolo Vinci is Professor of Practical Philosophy at the University La Sapienza and associate member of the Istituto Italiano per gli Studi filosofici – Scuola di Roma. Among his recent publications:  “Coscienza infelice” e “anima bella”. Commentario della “Fenomenologia dello spirito” di Hegel (Guerini e associati, 2012); Soggetto e tempo. Heidegger interprete di Kant (Bagatto, 2012); La forma filosofia in Marx. Dalla critica dell’ideologia alla critica dell’economia politica (manifestolibri, 2011). 

Organized by
Jamila M. H. Mascat, Post-doctoral Fellow at the ICI Berlin and author of Hegel a Jena. La critica dell’astrazione [Hegel in Jena: The Critique of Abstraction] (Pensamultimedia 2011). 

The event was organized in co-operation with the Istituto Italiano per gli Studi Filosofici – Scuola di Roma

Flyer (PDF)

Time: Saturday, 14 June 2014, 15:00 – 20:00
ICI Berlin
In English

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