La potenza di esistere. Manifesto edonista by Michel Onfray

By Michel Onfray

"Potenza di esistere" è un’espressione di Baruch Spinoza scelta da Michel Onfray, il più popolare e controverso tra i filosofi francesi contemporanei, according to indicare lo scopo del proprio pensiero: contribuire al più ampio esplicarsi della vita umana nel qui e ora della sua dimensione terrena, individuale e collettiva, senza più dover confidare negli al di là delle religioni e delle metafisiche. Dopo oltre trenta volumi nei quali ha affrontato le domande capitali delle singole self-discipline (etica, estetica, politica, «erotica», storiografia filosofica...), in questo libro Onfray offre oggi in step with los angeles prima volta un landscape esaustivo del suo pensiero: una felice collezione delle sue idee più radicali e discusse.
In maniera coerente con il proprio pensiero – non un «pensiero di carta» ma un «pensiero da vivere», al servizio della vita, nel quale riflessione ed esistenza tendono a coincidere – Onfray antepone alla Potenza di esistere uno fra i suoi scritti più belli e giustamente famosi, Autobiografia con bambino. È il racconto dell’esperienza traumatica in cui trovano origine los angeles sua vocazione filosofica e il suo fermo ripudio della trascendenza: l’affidamento a dieci anni a un orfanotrofio gestito da salesiani, nel quale subì ogni genere di violenza ma trovò in sé – come ogni uomo e ogni donna possono fare – i semi della sua riscossa filosofica.

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The testimonies that make up the novel point to an omnipresent and omnipotent Syd, the willing, almost Christlike victim of a sacrificial logic that he himself sets in train and then remotely presides over. It is hard to imagine a more extreme mythical version of the Barrett epic than this grandiloquent, compelling and not entirely ironic fiction of Saint Syd, nor is it necessary to since it already exists. Marziano and Worden’s scary Floydspotting provides a guidebook for retrospectively stalking Barrett and to a lesser extent the other members of Pink Floyd.

Indeed, sociology, following Comte and Durkheim, had tended to imagine that social forms exist at a series of different levels or scales. At the bottom was the individual, then there were institutions, then there were national societies and economies, then there was global society. Each higher scale could be understood as the context or frame for the one below. The micro was simply part of the macro, and the global was the most fundamental scale of all. All too quickly, social theorists lost any concern with the specificity of things, whether regions, industries or materials.

What was taken to be traditional British empiricism was rejected, and British social scientists read and reread the European sociological canon they should have been reading all along, rather than through the mediation of its American interpreters. Social theory rapidly became something of a meta-discipline, effecting a radical transformation of not only sociology but also English, in the form of the emerging interdisciplinary field of cultural studies. The political influence of social theory arguably reached its height in 1997 when Giddens himself proposed the Third Way as the project of New Labour.

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