Philosophical Alternatives 2/2024

Issue editors: Nikolay Mihaylov
CONTENTS & Abstracts & Keywords & Authors in the issue

Ivan Kamburov (Prof. Dr. at SU “St. Kliment Ohridski”)
Possible Freedom: From Logos Metaphysics to Metaphysical Act
Abstract: Metaphysics is the “first science” because it is also the “last science” The article highlights the main points of the specificity of metaphysics in the European philosophical tradition. The division of wisdom as a unity between knowledge and practice in ancient philosophy is emphasized. Kant's thesis that metaphysics is possible only in the realm of practical reason and only as a metaphysics of freedom is recapitulated. The forms of transcendence are revealed. Two approaches regarding metaphysics are analyzed – as a metaphysics of “questioning”, the logos type, and of a metaphysical act as overcoming causal dependencies in human individuality and truly achieving freedom.
Keywords: metaphysics, transcendence, transcendental philosophy, metaphysical act, reason; freedom

Darko Gavrilović, Miloš Petrović (Prof. Dr. Darko Gavrilović, Faculty of Science, University of Novi Sad; Dr. Miloš Petrović, Research Fellow, Institute of International Politics and Economics, Belgrade)
The Continuing Socio-political Appeal of Thermopylae Symbolism and the War in Ukraine
Abstract: The main aim of this article is to examine the causes behind the recurring heroic motives of Thermopylae up to the present day. This phenomenon, referred to as the comparative heroisation process, is analyzed in the context of initiation, glorification, and identification of contemporary European soldiers with the Spartan warriors. The author(s) primarily employ a comparative historical method, incorporating some elements of a constructivist approach. The Battle of Mariupol, one of the largest clashes during the invasion of Ukraine, is specifically examined. However, instead of focusing on measuring the actual degree of similarity to Thermopylae, the author(s) concentrate on the metaphorical aspect. The central question raised is: why has the symbolism of Thermopylae persisted? Additionally, the authors explore the continuities and discontinuities that the Mariupol case demonstrates in comparison to earlier historical examples. The author(s) aim to demonstrate that the heroisation process does not necessarily require defenders to possess all sublime virtues. On the contrary, it may be sufficient for the community to aspire to acknowledge, identify with, or achieve certain arch-heroic traits or qualities, which can then be attributed to their respective national courageous champions, irrespective of how closely they resemble the heroic role models.
Keywords: heroisation; Thermopylae; war; politic; Ukraine; myths

Denis Ventsislavov (PhD student at SU “St. Kliment Ohridski”)
Carl Schmitt’s Political Existentialism
Abstract: This paper aims to examine the existentialist elements in Carl Schmitt’s political philosophy. Such an analytical perspective is necessary so that we can fully understand the ideas of the German thinker. This article concentrates on three of Schmitt’s most serious areas of research: decisionism as a fundamental part of the political, constitutional theory and the concept of the political as a fundamental distinction between friends and enemies. Each of these three moments is deeply existential. Thus, it is that which enables Schmitt to develop an authentic counter-argument to 20 th century’s main political ideas. This existential perspective illuminates the essence of Carl Schmitt’s philosophy and provides it with intellectual clarity.
Keywords: Carl Schmitt; political existentialism; decisionism; constitutional theory; the political

Akinnawo Abolaji (PhD sudent at Osun State University, Ikire Campus, Nigeria – College of Humanities and Culture, Department of Religions)
Women and Christianity in Southwestern Nigeria from 19 th to mid-20 th Century: Implication for Contemporary Churches in Nigeria
Abstract: Women have played significant roles in the development of Christianity in Nigeria, but with little attention given to their roles in historical accounts. Therefore, this research focuses on the roles of women found scattered in some documented history of Christianity in Southwest, Nigeria from 19 th century till mid- twentieth century when missionaries came from America and Europe to Nigeria to establish Mainline Churches and in addition assesses their activities in the African Indigenous Churches (AICs) in Nigeria. The paper leaned on Dorcas Akintunde’s assertion that the official history of churches and Christian ministries in Nigeria takes a very little account of the role of women. She observed that the history of Christianity till the mid-twentieth century when Aladura churches (Praying Churches) were founded was basically patriarchal. Having explained these endeavours, the research also makes some recommendations for women activities in contemporary Christianity in Nigeria. The research uses qualitative approach with primary and secondary sources from In-depth Interview (IDI), participant observations and bibliographical and archival search. Women were found out to have served as missionaries, acted in men’s absence, and deployed their professional expertise on the mission fields, founded churches and were actively involved in pulpit ministry. Hence, their roles contributed significantly to the growth of Christianity in southwest Nigeria.
Keywords: Women’s roles in Nigerian Christianity; African indigenous churches; mainline churches; Christianity in Southwest Nigeria

Stanul Grozev (Assistant Professor, Dr. at Institute of Philosophy and Sociology, BAS)
On the Early Beginnings of Pragmatism in Bulgaria – Enthusiasm and Revelation (an Article Commemorating the Death of William James)
Abstract: The text presented here is a part of a broader study on the reception and influence of pragmatism in Bulgaria and emphasizes upon a single, but very important detail – an article by Georgi Minev from 1910, commemorating the death of William James. The article is the first characteristic introduction of the specific philosophical principles of pragmatism presented in our country. As such, it deserves a more detailed examination and analysis in the broader context of pragmatism in Bulgaria.
Keywords: pragmatism; pragmatism in Bulgaria; William James; pluralism; Georgi Minev

Vincenzo Filetti (PhD Graduate Student at Sofia University “St. Kliment Ohridski”)
The Original Technicality of the Human Being
Abstract: In this article I present the thesis of the original technicality of man proposed by the French philosopher Bernard Stiegler, who passed away in 2020. Stiegler's thought is undergoing continuous re-elaboration due to the singularity of the proposed theses deriving from studies of contemporary anthropology and philosophy. The research method used is subjective-argumentative and interpretive. Reading Stiegler's texts lends itself well to a functional interpretation of the thesis according to which digital technologies are natural prostheses for 21st century students. With the subjective-argumentative methodological approach I can reach a specific goal: demonstrating how the use of digital devices is to be considered an educational asset starting from Stiegler’s philosophy. He makes us understand how the original technicality is decisive for cognitive development. Moreover, the subjective- argumentative approach, as little objective as it may be, offers the flexibility to support a contemporary educational theory such as George Siemens’ Connectivism.
Keywords: technicality; technogenesis; proteticity Stiegler; Simondon

Giorgio Agamben (Born in 1942, and probably the world’s most translated Italian philosopher, whose interests intersect political, aesthetic, linguistic and literary studies)
What is Fear?
Abstract: The first pandemic texts, published in the book Where Have We Gone? Epidemic as Politics (“A che punto siamo? L'epidemia come politica”, Quodlibet, 2020), link Agamben's central notion of ”bare life” to fear, placing it at the center of his predictions for the sunset of bourgeois democracies and the rise of despotism based on the notion of ”biosecurity”. The theme culminates in the essay ”What is Fear?” presented here. Unlike the previous ones, it originally appeared on the website of the Italian Institute for Philosophical Research. Being the most philosophically saturated text of the series, it rethinks the key categories of Heideggerian existential analytics, fear and fearing, in the horizon of the pandemic situation, problematizing the ontological priority given by Heidegger to anxiety over fearing, in order to derive fearing as the mood through which power is established and justified.
Keywords: Giorgio Agamben; Anxiety; Fear; Martin Heidegger; philosophy of politics

Cengizhan Kaptan (PhD Graduate Student at Sofia University “St. Kliment Ohridski”)
Net-Zero Paradigm in Capitalist Economy: A Critical Assessment
Abstract: Sustainability, green economy, ESG (environmental – social – governance) are the terms used interchangeably. They all represent an economy that enjoys sustainable growth and profitability while staying in line with ecological concerns. To reach the state of a sustainable profit, one of the most important achievements is decarbonisation according to the proponents of capitalism. As such, one of the most common paradigms for decarbonizing the planet is net zero -net zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emission-. Advocates of the sustainable economy claim that this goal can be reached by 2050. This article first discusses the net-zero paradigm and then provides a critique that emphasizes the antagonism between the two, i.e., between net-zero and capitalist economy and concludes that net-zero paradigm contradicts the very essence of the capital: profit and growth.
Keywords: net zero; GHG; sustainability; sustainable finance; financialization; ESG

Vladimir Radenkov (Assistant Professor, Dr. at University of Architecture, Construction and Geodesy, Sofia)
The Exemplary Deviations in Dimitar Zashev’s Philosophizing

Dimitar Zashev (Professor, Dr. (1948–2018) – one of the greatest connoisseurs of German philosophy and sociology, teacher at SU “St. Kliment Ohridski”, at the Academy of Arts, translator, poet)
The Dimensions of Lying