Philosophical Alternatives 3/2022

Topic of the issue ART AND CRISIS
Issue editors: Sylvia Borissova, Aleksandar Donev, Galin Penev
CONTENTS & Abstracts & Keywords & Authors in the issue

Bogdana Paskaleva (Assistant Professor at Sofia University “St. Kliment Ohridski”)
Walter Benjamin’s Theory of Genre and the Notion of Life
Abstract: The text focuses on several of the manifestations of the concept of life in the work of Walter Benjamin, mainly in the famous study “Towards the Critique of Violence” (1921) and in the later monograph “Origin of the German Baroque Drama” (1928). The central research question regards the place of the concept of life in the general framework of genre theory, which Benjamin develops in his monograph. On the one hand, the concept of life proves to be internally double and heterogeneous, and on the other – to be one of the key genre markers that distinguish the genre of tragedy from that of the baroque drama.
Keywords: Walter Benjamin, violence, life, genre theory, tragedy, György Lukács.

Ivan Stefanov (Professor, DSc at Sofia University “St. Kliment Ohridski”)
On Painting and Its ‘Sinking’ in Abstraction
Abstract: Hegel, in his Aesthetics, Volume 2, in the section on painting as a romantic art, repeatedly returns to the same idea: painting must choose and present as its subject only what can be realized through its external specific subject appearance. Painting should represent people, houses, faces, trees, bushes, rivers and lakes, etc. In this way, according to Hegel, painting can escape from sinking into abstraction, to which it is constantly driven by the growing autonomy and independence of the color principle in the construction of the overall pictorial image. But historically this has proved impossible. With the advent of modernism in the mid-19th century, painting was deprived of its external support (mythology, religion, history) and must develop as a completely autonomous and independent artistic field that can and has to rely solely on itself. This autonomy finds its ultimate expression in the emergence and development of the absolutely pointless abstract picture. It is also the concrete aesthetic response to the enormous external pressure of photography and cinema as new technical media and arts. From mimesis art, painting is radically transformed into expressive and completely pointless art. This radical transformation, its causes, nature and consequences are the subject of analysis in the proposed article. The final conclusion is that abstract art is closely related to painting theory and practice, its specific end and at the same time a new beginning.
Кеуwords: Hegel, W. Benjamin, H-G. Gadamer, A. Danto, R. Ingarden, I. Passy, Tsv. Todorov, K. Mieux, painting, photography, cinema, abstract painting, abstract art.

Ivanka Stapova (Professor, DSc at Institute of Philosophy and Sociology, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences)
Faces of/behind the Mask: Opportunities for Creativity in the Context of 'Pandemic Fury'
Abstract: Before embarking on that ambivalent meaning that presents the mask as a variant of the idea of the other, of the double, it was part of the ritual-sacred existence of the first human societies. The current social situation, the extreme living conditions, once again gave the mask a chance – to take on a new role and perform new functions. The text examines both the historical variability of the meanings of the mask and its presence in the life of modern man as a barrier and shield for human life, but also an isolating component, behind which the person falls into unnatural isolation and even more unnatural loneliness.
Keywords: mask, pandemic, new artistic values, the mask and the Self, creativity behind the mask as a double, a modern function of the mask.

Galin Penev (Assistent Professor at Institute of Philosophy and Sociology, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences)
To the Aesthetic Markers of Walking and Social Rhythms
Abstract: The article concerns the aesthetic consequences of urban environment walking rediscovery. From an aesthetic point of view, walking is a performative art insofar as it is performed for its own sake, presenting purposeness without purpose. Walking as a performative practice resists the domination of the official urban spatial configuration and deploys alternative private mapping. The social rhythms establish sustainable development, but at the same time it suppresses the deterritorialization of the official zone map in the sake of a non-stop activation society.
Keywords: walking, aesthetics, synchronization, rhythm, kairos, lockdown.

Nikifor Avramov (Assistent Professor at Institute of Philosophy and Sociology, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences)
Art and the Crisis of Social Relations Today
Abstract: The text presents the idea that the establishing of art’s meaning in a society is necessarily done through an awareness of the essence of art and, therefore, outside of the relativist perspective of time. The current situation of crisis in social relations presents a peculiar symbolic situation, which should be understood as a suggestion for a deeper questioning regarding the state of art in relation to its ontological origins.
Keywords: art, social relations, crisis, media culture.

Zoran Dimić (Associate Professor at Faculty of Philosophy, University of Nis, Serbia)
The Ancient Medicine and Its Mediterranean Nature
Abstract: The Mediterranean nature of ancient medicine is evident in many senses. Since the Neolithic, this area has been a place of contact for many opposites: high and inaccessible mountains and gentle river systems, harsh deserts, and fertile valleys. Therefore, the imbalance and the exchange that aimed to establish balance are, in fact, the nature of the Mediterranean. The Mediterranean cultural and natural world impregnated the Greek, Latin, and Jewish medical cures. Galen was generally inclined to search for the cause of illness not just in the patient itself, but in his environment (water, soil, air, etc.). Hence, I would like to claim that the ancient understanding of health concerned the medi(terranean)ating of various agents. The Mediterranean culture of medical treatment focused not only on the shape of the body and soul, but also on the specific human reflection about the variety of relationships one has towards the outside world.
Keywords: Ancient medicine, Mediterranean, exchange, imbalance, nature, Galen, health.

Pyotr Savitsky (theorist of the Eurasia Movement)
Migration of Culture
Abstract: This text is by Pyotr Savitsky, a Russian economist and geographer (1893–1979), one of the four authors who established the Eurasian movement as a post-revolutionary movement of Russian émigrés, and published the collection Exodus to the East (Sofia, 1921).
Keywords: migration of culture, Eurasian movement, geopolitics, cultural studies.

Antoan Asenov (PhD student at Sofia University “St. Kliment Ohridski”)
Amor fati as a Dionysian Imperative
Abstract: Amor fati – love of fate. In the late years of his life, Nietzsche was obsessed with this theme: the need to love one’s destiny and to accept every single event and occurrence in life as a building part of one’s personal essence. He considered amor fati as an imperative and as “the highest state a philosopher can attain”: „that one wants nothing to be different, not forward, not backward, not in all eternity. Not merely bear what is necessary, still less conceal it – but love it.” Dionysian affirmation of life – those are the words Nietzsche uses to describe this highest state.
In the same time, throughout his development as a thinker, Nietzsche accentuates the completely accidental character of all being, its initial irrationality, its absence of meaning, its complete purposeless. What are the implications of fate in a philosophy that places chaos and chance at the very heart of existence? This is the main question I try to answer here.
Keywords: Nietzsche, chance, fate, chaos, Dionysus, affirmation of life.

Valentin Kanawrow (Professor, DSc at South-West University “Neofit Rilski”)
How is a Principally New Transcendental Phenomenology Possible after a Scandal of Philosophy?
Abstract: Kant constructs a metaphysical-idealist philosophy of a transcendental type. He emphasizes the inevitable need of experience. But Kant considers it impossible to prove the existence of things. This is a scandal of philosophy. Heidegger rethinks the scandal in the plane of being. But he presents his philosophy only as an approach to the discovery of being. The article offers a formal-rational alternative that designs a new type of transcendental phenomenology.
Keywords: formal-rational transcendental phenomenology, critical metaphysics, Kant, Heidegger, scandal of philosophy.

Silviya Serafimova – ‘Ideological Touches’ to the Heritage of Bulgarian Philosophical Thought
Eli Syarova – Dostoevsky’s Anthropology: Philosophical-Literary Readings
Sylvia Borissova – Philosophy of Ship in the Novel 'Un/coupling' by Ivan Mladenov