Philosophical Alternatives – 3-2020

Topic of the issue:  RELIGION AND ART
Issue editors: Iva Manova and Bogdana Todorova
CONTENTS & Abstracts & Keywords & The authors in the issue

Igor Evlampiev(Prof. DSc. at St Petersburg University), Inga Matveeva (Assoc. Prof. at Russian State Institute of Performing Arts,Saint-Petersburg)
The image of the Dead Christ in the novel “The Idiot” and the religious worldview of F. Dostoevsky
: In the article, on the basis of the analysis of the pictorial image of the Dead Christ present in the novel “The Idiot”, it is concluded that the novel refers not only to the work by Hans Holbein “The Body of the Dead Christ in the Tomb”, but to the whole tradition of representation of Christ dead and alone, and in particular to Titian's later work “Pietà”. Holbein's painting probably caught Dostoevsky'a attention with the fact that it depicts a dead Christ, who still has signs of life. It is the “inconclusiveness” of Christ's death that gives rise to doubts in his resurrection, because during that period Dostoevsky considered the resurrection of Christ not as a new existence in the form of an independent person, but as an entry into the “general Synthesis” and a merger with all the humanity and even with the entire universe. The analysis of the meaning of Titian's canvas “Pietà” leads to the idea (probably shared by Dostoevsky) that our world was created by an evil God and is ruled by the forces of evil; this allows us to speak of an affinity of the points of view of the two artists-thinkers with Gnostic Christianity.
Keywords:F. Dostoevsky's novel “The Idiot”; the image of the Dead Christ; the idea of immortality; Gnostic Christianity.

Bogdana Paskaleva (Assist. Prof., PhD at Sofia University “St. Kliment Ohridski”)
“Poetic theology”: Hermeneutics and the Return of Ancient Gods in Platonic Context
: Renaissance Platonism is linked to the revival of the interest in the deities of the Ancient pantheon. The present text traces back some of the origins of this process (the tradition of the Dolce stilnovo in Tuscan language and Dante Alighieri's commentaries on his own works), arguing that the genre of the allegorical commentary on poetic texts is one of the main instruments facilitating the return of Ancient gods in the Christian context of 15th-century Florence. The key moments of the analysis regard Giovanni Pico della Mirandola's commentary practice.
Keywords: Renaissance; Florence; poetry; commentary; Platonism; Ancient divinities.

Mihaela Pop
(Prof. at the University of Bucharest)
Artistic Modernity and Mythological Thought in the Romanian Art of the Communist Period
: The purpose of this contribution is to show how deep and valuable is the cultural heritage of a people and how dynamic, especially in difficult times. One basic concept used is the cultural style, which differs from the individual style in art. We shall mention the philosophical contribution of a Romanian philosopher of culture, Lucian Blaga, who, under the influence of Jung's “collective unconsciousness” wrote about the cultural heritage and how it is transmitted from generation to generation through an unconscious structure called by Lucian Blaga “the stylistic matrix”. We shall apply this philosophical theory to some artistic productions of the Romanian art of the period 1960–1980. We will also use some specific mythological and ritual meanings connected to the vegetal world, especially to wheat, flour, paste, bread.
Keywords: collective unconsciousness, cultural heritage, cultural style, Romanian modern art, communist period.
Zaur Rashidov (Assist. Prof. at the Institute of Philosophy and Sociology of the Azerbaijan National Academy of Sciences)
Comparative Analysis of the Religious and Philosophical Doctrines of Hurufism and the Unity of Being (Wahdat al-Wujud)
: Hurufism is an historical mystical-philosophical worldview, part of the Islamic spiritual culture. The founder of this teaching is Fazlullah Naimi (Astarabadi) (1339–1401). In his teaching, Fazlullah attached divine meaning to 28 Arabic and 32 Persian letters. According to Naimi, the letters, numbers, and also traits and features of human face have a hidden secret meaning. Divine signs (letters and numbers) are revealed in the human face (traits and features). Thus, through divine signs, he transferred divine qualities from God to man. Accused of spreading anthropomorphic and anthropocentric ideas that are unacceptable in Islam, Hurufism has been criticized and persecuted since its founding. Its founder, Fazlullah Naimi, and one of his most famous followers, Seyyed Imadeddin Nasimi (1369–1417), were brutally executed. The views of the Hurufites were declared heretical throughout the Islamic world. For this reason, in the following centuries, the Hurufites were forced to hide and their original ideas dnf teachings began to transform rapidly. During that process, Hurufism gradually dissolved in such mystical and philosophical teachings and trends as Bektashism, Alavism, Calendaring, the ideology of Kyzylbash. The ideas of Hurufism enriched the theoretical foundations of these Islamic teachings.
Keywords:Hurufism; philosophy of mysticsm; wadat al-wudjud; pantheism; Sufism.

Dzhamilya Gusenova (Assoc. Prof., PhD Dagestan State University)
– The Culture of Travel in Islam
: The paper, proceeding from the need for a deeper understanding of the phenomenon of travel in Islamic dogma, relying on the texts of the Qur'an and Hadith, reveals the basic concepts of travel in Islam. It is noted that jihad, which is a kind of physical effort, hardship, involves the consideration of travel as one of the forms of jihad. The deistic perception of the act of wandering, traveling: on the one hand, the presence of the element of predestination in its very act, and on the other, the preservation of free will, leads the study to three fundamental motives that move towards a religiously justified journey: awareness of the consequences of unbelief, contemplation of all the beautiful that has been created Almighty, as well as repentance for polytheism. The special status of a traveler in Islam is affirmed by the recognition of some concessions in the implementation of religious practice. Modern Muslim regions, despite their deep-rooted conservative way of life, are trying to adapt to changing conditions by developing tourism on their territory, preserving the Islamic way of life, if possible.
Keywords:Islam, travel, jihad, pilgrimage, hajj, religious tourism, Muslim states.
Alexandru Boboc (Professor Emeritus of the Faculty of Philosophy of the University of Bucharest and Member of the Romanian Academy. He passed away on 20 April 2020)
Scientific Rationality and other Types of Rationality
:The idea of pluralisation of reason in a functional sense (utilisation, application) is a condition to understand the main problem of a discussion about reason in today's times. This will take the form of a relation between scientific rationality (one that remains the most studied from a theoretical and methodological perspective) and other types of rationality (in art, in history, in actions).
Keywords: Ivan Gyuzelev; absolute consciousness; idealist philosophy; transcendental philosophy.

Philip Ujomu(Professor, Department of Philosophy, Faculty of Humanities, Management and Social Sciences, Federal University, Wukari, Taraba State, Nigeria), Ànthony Bature(Professor, Deputy Vice-Chancellor [Central Administration] and Head of Department. Department of Religious Studies, Faculty of Humanities, Management and Social Sciences, Federal University, Wukari, Taraba State, Nigeria)
Respect for Human Dignity and the Mitigating of Religious Violence: an African Experience
: This paper studies the values needed for religion to become a means of fostering peace and corporate existence in most parts of Africa. In Nigeria as a local case study the flux of Islam, Christianity and traditional religions created the fertile grounds for conflicts and instability. The abuse of religion for ethnic or political ends led to severe consequences for individuals and society. In a multi-religious society such as Nigeria, the perversion and exploitation of the religious sentiments of the people lead to malice, disarray and violence. Problems of religious and social tolerance facing the society worsened due to the elite motivated violent struggles for benefits, power and influence. So within the society the lack of trust between the ethno-religious groups as well as the crisis of confidence between the rulers and the ruled in these societies ensured an obstruction of national development. Our finding is that the absence or lack of operation of some core social values such as trust, cooperation, compassion, justice and tolerance, undermined the attainment of human dignity and disrupted diverse interests in the society, and ensured that the country achieved little or no sustainable development. We recommend a social order or social system that is human centred; guaranteeing human dignity seen as self-worth, mutual respect and well-being in the material and spiritual aspects of life by using political aspects of the social teachings of the Roman Catholic Church which operates on four central principles. These are the common good, personality or human dignity, solidarity and subsidiarity as options for liberation and transformation.
Keywords: human dignity; religion; morality; values; violence; catholic social teaching; social order; Nigeria.

Viorel Cernica (Prof. DSc. at the University of Bucharest)
On Two Kinds of Temporal Reduction: A Temporal Analysis of the Evil
:The author aims to formulate some observations regarding the connection between evil, time, and the human being. The discourse focusses especially on the ways in which the evil appears and manifests itself in human life-world. There are a lot of prejudices regarding the evil, many of them being philosophically constituted. But all prejudices, both the philosophical ones and the common ones, come from a certain tradition and talk about an “existential” support for each bad deed. The evil does not intervene in the world by a divine or natural decision or cause; it appears only in the core of human life. But this idea is a pre-judgment found both in public consciousness and in philosophy (in theology, certain sciences, or even in ideology). This pre-judgment crosses all these contexts due to its obvious existential support, in other words, because it is lived by a person in flesh and blood (leibhaftig). The author will attempt to point out its meontological meanings, by a temporal analysis, in fact, by two kinds of temporal reduction.
Keywords: evil; existential time; negative judgment; negative predication; “always”; counter-value.
Nikolay Tsenkov (PhD Student at South-West University “Neofit Rilski”)
For man as a technical animal (Ortegian meditation)
:The article focuses on José Ortega y Gasset's understanding of technique. According to this Ortegian understanding man imposes on nature his technological power not simply to satisfy his needs, but also as a manifestation of the continual conquest of reality. Through the prism of technique, the article presents an interpretation of the Spanish philosopher's vision on the creation of being through incessant activity: man creates his own existence not only economically, but also metaphysically. Ortega y Gasset's conception of technology is also linked to another central theme in his philosophy – life as a radical reality. This issue is also discussed together with some pejorative social phenomena related to technological development like the crisis of desires, the acceleration of life, and the lack of interest on the part of the masses in the cultural conditions that make technological progress possible.
Keywords:José Ortega-y-Gasset; technique; welfare; claim for life; radical reality.

Dmitry Mikhel (Prof. at the Russian Academy of National Economy and Public Administration)
Michel Foucault and Western Medicine
:The article analyzes Michel Foucault's philosophical ideas on Western medicine and delves into three main insights that the French philosopher developed to expose the presence of power behind the veil of the conventional experience of medicine. These insights probe the power-disciplining function of psychiatry, the administrative function of medical institutions, and the role of social medicine in the administrative and political system of Western society. Foucault arrived at these views by way of his intense interest in three elements of the medical system that arose almost simultaneously at the end of the 18th century: psychiatry as “medicine for mental illness”, the hospital as the first and most well-known type of medical institution, and social medicine as a type of medical knowledge focused more on the protection of society and far less on caring for the individual. All the issues Foucault wrote about stemmed from his personal and professional sensitivity to the problems of power and were a part of the “medical turn” in the social and human sciences that occurred in the West in the 1960s and 1970s and led to the emergence of medical humanities. The article argues that Foucault's histories of the power of medical knowledge were philosophical histories of Western medicine. Foucault always used facts, dates, and names in an attempt to identify some of the general tendencies and patterns in the development of Western medicine and to reveal usually undisclosed mechanisms for managing individuals and populations. Those mechanisms underlie the practice of providing assistance, be it the “moral treatment” practiced by psychiatrists before the advent of effective medication, or treating patients as “clinical cases” in hospitals, or hospitalization campaigns that were considered an effective “technological safeguard ” in the 18th and most of the 19th century.
Keywords:Michel Foucault; Western medicine; power; psychiatry; hospital; social medicine.
Lyuben Sivilov (DSc, Professor at Sofia University “St. Kliment Ohridski”, Philosophical Faculty)
The Bishop and the Philosophers: Mill
:In a series of six articles the reactions of philosophers to the epochal achievement of Bishop Berkeley, set out in his “An Essay Towards A New Theory of Vision“ are followed. The comments to the theory of Berkeley became the occasion for the modern reader to focus on overwhelming conclusions about the philosophical life and philosophical education in Bulgaria. The fourth article deals with John Stuart Mill.
Keywords:logic; mathematics; psychologism.