Philosophical Alternatives 4/2023

Issue editor: Sylvia Borissova
CONTENTS & Abstracts & Keywords & Authors in the issue

Gianluigi Segalerba (Dr. at Cultural Analysis Working Group, University of Vienna)
Whence Does Good Come? Notes on Plato’s Moral Psychology
Abstract: In my study, I investigate some questions related to Plato’s discussion of the origins of Evil in the individual’s soul and of the possible solutions to the presence of Evil in it. The lack of the correct equilibrium between the parts of the soul exposes the individual to the moral degeneration; conversely, exclusively the correct equilibrium between the parts of the soul leads the individual to the correct composition between the parts of the soul.
In particular, exclusively the development of the rational part of the soul, and its consequent leadership over the other parts, brings the indivi-dual to the right formation of the soul. The development of the rational part of the soul will not come about by itself: it needs an appropriate education, which can be reached only after a long and difficult process.
The development of the rational part of the soul can be reached only through the disciplines preparing the philosophical education and through the philosophical education itself. The development of the rational part of the soul brings the individual nearer to the dimension of Being, thus opening for the individual a new dimension of experience, of knowledge and of life. At the same time, the philosophical education diminishes the attention of the individual’s soul for the dimension of Becoming. The cultivation and strengthening of the rational part bring about a progressive diminution of the force of the other parts of the soul, in particular, of the appetitive part of the soul. I concentrate my analysis on passages of Plato’s Republic.
Keywords: Evil; Plato; Republic; soul; education; Good

Nikifor Avramov (Assistant Professor, PhD at Institute of Philosophy and Sociology, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences)
The Inner Limit of Psychology as Its Ontological Origin, with Reference to Eric Voegelin’s metaxy
Abstract: The inquiry aims at the crafting of an understanding about the limit of contemporary psychology through the lens of an idea about a fundamental science of the soul. The development of this science is primordially framed in the metaphysics of antiquity. The understanding of Eric Voegelin regarding a noetic breakthrough of consciousness – which, not by chance, coincides with that same framing, as a deepening of the motive of psyche – grounds the inquiry of a present thinking through of this science of the soul. The latter appears here as a critical background for contemporary psychology. In addition, I consider Voegelin’s metaxy as pointing to that, through which psychology would find a way towards what is inherent in it via its being defined by the named noetic breakthrough. The reaching of this depth by psychology, as its own, I consider as its inner, that is, its structuring limit.
Keywords: psychology; metaphysics; metaxy; noetic breakthrough; Eric Voegelin

Vasil Markov (Assistant Professor (Senior), PhD at Institute of Philosophy and Sociology, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences)
An anthropological approach to play: Frederik Buytendijk’s theory
Abstract: Play theory has been consistently regarded as a cornerstone of 20 th century theoretical discourse in areas as diverse as philosophy, psychology, ethology and cultural studies. On the other hand, the rise of digital technology and the spread of video games on a broad cultural level have raised the necessity to reevaluate historical approaches to the multifarious phenomenon of play. Along with Johan Huizinga, another scholar of Dutch origin – the biologist and animal psychologist Frederik J. J. Buytendijk – developed a novel theory of play in the 1930s. Buytendijk’s attempt at theorising human and animal play has been variously defined as biological, psychological and psycho-dynamic due to this scholar’s background in the study of animal behaviour and his reliance on biological models to explain the mechanisms of play. However, Buytendijk’s ideas were shaped in a theoretical setting shared by German philosophical anthropology and he also borrowed heavily from prominent philosophers and phenomenologists such as Hungarian-born Melchior Palágyi, German neurologist and psychiatrist Erwin Straus and Catholic theologian Romano Guardini. This paper tries to provide an overview of Buytendijk’s conception of vital play by examining its original yet synthetic nature. Further emphasis is placed on the aesthetical and anthropological implications of Buytendijk’s contribution.
Keywords: play; philosophical anthropology; biophilosophy; animal psychology; child psychology; aesthetics

Silviya Kristeva (Associate Professor at South-West University ‘Neofit Rilski’)
Ontology of Values. Value Ratiocination
Abstract: The article engages with the contemporary debate on values by delineating two problem lines. In order to have a proper explanation and derivation of values, we must recognize their ontological status, which undoubtedly provides the basis and movement towards an ontology of the spiritual and of valuable in general. This is the direction taken by Baden neo-Kantianism, and here the article traces the transformation of Kant’s apriorism into axiological apriorism. Once the values are recognized in their “realm”, they must be provided with their axiomatics. But the a priori forms through which they become accessible and are embedded in human rationality and human activity are also subject to consideration. For Rickert, one such form is judgment, but this defined a new role for judgment for human knowledge. The highest class of judgment in the Kantian and Hegelian classifications – modality, provides models of transition and structuring of the new a priori form of ratiocination, as a meta-formation, giving access and work to the unconditional and the values in human knowledge.
Keywords: axiology; axiological apriorism; Rickert; Kant; the postulates of axiological thinking; the modality of values and teleology

Ivo Minkov (Assistant Professor, PhD at South-West University ‘Neofit Rilski’)
Phenomenological Basis of Speculative Ethics
Abstract: The article hypothesizes the necessary transition from logic to ethics in the context of human spiritual evolution and modern perspectives on artificial intelligence systems. This is done by means of the dialectical method, considered, following Hegel’s example, as an absolute me-thod of knowledge. In the dynamic between the logical and the ethical crystallizes the idea of speculative ethics, which has a phenomenological basis. Speculative ethics is presented in an axiological plan, as a theoretical field on which the systematization and organization of values and the construction of a peculiar philosophy of universal human values are distribu-ted. In the course of the conceptual analysis of the mentioned transition, a new idea is advanced – about the need for a phenomenology of ethical life, which speculative ethics presupposes. Thus, two moments are distinguished – of phenomenological becoming and of speculative-ethical becoming. The first achieves a constitution of the pure being of values, and the second frames the transition to their existence. As a result of all this, the becoming essence of the absolute subject and universal human values is assumed, which has before itself the task of building the new postglobal world.
Keywords: logical; ethical; system of values; dialectics; phenomenology of ethical life; speculative ethics

Evangelos Kalfopoulos (PhD candidate in Philosophy at Sofia University “St. Kliment Ohridski”)
The Possibility of the Tragic
Abstract: In this paper the relationship between humanities as a field and tragedy is examined. Relying on Menke’s analysis of the tragic (Menke 2009) we examine in some depth the ideas of Schelling, Hölderlin and Friedrich Schlegel on the subject and how they positioned themselves on the topic of the possibility of the tragic in Modernity. Accepting that both the speculative idealist model of the didactic play and the model of the romantic comedy tried to overcome the tragic, we conclude that the element of tragic is still a worthy and much needed topic to be part of the humanities in the XXI century and Post-Modernity, primarily as a way of thinking power.
Keywords: humanities; theory of tragedy; modernity; romanticism; idealism

Nadezhda Zudilina (Associate Professor at Philosophy Department, Institute “Taurida Academy”, V.I. Vernadsky Crimean Federal University)
The Cosmos as the Hierarchy of Self-Similarity of the One: Plato’s Doctrine of the Beautiful in the Light of the Theory of Fractals
Abstract: The introduction of the intensiveness (depth) axis, orthogonal to the extensiveness (length–width–height) axis makes it possible to consider the beautiful Cosmos as the hierarchy of resemblances of the One, on the basis of the diaeresis of line proposed by Plato in the dialogue The Republic. Each line segment obtained as a result of diaeresis is designated by one (1), zero (0) or a numerical combination consisting of ones and zeros. One (1) is assigned the value “intensiveness”, and zero (0) is assigned the value “extensiveness”. Through the application of the intensiveness and extensiveness axes, the interpretation of the segments on each of the levels of the diaeresis of line along the intensiveness axis is given. The One (1=⟂) on zero level of diaeresis is beyond the dialectical opposites, but nevertheless beautiful Νοῦς (Nous, the Cosmic Mind) is Its likeness. On the first level of the diaeresis, both the intensive (1, or point), as the representation of the mental (Nous), and the extensive (0, or line), as the representation of the material, are derived from the One (1=⟂). Nous is purely intensive. The intensive is the same (τὸ ταὐτόν). The mixture of the same and the other (τὸ ἕτερον) is the similar (τὸ ὅμοιον). The similar is “…infinitely fairer than the dissimilar” [Plat. Tim. 33b]. The structuring of the other (as the dissimilar) by Νοῦς (as the same) leads to the creation of true likeness (εἰκών), the beautiful Cosmos, which can be represented by the scheme of the diaeresis of line. The result of the diaeresis of line is a fractal – a self-similar object, each part of which repeats the whole on a reduced scale. Thus, the scheme of the diaeresis of line represents the fractal hierarchy of the Cosmos. Since fractal is self-similar, the hierarchy of the Cosmos is the hierarchy of self-similarity of the One. The diaeresis of line represents the similarity to the One, i.e., self-similarity of the One on each of the levels of the diaeresis of line along the intensiveness axis. Any similarity is self-similarity of the One, and for any existing object, the similarity to the One-Good is true similarity to itself/oneself. Since the One is the source of the Beauty of the Cosmos and of every object in the Cosmos, the condition for preserving or returning beauty to the resemblances is to remain similar to or become similar to the One.
Keywords: the One; self-similarity; beauty; diaeresis; fractal; Plato; image; εἶδος (eidos); εἰκών (eikon); εἴδωλον (eidolon); the same; the other; the similar; intensiveness axis; extensiveness axis; hierarchy of the Cosmos

Poullo Oconne (Independent conceptual artist, physicist at Protecta Laboratories)
Aesthetics of the Concept
Abstract: The article analyzes Plato's theory of form, set forth in The Republic and critically developed in Parmenides, through the idea of conceptual morphism, the study of relations between incompatible categories and the articulation of existing coherent connections between them. Man’s fluid ability to create a common synthetic image, a picture of everything, even incompatible from a linguistic and categorical point of view, is a starting point for considering the concepts of hyperdynamics (according to Aristotle’s formulation of essence set forth in Categories) and virtuality; and accordingly to this – to construct a definitive concept of resonance. The aesthetics of the concept is seen precisely as a resonance of reality’s capacity for hyperdynamics and the human mind’s capacity for virtuality.
Keywords: form, form of forms; causes of form; interface; hyperdynamics; hypokeimenon; axiological project; resonance; heteromorphism; essense; virtuality

Mihaela Pop (Professor at Faculty of Philosophy, University of Bucharest)
The Nothing, the Void and the Silence in the Art of Yves Klein. A Phenomenological Interpretation
Abstract: This paper intends to offer an example of the way philosophy and artistic creativity could be connected. Using philosophical concepts and their profound meanings one can get a deeper and larger image of what art could reveal. We are going to use the already mentioned concepts as they were studied by two of the most relevant philosophers, Hegel and Heidegger. Those concepts prove their utility in the understanding of how the human thought functions and how it is capable to make the human being aware of his condition and also to make possible the human creativity, in art especially. We will discover that this process of creativity is based on the freedom of the human consciousness capable to surpass the nature restrictions imposed by human natural condition. This freedom of consciousness develops during life and experience and generates all the individual diversity. The human being as consciousness gets thus a wider capacity of expression assured by the wide range of determinations the thought gets during life. The artist is one of those capable to express this in various symbolic forms using however simple materials. The artistic works reflect thus exactly the superior consciousness and self-consciousness to which the artist elevates himself proving thus the ontological character of the human thought. We chose the works made by Yves Klein, a French artist of the mid of the 20th century.
Keywords: consciousness; reason; self-consciousness; creativity; painting; art

Oana Șerban (PhD Lecturer at University of Bucharest, Faculty of Philosophy, and Executive Director of The Research Center for the History and Circulation of Philosophical Ideas)
A (Post)philosophical Argument on Anti-Art and Digital Transgressions of Self-Fashioning. From Dada to Data, or How to Curate Selves on Instagram?
Abstract: This article tackles the possibility to understand the process of curating the digital self by treating virtual identities as a form of anti-art. The museification of the world engaged by social networks such as Instagram, a platform canonically devoted to visual content, seems to restore the Dada tradition of the photomontage, as well as the turn to the routine of our quotidian existence, aestheticized through live transmissions and daily vlogs. Insta-gramming became a digital practice that progressively installed what Richter used to call “the alienation of photography”, as there is no aesthetic claim for the visual content, but neither a profound ignorance of artistic criteria. Therefore, anonymous masses homogenized as co-performers of life-casting online consume results of a digital curating based on the Dada photomontage, the Futurist appetite for technology and the Surrealist automatic creation or psychic automatism. My argument is that as digital curation progressively shared with vanguards such principles, virtual identities became anti-art objects. Moreover, curating the self is no longer an artistic performance, but rather a social skill. In the last part of my study, I will bring to the spotlight two competitive narrations on digital curation, productive, respectively consumptive curation. In my opinion, these two paradigms raised by Davis are relevant for developing the commodification of the self, as well as new literary practices based on Bourriaud’s relational aesthetics. Consequently, I argue in favour of assuming the curation of the self by digital means as a daily practice entangling creativity and leisure, understood as creleisure, a concept coined by the artist Hélio Oiticica back in 1969. As aesthetics tends to track down such behaviours for their transgressive potential, measuring the historical shift of autocreation from Dada to Data perspectives, philosophy still has to work on the consequences of such phenomena on self-care, self-knowledge, and authenticity.
Keywords: digital self; anti-art, curating, self-fashioning, Dada, data, transgression, photomontage

Ivan Kolev (Associate Professor at Sofia University ‘St. Kliment Ohridski’)
Heterocosmica of Cinema
Abstract: The paper argues for the advantages of using the full format of the art form “cinema” over its more abstract version “film”. To this end, the heterocosmic nature of the “moving image” in cinema is pointed out and its aspects are analysed phenomenologically. A phenomenology of the cinema hall, the spectator, the actor, the objects and other pleromatic elements is made.
Keywords: cinema; film; heterocosmica

Sylvia Borissova (Associate Professor at Institute of Philosophy and Sociology, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences)
Ninth Conference on Aesthetics in Memory of Prof. Isaac Passy