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Title: Un altro illuminismo: immaginazione e mito in Spinoza
Authors: Bottici, Chiara
Keywords: Spinozaimaginationrealitymithritualdiscipline
Issue Date: 2014
Publisher: EUT Edizioni Università di Trieste
Source: Chiara Bottici, "Un altro illuminismo: immaginazione e mito in Spinoza", in: Etica & Politica / Ethics & Politics, XVI (2014) 1, pp. 26-54
Series/Report no.: Etica & Politica / Ethics & Politics
XVI (2014) 1
In their Dialectic of Enlightenment, Adorno and Horkheimer observe that the Enlightenment constitutes itself by rejecting myth as subjective. Yet, once the Enlightenment has dominated the entire world with its abstract categories, it cannot but turn into pure subjectivity, and thus into myth. How can we escape such a negative dialectic? The aim of this investigation is to show that Spinoza’s theory of myth and imagination provides us with the tools for doing so. Despite being an Enlightenment thinker, Spinoza distances himself from all the presuppositions of the negative dialectic described by Adorno and Horkheimer. To show this, I will first say a few words on what it means to be ‘within’ the dialectic of Enlightenment, by focusing on the ontological and epistemological assumptions that led Kant, together with other theorists of the Enlightenment, to fully endorse it (§. 1). I will then explore Spinoza’s peculiar understanding of imagination, by first focusing on its ontological and epistemological aspects (§. 2), and, subsequently, on their ethical and political consequences (§. 3, 4). It is Spinoza’s peculiar ontology that enables him to recognize that myth and imagination are already a form of Enlightenment, because they play a crucial cognitive, ethical and political role. This will also shed some light on why Spinoza can be considered as the initiator of ‘another Enlightenment’ and thus fruitfully be used to rethink the role of critical theory today.
Type: Article
ISSN: 1825-5167
Appears in Collections:Etica & Politica / Ethics & Politics (2014) XVI/1

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