André Comte Sponville: “El Mito De Ícaro. Tratado de la Desesperanza y de la Felicidad”.-
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“Icarus creates the Heaven in which he rises, but rises … Heaven was his desire, the sea his burial: Is there a more beautiful plan or a more fertile tomb?” (André Comte- Sponville)
Comte-Sponville’s consist is to return philosophy to its true meaning. From the depths of despair, the Phoenix Bird must have a recreated philosophy. Philosophy of the art of living: genuine irreligious wisdom and materialistic stamp, which finds in the criticism of lost illusions and despair the path of dialectical and vertical investment towards Happiness and Good. In the course of the work, the myth of Icarus will serve as a symbolic reference to understand in a fluid way materialism as a dialectic of the sublime.
Sponville reflects in his work about three types of labyrinths of Despair and Happiness (they are understood as clear opposite terms, but the second as true and future improvement of the first). These are the labyrinth of I the labyrinths of Politics and the labyrinths of Art.
In the analysis that concerns the crossroads of the ego, the author raises the insurgent dialectic of one’s own hopelessness and sombre ennui to a stage of regained illusion and happiness. Despair is “programmatic,” Sponville says, to raise it is to overcome it. The logic is that of “dialectical inversion”: descend and then ascend again. Hopelessness is the point at which this investment becomes possible and happiness the end towards which it tends. Desire is present power (conatus) that moves the Overcoming Will (“Desire is the whole of the soul, the true and only motor of our lives.” IBD Sponville). Comte Sponville refers to the labyrinth of the Self, relating it to “the Dream of Narcissus”. The author intends to show how Narciso’s weakness does not lie in loving himself because the love of himself is wisdom and virtue. Narcissus’s mistake is only to love an image, Narcissus only loved a simulacrum. We will not leave the labyrinth of the self but renounce the possession of the reflection of the Self.
In the section that corresponds to the labyrinths of Politics, Sponville poses an interesting contradiction: Marxism as such is materialistic, but at the same time it contains idealistic elements. Sponville says: “The paradox is undoubtedly irreversible: although militarism is the effect of desire, it is no less true that it supposes a beyond desire”. This paradox pointed out by the author, had already been observed by Feuerbach who said: “Materialism is for me the basis of the building of being and of human knowledge, but it is not the building itself. I totally agree with Marxism backwards, but not forward “(IBD Feuerbach, Op. Comte-Sponville). For Sponville, the contradiction in question is positive insofar as it contains the inversion of the opposition: “The norm and the truth are on the same side”. The author explicitly states his political position by saying: “Communism is the ‘solved enigma of History’, and he himself knows that it is his resolution.” The truth is to come and the future is the Truth of history. It is, then, the ideal (communism) what is true and reality (capitalism) that, once its historical mission is over, would be in error … The bourgeoisie itself engenders its undertakers, as Marx says in “The Communist Manifesto “(IBD Comte-Sponville).
In the chapter devoted to the analysis of the labyrinths of Art, Sponville emphasizes its purely illusory character. The fundamentals of why are: because it rests in an Ideal of Beauty and because it is based on the belief that the Beauty of the work of art is the result of the action of Beauty itself, and not its effect (the cause is the artist). The author outlines an investment of the program through an “Aesthetics of Illumination”. According to this, the artistic criterion would be that the more evident is the artistic beauty, the clearer and more genuine will be the work of art. As an epilogue to the book, Comte-Sponville takes up fundamental concepts that he has used to channel the previous themes. In this sense, it emphasizes that the contributions of the material and its change of spatial perspective are fundamental. What the author has called the ascendancy of the dialectic of the Primate to the dialectic of the Primacy supposes a true and radical overcoming investment.
Opinion By Aquileana: Highly recommended Sponville’s book. Clear truths predispose us to the exalted Ascending Dialectic.