• Ermanno Bencivenga
Part of the Topoi Library book series (TOPI, volume 3)


Philosophy in this century has often presented itself as aiming at the destruction or deconstruction of the philosophical tradition or even of theorizing as such. This goal is not without reason since, as I see it, philosophy is an essentially critical discipline, meant to interrupt our automatic reactions and established allegiances, and to open a space of freedom and play. Except that scathing criticism is not the best strategy of liberation: at best, it creates a void in which something new can take place, but unless something new does take place there we will be offered only negative freedom, only a theoretical possibility for play - not a genuine empowerment, a real expansion of our choices. Far more effective, in this respect, is the patient elaboration of alternatives to the status quo: the more numerous, detailed, and credible these alternatives are, the more they will disengage us from our entrenched habits, and without necessarily exploding ose habits they will make them optional - one possible route to take among many.


Intentional Stance Negative Freedom Patient Elaboration Automatic Reaction Philosophical Activity 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ermanno Bencivenga
    • 1
  1. 1.University of CaliforniaIrvineUSA

Personalised recommendations