“On the life of animals and independent things”. Giacomo Leopardi’s Ecophilosophy

Item Type Journal paper
Abstract Giacomo Leopardiʼs uncompromising naturalism, which assigns to nature also the aberrant course of human civilization, is the epistemic kernel of his vision of the state of nature. Leopardi challenges the premises of European social and political thought from the perspective of alternative forms of politicization of life, without seeking a retreat in a subjective nature. Since human sociability in general, and modern European life-forms in particular, are dysfunctional mechanisms, we must look for correctives before and away from us, in order to arrest and redirect what he calls his “foolish century”. The wickedness of European society is rooted in an aberrant relation of human nature with itself, in a perverse interpretation and then exploitation of human desires, which can be modified only by introducing an alternative vision of nature and its dispositions, based on a naturalistic account of the structure of illusions and pleasures. The political autonomy of the human species, in which for Leopardi consists European civilization, has neutralized the ancient naturalistic myths, and replaced the vital conflicts and disorders of the savages and the republics with the social order of the modern nation states. Leopardi suggests instead a return to nature guided by his “ultra-philosophy”: “the life of animals and independent things” must be recognized as the source, norm and goal of social reality. In the context of contemporary global environmental change and debates on biopower and geopower, Leopardiʼs thought can now be rediscovered as a radical ecophilosophy.
Authors Luisetti, Federico
Language English
Subjects cultural studies
HSG Classification contribution to scientific community
HSG Profile Area SHSS - Kulturen, Institutionen, Maerkte (KIM)
Refereed Yes
Date 2020
Publisher Diaphanes : art and philosophy : the bulletin of Atsushi Okada Laboratory Graduate School of Human and Environmental Studies, Kyoto University
Official URL https://repository.kulib.kyoto-u.ac.jp/dspace/hand...
Depositing User Prof. Ph.D Federico Luisetti
Date Deposited 28 Feb 2020 11:37
Last Modified 28 Feb 2020 11:47
URI: https://www.alexandria.unisg.ch/publications/259490

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Luisetti, Federico (2020) “On the life of animals and independent things”. Giacomo Leopardi’s Ecophilosophy.

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https://www.alexandria.unisg.ch/id/eprint/259490
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