De l'arbre au labyrinthe by Umberto Eco

By Umberto Eco

De l’Antiquité classique à nos jours, de multiples philosophies du signe et de l’interprétation se sont succédées, parfois choices, parfois complémentaires, sensibles en tout cas à des questions très différentes, et reflétant leur époque.
Au cours des dernières décennies, l’auteur a écrit de nombreux essais sur le sujet et il en présente ici une sélection. Cela va d’une vaste recherche (qui s’ouvre avec Aristote et se clôt sur l’intelligence artificielle) sur deux représentations de notre connaissance, explicitées par les modèles de l’arbre et du labyrinthe, à deux études qui retracent l’histoire de l. a. métaphore, d’Aristote à l’ère médiévale, en passant par un essai sur l. a. façon dont, au Moyen-Age, on classait l’aboiement du chien et les autres cris animaux, mais aussi par los angeles relecture du commentaire chaotique de l’Apocalypse qu’a livré Beatus de Liebana. On y découvre (ou redécouvre) également une étude sur les concepts médiévales de falsification ou encore une digression sur l’histoire de l’ars combinatoria de Lullo à Pic de los angeles Mirandole, un texte sur los angeles recherche séculaire d’une langue parfaite, un autre sur l. a. sémiotique implicite des Fiancés pour en arriver à une série d’études sur Kant, Peirce, Croce, les théories sémantiques de Bréal et à une comparaison polémique avec los angeles pensée « faible ».
La somme d'une vie d'étude de l'histoire de los angeles philosophie et de los angeles sémiotique par un des plus grands spécialistes.

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This supposition would, however, be shallow. Goethe saw deep and unflinchingly into human disaster. He did feel that Versiihnung ('reconciliation', 'the making of amends' on an almost cosmic scale of values) was the most mature outcome of tragic drama. Aristotle, for one, had shared this sentiment. But it could, it often had to be, reconciliation at the cost of human immolation and self­ immolation. Goethe's formulation in the I 827 Nachlese zu A ristoteles Poetik is uncompromising. Versiihnung may have to wait on 'eine Art M enschenopfer' ( 'a kind of human sacrifice') either direct or by surrogate, 'as in the case of Abraham and of Agamemnon' .

Hegel now obscures it to the point of near-impenetrability by attaching it to a tentative metaphysical or ontological design. The division between 1TDALc and individual itself reflects the engagement of ' the Absolute' in temporality and in phenomenal contin­ gencies. Of this engagement, the antique dei ties are, as it were, the vehicle and symbol. Their implication in human moral conflicts causes a self-scission in the nature of the divine : as between the concrete dictates and executive powers of justice represented by the Eumenides, and the 'indifferent light' or dispassionate oneness of the Absolute which is symbolized by Apollo.

Death, as it were, 'specifies this specificity' in the highest degree. It is the extreme accomplishment of the unique (as in the Kierkegaardian-Heideggerian postulate of one's own death, inalienable to any other) . 'Death is the fulfilment and highest labour' an individual takes upon himself. As we shall see, this 'achieved totality' may be, ind eed ought to be, expressly civic, such as is death in the war-service to the nation. But in death, the individual reverts 'immensely'-the epithet is meant to suggest the radical vehemence of H egel 's vision-to the ethical domain of the family.

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