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N.1/2019 L'Italian Thought fra globalizzazione e tradizione


Il «paradosso antropologico» e la lingua. Riflessioni su una filosofia delle istituzioni

Pietro Garofalo
Università degli Studi di Palermo

Published in June, 2019

The «Anthropological Paradox» and the Langue. Remarks on a Philosophy of Institutions

L'Italian Thought fra globalizzazione e


The starting point of this essay is what Massimo De Carolis called «anthropological paradox». It defines human condition in terms of an opposition between two antithetic sides: the openness to the contingency and the need to be protected from it. My purpose will be to analyse the anthropological paradox based on authors as Saussure, Benveniste, Barthes, in order to combine the structuralist conception of language with a theory of institutions and philosophical anthropology. To this end, I will refer to some Italian authors such as Virno, Cimatti and Agamben. This debate will give us the opportunity of understanding the ambivalence of our institutions as a consequence of the ambivalence of the institution sans analogue: the “langue”. It will be shown how natural- historical languages allow for, on one hand, the emancipation from the reign of natural necessity and, on the other hand, the openness to the space in which the subjectivity freedom emerges and, at the same time, is limited.


F. de Saussure, anthropological paradox, langue, institution, subjectivity, history.

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