E. Pontini MA (Elisa)
External PhD candidate - Philosophical ethics and political philosophy
A topology of the difference: trace, repetition and responsibility in the philosophy of Merab Mamardashvili
Merab Mamardashvili (Gori, 1930 - Moscow, 1990) raised interest first and foremost for being one of the few free - although not openly dissident - thinkers of the Soviet period, and is frequently mentioned in publications of historical and political nature.
My research focuses on the theoretical foundation of Mamardashvili’s thought; in particular, my purpose is to identify how his work echoed with the main themes of post-structuralism, and, more specifically, with the two parallel variations of the difference: the continuous “differenciation” of the difference as elaborated by Gilles Deleuze, and the “différance” as deferral, introduced by Jacques Derrida.
Mamardashvili developed a logic of sense where the “I” that makes sense of the world and the world that “calls me to the task of understanding” are interlinked in a circular structure that must be set in motions every time and again “as if the world did not exist before me”. However, the structure of the knowledge process is in itself non-guaranteed and intermittent in two main aspects. First of all, it is not organized around any specific catalyzing centre. The knowledge process happens in a traced field whose origin is unknown and yet is conditional to both the visibility of the object as phenomenon and the possibility of knowledge as understanding our own position in the world. Secondly, the knowledge process is a real event that is not guaranteed unless on every occasion a renewed effort is made, and yet, there is a possibility, and this happens in many cases, that the process is aborted.
Hence, Mamardasvhili’s approach incorporates the two narratives of the difference, welded together by the idea of individual responsibility, with a peculiar topological treat that may be determining a third variant on its own.
Supervisors: Prof. Evert van der Zweerde, Dr. Arjen Kleinherenbrink