«Sophia» XIV (2022)

Table of Contents and Abstracts: Issues 1 and 2

«Sophia», Year XIV (2022), Issue 1: The Possible “Third” and New Epistemics


The Possible "Third" and New Epistemics (Piero Coda)




The Third (included) Seen from Relational Sociology (Pierpaolo Donati)

Abstract: Much of the social sciences removes the ontologically constitutive relationality of the social in which the Third lies. Disconnecting the human from the social causes all the crises we experience in social life today. To get out of these crises, it is necessary to see that the social is human if and only if it operates on the basis of the supra-functional sense that exists in the Third included, as relational sociology shows.

Keywords: Third Included – Relational Sociology – Theological Matrix – Social Bond – Humanism

Read full article in Italian: «Sophia» XIV (2022-1) 17-29

Social Relations between Gift and Network Analysis: a converging epistemological proposal (Licia Paglione)

Abstract: The article, in the epistemological debate of the social sciences and in particular within “third” perspectives between the two traditional ones, holism and individualism, presents an epistemological-methodological proposal for social relations analysis. Emerging from the convergence of Paradigm of gift and Social Network Analysis, it shows how the first can find a valid and coherent “complement” in the methodological apparatus of the second, to go “on the field” of empirical observation.

Keywords: Social Relationship – Gift – Social Network Analysis – Epistemology

Read full article in Italian: «Sophia» XIV (2022-1) 31-41

Sergej Bulgakov: the fertile space of intersubjectivity (Antonio Bergamo)

Abstract: This contribution comes from listening to and welcoming those anthropological moments present in Sergej Bulgakov’s theology. Human intersubjectivity, open and hospitable, reaches towards the horizon of divine life in a dynamic that promotes its constitutive relation while safeguarding the freedom of the subject.

Keywords: Anthropology – Holy Spirit – The Subject – Relation – Generativity

Read full article in Italian: «Sophia» XIV (2022-1) 43-54

On the Place of "between": the contribution of Georg Simmel (Alessandro Clemenzia)

Abstract: The present article presents the ontological scope of George Simmel’s reflections, in the light of a particular “rhythm” that vibes both from below and from within, in a way that captures the tension between diametrical opposites. The dynamism that is unleashed from such “opposition” is not presented as a tertium quid, or as a synthesis between two elements but rather as a relational tension capable of offering a new space and habitable existence in which to interpret that which is  underneath all that is.

Keywords: Relation – Opposition – Between – Ontology – Society

Read full article in Italian: «Sophia» XIV (2022-1) 55-67

Love and its Opposite (Franco Reynner)

Abstract: This paper aims to show that the problematic Simmelian characterization of love as a configurative category – not founded– of the existing seems to offer arguments to develop a philosophical analysis of love as a way of being conscious based on a creative representational form with relative and recognizable epistemic values in the regulative function of unconditionality and in its distinction of spontaneous indifference.

Keywords: Love – Configurative Category – Representation – Unconditionality – Indifference

Read full article in Spanish: «Sophia» XIV (2022-1) 69-81

The Third Community: a contribution from the phenomenology of E. Husserl (Tommaso Bertolasi)

Abstract: It is on the basis of this doctrine of Parts and Wholes – studied by E. Husserl in the Third Logical Investigation – that reflections on social ontology are being developed. The texts of the 1920s on the eidos of the community are highly topical in the face of the resurgence of liberal individualism on the one hand and exclusivist identitarianism on the other. Is there an alternative way to these two extremes?

Key words: Community – Social Ontology – Material A Priori – Love – Empathy

Read full article in Italian: «Sophia» XIV (2022-1) 83-93

«The Bond of Poetry and Love between Human Souls and the Universe»: The city as the threshold of the human community towards the transcendent (Noemi Sanches)

Abstract: In Simone Weil’s philosophy, the “city” appears as a physical and ontological place from where every human being achieves his full development, both corporal-spiritual and individual-relational. And this not only horizontally, but also – and above all – vertically. The city thus represents a privileged “entre-deux”, as well as a necessary and indispensable one, so that every man, individually and together with others, can take deep root in his one and true homeland, situated “dans l’autre côte du ciel”.

Keywords: City – Metaxy – Beauty – Rootedness – Recognition

Read full article in Italian: «Sophia» XIV (2022-1) 95-109

Intersubjectivity, Reciprocity and the Third in Recognition Based on Ricoeur (Raul Buffo)

Abstract: Through some passages of P. Ricoeur’s The Course of Recognition we want to look into the original configuration of intersubjectivity and the “third” that emerges from his reading of the Hegelian Ankerkennung in terms of mutual exchange of gifts in the horizon of agape, with particular attention to the status of the third as other than the subjects of recognition, to its impersonal or personalizing character and to the problem of its “intentionality”.

Keywords: Recognition – Intersubjectivity – Reciprocity – Third – Between

Read full article in Italian: «Sophia» XIV (2022-1) 111-122

The Encounter between the Constitution and Real Society: When law becomes living and generative (Chiara Galbersanini)

Abstract: In pluralist democracies, when Constitution is interpreted and applied to the concrete case, there is an encounter between constitutional law and social reality. This encounter generates those “rules” that regulate the life of a community, express its history, its identity and cultural elements: law “lives” when it encounters human experience.

Keywords: Italian Constitution – Multiculturalism – National communities – European Union

Read full article in Italian: «Sophia» XIV (2022-1) 123-131

The School in the Middle: the Educational Institution as a "Third" Place. Notes on the philosophy of education (Federico Rovea)

Abstract: The article claims that the identity of the school as an institution is rooted in its thirdness. Firstly, Ivan Illich’s critique of the school is discussed as an attempt to free school from societal demands. Secondly, the re-discovery of the school as a place characterized by thirdness – a space for free and independent study, condition of possibility of the development of the other societal components – by contemporary philosophy of education is presented.

Keywords: School – Illich – Deschooling – Attention – Teaching

Read full article in Italian: «Sophia» XIV (2022-1) 133-141

The Trinitarian Ontology of Colors: a rereading of the law of chromatic complementarity (Pascal Ide)

Abstract: This article seeks to show that trichromatism is an authentic analogy of the Trinitarian mystery: not a pedagogical metaphor like the three-leafed clover, but a participation of the uni-trinity God. Starting from two fundamental experiments, it presents the scientific and aesthetic interpretation proposed by the great color theorist Johannes Itten. After having evoked some philosophical interpretations, it presents a metaphysical rereading in Trinitarian key.

Keywords: Trinitarian Ontology – Metaphysics – Holy Trinity – Colour – Johannes Itten

Read full article in French: «Sophia» XIV (2022-1) 143-161

Nature and the Diachronic Identity of Human Persons: the animalist viewpoint (Vittorio Pellico)

Abstract: What are we human persons? What do we need to persist over time? These are fundamental questions of the long standing debate on personal identity also involving contemporary philosophers belonging to the so-called Analytic Philosophy. One of the dominant positions among those taking part in current debate states that each of us is a human animal and that the  conditions of our persistence are the same as those of animals. In addition to the content of animalism, the paper explores some of the arguments for, and the objections to that matter, concluding with some reflections on the importance of dialogue among the different philosophical traditions in order to study in depth the understanding of our metaphysical distinguishing features.

Keywords: Animalism – Personal Identity – Human Persons – Rational Animal – Metaphysics

Read full article in Italian: «Sophia» XIV (2022-1) 163-182

Developmental Expectations of Theological Aesthetics: Real and imaginary horizons (Carlos Medina Labayru)

Abstract: Of the two aspects that make up the consciousness of the Logos in the Christian tradition the modern rationalist paradigm unilaterally considers only one of them; the moment of the pure concept, outlawing that of the eidos or imaginal form. The response that Balthasar suggests to restore the form, and in particular the Christi form, is not to fight in vain against the consummation of historical events that have reduced the Logos in this way, but to conceive a new alternative that is not properly a Theology but rather an Aesthetics that is theological. In relation to the novel by Herman Hesse, The Glass Bead Game, I postulate that this project of Theological Aesthetics displays useful elements not only for theological reflection, but also for the ecclesiological one.

Keywords: Von Balthasar – Theological Aesthetics – Hesse – Ecclesiology

Read full article in Italian: «Sophia» XIV (2022-1) 183-196




The μεταξύ in Plato's Statesman (Alessandro Borghesi)

Abstract: This article analyzes Plato’s dialogue by highlighting the role of a politician as μεταξύ internal to a city. Similar to Solone, he is the instigator of a common, contingent and fragile space, capable of integrating the opposing differences that make up a city. His artisan technique allows for an unpredictable return of conflict and although he wants harmony in the city, he is incapable of knowing a priori the outcome triggered by his decisions which could go wrong at any time.

Keywords: Plato – Metaxy – Statesman – Metretic – Weaving

Read full article in Italian: «Sophia» XIV (2022-1) 197-211

The Mystical Way in Saint John of the Cross: from rational to “face to face” knowledge (Gustavo Socías Visconti)

Abstract: The phenomenological analysis of the mystical experience witnessed by John of the Cross in his Spiritual Canticle shows two concrete forms of knowledge, expressed as “drawing of faith” and “drawing of love”. Klaus Hemmerle, for his part, proposes a fassendes Denken and a lassendes Denken based on two ways of understanding the cognitive process. Both thinkers identify the relationship between these forms of knowledge and how the mystical experience allows access to knowledge that pure reason alone is not capable of achieving.

Keywords: Mystical Way – John of the Cross – Poetry – Knowledge

Read full article in Spanish: «Sophia» XIV (2022-1) 213-227


Rosmini, Fichte and the «Non of Love»: a dialogue based on E. Pili's «If One is the Other»

Abstract: In this paper, the authors discuss a recent volume on Antonio Rosmini’s thought, and in particular around the relationship between Rosmini and Fichte and the notion of «nothingness of love».

Keywords: Rosmini – Fichte – Nothingness – Ontology – Love – Idealism – Relation – Carabellese

Read Forum section in Italian: «Sophia» XIV (2022-1) 229-239

Mattia Cardenas, The Italian Difference and the Aporetics of “Non” (230-234)

Emanuele Pili, The Later Fichte and the Nothingness of Love (235-239)


“About the Principle and Love” by Alessandro Clemenzia, Marco Martino (Città Nuova, Rome 2020)

Abstract: The authors propose a reflection starting from the recent publication by Alessandro Clemenzia and Marco Martino on the theme of principle and freedom, with particular attention to the philosophical and theological approach that the book proposes.

Keywords: Principle – Freedom – Philosophy – Theology

Read the full book review in Italian: «Sophia» XIV (2022-1) 241-254

Stefano Mazzer, The Unavailable (pp. 242-248)

Emanuele Pili, Already and Not Yet (pp. 249-254) 

«Sophia», Year XIV (2022), Issue 2: On the “place” of thinking


On the "place" of thinking (Piero Coda)




Thought and Being. Going Back to Parmenides (Massimo Donà)

Abstract: The question is that of the relationship between thought and being, considered in relation to another great question: that of the relationship between identity and difference. What we have tried to show is therefore why Parmenides could have thought that the multiple world is constituted as the manifestation of the same. That is, that in each of the distinct ones, it is always the same being that manifests itself. For this reason, we felt we had to question the so-called ontological difference thematized by Heidegger. Hence the radical problematic nature of the same difference between a concrete and an abstract conception of difference. As well as the difference between the determinacy and its existence. According to what is highlighted by the Trinitarian structure and its constitutive aporeticity. And from the free sound of its rhythm.

Keywords: Being – Identity – Difference – Trinity – Non-Being

Read full article in Italian: «Sophia» XIV (2022-2) 273-283

The Platonic Idea. Rereading "Historicity and Originality in the Platonic Idea" of Franco Chiereghin (Marco Martino)

Abstract: Following the itinerary proposed by Franco Chiereghin in his work “Storicità e originarietà nell’idea platonica”, this essay wishes to dialogue with the illustrious Padoan philosopher, enquiring whether and how the Socratic “knowing that you do not know” can be considered as “human science” or, in other words, as the original structure of the human being, and how it can properly be considered as a key to the comprehension of Plato’s doctrine of Ideas.

Keywords: Philosophy – Plato – Franco Chiereghin – Doctrine of Ideas – Socrates

Read full article in Italian: Sophia» XIV (2022-2) 285-299

Relational Thinking in the Fathers and Early Councils (Giulio Maspero)

Abstract: Early Christian thinkers were prompted to rethink thought by revelation. The Greek metaphysical heritage was marked by an aporia, rooted in the tension between the one and the many, because episteme was recognised as relational while thought could not be so. Both the patristic and conciliar course of the first eight centuries showed how the re-signification of the Logos in a relational key made it possible to rethink thought as relational and overcome this aporia

Keywords: Trinitarian Ontology – Trinitarian Anthropology – Relational Epistemology – Councils – Fathers of the Church

Read full article in Italian: «Sophia» XIV (2022-2) 301-311

The Adventure of Thinking "Eucharistically" Today (Mauro Mantovani)


Within the context of “rethinking thought”, the contribution focuses on some of the intellectual “repercussions” that arise from the deepening of the Christian truth of the Eucharistic mystery, a specific element of Revelation that can constitute today, in the challenges opened with the passage from the Middle Ages to Modernity, and beyond, a source of inspiration for a renewed culture.

Keywords: Culture – Eucharist – Philosophy – Theology – Thought

Read full article in Italian: «Sophia» XIV (2022-2) 313-323

Thought as a Form of Sapientia Nulliformis According to Bonaventure (Eduard Prenga)

Abstract: The modalities, which express the meaning of thinking according to Bonaventure are the approach of the thought to the res that has to be considered, it means the méthodos and the act of thinking as forma nulliformis of the sapientia also nulliformis of the Revelation. How is this reciprocity between thought and wisdom, both nulliformis, articulated by Bonaventure? The following reflection focuses on this question.

Keywords: Form – Representation – Nothingness – Exitus – Correspondence

Read full article in Italian: «Sophia» XIV (2022-2) 325-336

Thinking “in” Christ Jesus (Alessandro Clemenzia)

Abstract: This article intends to explore the theological significance of that intelligere that springs from individual and communitarian participation to the mystery of the incarnate Word; the paschal event of Christ is capable of offering a particular and ever new rhythm of thinking.

Keywords: Wisdom – Knowledge – Incarnation – Cross – Participation

Read full article in Italian: «Sophia» XIV (2022-2) 337-347

Trinitarian Kenosis and the Limits of Phenomenology (Emmanuel Falque)

Abstract: The Trinitarian theology remains most often within the Circular Latin scheme (the Holy Spirit as the love of the Father and the Son) or within the Linear Greek scheme (the Holy Spirit as the love of the Father through the Son). Moreover, this theological limitation is also found in phenomenology: the forgetfulness of the “force” as such. From the triple excess the phenomenology – the primacy of weakness over force, the hypertrophy of the flesh over the body, and the apriori of the sense upon the chaos – a new “Trinitarian” ontology could arise. Based on the work of Klaus Hemmerle (Theses for a Trinitarian Theology), but following our own way, we will try to distinguish the three persons of the Trinity in a new manner: a “God of the force” in the person of the Holy Spirit, a “God of the body” in the person of the Son, and a “God of the chaos or the descent into the abyss” in the person of the Father. Like the conatus of Spinoza, God makes, to a certain extent, an “effort with us” (Em-manuel) in order to remain, perhaps to increase, within our being. Far from the war (polemos) or sin (fall), the perichoresis teaches us how we may support one another in order to exist.

Keywords: Body – Chaos – Hemmerle – Fight – Force – Kenosis – Limits – Perichoresis – Phenomenology – Sin – Trinity

Read full article in Italian: «Sophia» XIV (2022-2) 349-364

Katoikizein: notes for a cosmesis of the abyss (Alberto Guido Giovanni Zali)

Abstract: In conclusion to the IX book of the Republic, Socrates invites men of good will to realize a complete identity of theory and practice, inhabiting the intelligible world which they first measured with their gaze. The last two centuries, however, have sanctioned the failure of the Platonic project: the “real world” has finally turned out to be a fairy tale. An infinite ocean has taken its place, as a conflictual hermeneutic space and a perturbing sentinel that accompanies each of our dwellings. This contribution establishes a comparison with Heidegger’s work, reinterpreted as a constant attempt to “make a home” in the abysmal enigma that we have become to ourselves. Then, it tries to show an internal aporia to the German philosopher’s speech, except to articulate some consideration on the theological antinomy that stands out against the world-abyss. Ultimately cosmology passes into cosmopolitics. Still, the above-mentioned identity is broken: now it is the practice that casts shadows in the pre-cosmic regions of one’s constitutive ignorance. Its attempt to give a face to the unknown is thus constantly exposed to the risk of denial.

Keywords: Cosmology – Theology – Cosmopolitics – Nietzsche – Heidegger

Read full article in Italian: «Sophia» XIV (2022-2) 365-381


The Thinking that Flows from the Mysticism of Unity

Abstract: In this issue’s “Forum” the authors porpose some reflections on the novum that Chiara Lubich’s mystic of unity offers as an inheritance to thinking starting from the three “classics” of this journey of thought: Pasquale Foresi, Klaus Hemmerle and Giuseppe Maria Zanghì. All of them, with their own peculiarities, converge in entering and inhabiting the “place” of the experience of being/thinking into which the Christ introduces: the being that is love, Trinity.

Keywords: Hemmerle – Foresi – Zanghì – Claritas – Thinking – Being – Love – Trinity

Download the Issue to read the Forum in Italian:«Sophia» XIV (2022-2) 383-414

Anna Pelli, Within the Horizon of a New Thinking: Pasquale Foresi and the speculative “humanising” of a charism (384-394)

Raul Buffo, Klaus Hemmerle and Thinking of/in Claritas (395-405)

Tommaso Bertolasi, Thinking in Giuseppe Maria Zanghì: a phenomenological reading (406-414)

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