Looking at the Sky: On Nature and Contemplation (Essay) - Annali d'Italianistica

Looking at the Sky: On Nature and Contemplation (Essay)

By Annali d'Italianistica

  • Release Date - Published: 2008-01-01
  • Book Genre: Language Arts & Disciplines
  • Author: Annali d'Italianistica
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Looking at the Sky: On Nature and Contemplation (Essay) Annali d'Italianistica read online review & book description:

In what follows I articulate a few reflections on nature. I especially focus on human self-understanding as it arises from out of the experience of nature--the experience of a relatedness to nature that is at once a belonging and an enfoldment in nature. At stake, then, is not a conceptual approach to the question of nature, but rather the phenomenon of the emergence of the human within the embrace of what presents itself as an abysmal and irreducible mystery. Heraclitus' saying regarding nature "hiding itself provides an archaic testimony of such an experience. The pathos of nature, however, ultimately gives rise to divergent postures, which can be discerned in contrasting strands of the philosophical-humanistic tradition. On the one hand, such an experience leads to an objectifying detachment from nature: mystery becomes that which must be either dispelled (rationalistic-scientific project) or doctrinally protected (religious discourses). On the other hand, the experience of nature in its cryptic character induces the response of wonder: the shining of phenomena itself appears as mysterious, indeed, as the receptacle of mystery. Rather than resting beyond the veil, mystery is (of) the veil itself; in appearances mystery is revealed as such. We divine here the connection between wonder and beauty. They disclose manifestation as inexhaustible, surfaces as the surfacing of depths. These considerations are articulated especially by reference to Giordano Bruno's enraptured cosmological vision and the celebration of embodiment in Renaissance painting (in particular Tiziano Vecellio, but also Raphael and Leonardo).

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