Maria Teresa Speranza

Introducing the existence of innate ideas, a cognitive principle prior to experience and independent of it, placed outside the body centricity of the subject of knowledge, Leibnitz, in his Nouveaux Essais highlights the “eccentric” nature of subjectivity, that is situated in the self-transcendence of conscience. While the intellect is the stable foundation of knowledge as a formal and a priori element, the sensible experience, according to the gnoseological dualism considered, is the material and a posteriori element. But the sensible experience itself, understood as an action of perceiving and not as a perceived content, cannot in turn be considered, like the intellect, an a priori and therefore founding element of knowledge? The concept of monad, in fact, leads to a new concept of knowledge. According to the monadology, the knowledge of the world is always corporally mediated so the body is always and inevitably the centre of representation of the world. The body is always the subject of experience, never just an object or instrument of knowledge. Leibnitz therefore seems to have taken an important step in the direction of overcoming the ontological dualism, as he considered the monad as a unitary substance that represents the world by virtue of its being a body (Leib). Yet in the Leibnitzian text no reference is made to the question of the corporal a priori, that is intuited and recognized, but not adequately treated and placed within the monadistic universe. Even with the principle of psychophysical indifference conquered by German philosophical anthropology, it was not possible to overcome the unbridgeable gap that separates man from himself: the selftranscendence of consciousness therefore seems to be an ineliminable characteristic of the human being that qualifies him as “being eccentric” par excellence.

Il corpo tra fattualità e autotrascendimento
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