Deadline 15 Sep 2020

Stupidity and European Spirit: starting from Musil

The Focus proposal presented here, "Stupidity and the European spirit: starting from Musil", aims to deepen the concept of "stupidity" as a symptom of imbalance between the course of life of individuals and the fate of Europe, between individual intelligence and the intelligence of an era: our era. The Focus intends to make a small contribution to understanding our present.

Editors:

Francesco Valagussa, Università Vita-Salute San Raffaele, (valagussa.francesco@unisr.it);

Fabrizio Desideri, Università di Firenze, (fabrizio.desideri@unifi.it)

 

Deadline for submission: 15 September 2020

Expected release: November/December 2020

 

The Focus proposal presented here, “Stupidity and European Spirit: starting from Musil”, aims to deepen the concept of “stupidity” as a symptom of imbalance between the course of life of individuals and the fate of Europe, between individual intelligence and the intelligence of an era: our era. The Focus intends to make a small contribution to understanding our present.

The difference between culture and civilization relies on the ability to organize the complexity and variety of an era’s manifestations. The essential task of Parallel Action in the pages of Musil should have been that of getting a grip on a general inventory of the spirit.

In the complicated balance between life and spirit there is always an “irrational remnant”, an unforeseen residue that mocks all calculations, something not quite right and which cannot be traced back to rules established by default. Precision and rigor are indispensable tools for the domination of individual areas, but they fail in offering an overall picture and orientation.

“Years without synthesis” is perhaps the formula that best sums up the clinical picture of the European spirit. Faced with such a diagnosis, stupidity emerges symptomatically. Stupidity does not indicate an intellectual inadequacy: it is, instead, an inflated insult that signals a crisis in the feeling of trust normally granted to “human nature”. Stupidity is almost a “form of life”, an atmosphere in which we find ourselves immersed.

“Years without synthesis”: also, as a split between the analytical character of the sciences (their conjectural character) and the impotent general point of view of politics. Stupidity is this very split.

We invite you to take part in the Focus with articles between 15,000 and 25,000 characters (including spaces); suggested topics (non-binding):

– the relationship between stupidity and European spirit in contemporary society;

– the role of the expert: competence and its mythologies;

– the inverse mythology of “politics in command”;

– analogies and dyscrasias between synthesis and accuracy.

No more than 5 contributions will be expected for publication; therefore, a selection will be made among the proposals received and accepted.