Contemporary Humanism – Stefano Biancu >> A Century of Humanism and homo symbolicus: Competing Paradigms

Contemporary Humanism – Stefano Biancu >> A Century of Humanism and homo symbolicus: Competing Paradigms

I would like to start from a historiographical hypothesis, and then enunciate a theoretical thesis. The historiographical hypothesis starts from an observation: the variegated and impressive return of the category of humanism to the intellectual scene in the twentieth century has had a fate that paralleled the emergence of the category of the symbol in many fields of knowledge. The hypothesis I would like to present is that these two developments may not be independent at all; common reasons and concerns could underlie both: reasons and concerns that move in the direction of the search for a new epistemological and anthropological paradigm. According to this hypothesis, the vast and manifold experience of the symbolic – epitomized in the category of the symbol – has been one of the anomalies that have thrown into crisis an established and traditional epistemological and anthropological paradigm, thus triggering a revolutionary process.

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