By Umberto Eco

Suite à une dialog dans un taxi new-yorkais avec un chauffeur pakistanais qui ne comprend pas qu’un will pay puisse exister sans ennemis, Umberto Eco s’interroge. Après avoir constaté les ravages d’idéologies totalitaires telles que le nazisme ou le fascisme, l. a. société actuelle ressent-elle l. a. nécessité de se définir par rapport à un ennemi et de le diaboliser ? Les Etats renonceraient-ils, aujourd’hui, à l’opportunité de créer de nouveaux boucs émissaires pour renforcer le sentiment d’identité nationale et leur pouvoir ?Puis, à l’occasion de conférences ou d’essais à thèmes qui amusent autant celui qui parle que celui qui écoute, et qui sont, en somme, des exercices de rhétorique baroque, l’auteur aborde avec jubilation des sujets variés : l’idée de l’absolu, l. a. tragédie d’Anna Karenine, l. a. poétique de l’excès chez Victor Hugo, les divertissements inspirés par les almanachs, « Parlez-moi d’amour », etc.Le grand érudit qu’est Umberto Eco traite dans ces « écrits occasionnels » de questions qui l’intriguent et le passionnent, sans jamais oublier d’amuser son lecteur. 

 

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Extra resources for Construire l'ennemi : ... et autres écrits occasionnels

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Shouldn’t we add ‘and nothing prevents me from consulting Pauly’?

Aristotle does not exclude from being noble-and-good individuals who lack the combination; this would fly in the face of what he has said in defining the noble-and-good. But here he focuses on the elements of social and economic privilege, whose possessors are traditionally ranked kaloik’agathoi. And in the context, this focus implies that tradition has it wrong: pre-eminent wealth, pre-eminent political influence, and good family, are not what make someone noble-and-good. They could do so only if such things were noble by nature, but this is true only of the virtues and their exercises, whereas the former are merely natural goods.

And whatever either through deficiency or through excess gets in the way of serving and studying God [ton theon therapeuein kai theˆorein]—this is a ³⁵ Deleting the OCT period after despotou, 8. ³⁶ Some translate 1249b11 by: ‘each person should live with reference to the rule that is proper to him’, but this seems to me to give a less tight argument. Still, if Aristotle means each element of the soul, why does he not say hekateron rather than hekaston at 11, since he has just made a dual distinction within the soul?

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