Literary Nonfiction. Italian Studies. Essay. Edited by Michael Gilmartin. "The answer [Eugenio Colorni's, to a question of Ursula Hirschman's on the existence of 'concentric circles' in explanations of reality] is this: that the philosophical illness is more difficult to eradicate than you think, and that it lurks in the most unimaginable places and people... All these concentric explanations are in fact 'philosophies.' Each coherent in itself, each 'true' from a certain point of view, each 'beautiful,' 'satisfying,' 'habitable;' sometimes 'exciting'... No wonder, then, if they turn out to be satisfying, calming and coherent. Now just take each of these concentric circles and ask yourself—what good are they beyond giving me all this satisfaction? And then you will see all this beautiful concentricity and coherence fall apart, and each of the circles will prove no longer to be a self-contained whole, but something detached and fragmentary. The utility of the dialectic is in interpreting some spiritual things and some historical phenomena, and that's all... Analytic psychology is useful in treating certain nervous disorders, and helping us understand certain mental processes even in healthy people, and that's all... Kant helps physics deal with time and space and causality his way. And he's not good for anything else. You ask me if it also makes me nervous to see how easily our minds think in analogies—which we then take to be facts. Does it make me nervous?! I've been nervous for twelve years, and only now have I begun to sort this out."—Michael Gilmartin
Eugenio Colorni (1909-1944), socialist philosopher and political activist, was also interested in literary criticism, natural sciences and psychology. Following the racial laws of 1937, he was incarcerated and then confined in the Ventotene island where, together with Altiero Spinelli, Ernesto Rossi, and Ursula Hirschmann promoted the European Federalist Movement. Leader in the Resistance in Rome, he was murdered by the infamous fascist and Nazi Koch gang a few days prior to the liberation of Rome.
Author City: Rome ITA