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« Philosophy as a Comic Enterprise » par M. Dmitri NIKULIN


In this lecture, I argue that comedy displays a particular kind of rationality that reflects philosophical thinking. Comedy allows for the resolution of a conflict and the achievement of well-being and equality through action that follows the comic plot. In its movement, comic action reproduces the structure of philosophical argument. Moreover, such action is propelled by the “thinker on stage,” who, as socially and politically oppressed, contributes to the liberation of all and the achievement of the good life. Comedy, therefore, establishes the universal pattern for justice and well-being and allows us to rethink the notion of subjectivity not as the modern isolated subject, but rather as integrated with others through shared action and dialogical involvement.

Dmitri Nikulin is Professor of Philosophy at The New School for Social Research in New York. His interests range from ancient to early modern philosophy. He is the author of a number of books including Matter, Imagination and Geometry (Ashgate, 2002), On Dialogue (Lexington, 2006), Dialectic and Dialogue (Stanford University Press, 2010), Comedy, Seriously (Palgrave Macmillan, 2014), and Memory : A Philosophical History (forthcoming, Oxford University Press, 2015).

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