Classical german philosophy. University of Padova research group

“Husserl e il problema della monade”, a book by Andrea Altobrando (open access)

We are pleased to announce that the book Husserl e il problema della monade (Trauben, Torino 2010) by Andrea Altobrando is now available online on Padua@researchthe istitutional repository for University of Padova research works.

Here is an abstract of the book in English:

Husserl’s proposal of a “phenomenological monadology”, which he merely sketches in the Cartesian Meditations, and which is barely mentioned in Formal and Transcendental Logic, has been the object of various interpretations, criticisms and speculations. Most of them have focused on the problem of intersubjectivity, stressing the difference between Husserl’s and Leibniz’ monadologies. In this regard, it has become a sort of mantra the idea that Husserl’s monadological conception of subjectivity is different from Leibniz’ because Husserl’s monads “have windows”. Even if this is far from being doubtlessly consistent, since these kinds of reflection have concentrated on the problem of the windows and what the windows let us see, it has been mostly neglected what is inside the windows, that is the inner structure of the monads, their “furniture”, as well as which “metaphysical” consequences must be derived from a monadological conception of subjectivity. This monograph aims exactly to elucidate why and how it could be “phenomenologically” justifiable to conceive of subjectivity in terms of monad and what is the “inner” peculiarity of such a conception. The study starts with the characterizations Husserl offers of the formal concepts of unity and plurality. Such concepts are shown to be decisive to understanding the specifically monadological understanding of subjectivity. Together with the method of “transcendental reduction” to pure experience, they lead to the idea of monad as “substance”, which compels us to face classically metaphysical problems like the ones of immortality and innascibility, predestination and teleology. Besides these “phenomenologico-metaphysical” reflections, from this study emerges a crucial difference between the subjectivity as a stream of consciousness and a pure ego as its pole. Far from being a mere abstraction, the pure emptiness of the ego reveals itself to be decisive in properly conceiving the dynamic of life as monadic unity.

Andrea Altobrando was born in Monza. He graduated in Philosophy at the Università degli Studi di Milano and he has continued doing research at the Universities of Padova, Torino and Wuppertal (where he got a Ph.D. in Philosophy), Köln. He is currently a JSPS­Guest Researcher at the 北海度大学 (Hokkaido University). Besides the publication of two more monographs and several articles, together with Guido Turus he edited the book Biodifferenze.

Here is the link to the book.


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