Logos as phoné semantiké: history and interpretation

Starting date
January 1, 2001
Duration (months)
Human Sciences
Managers or local contacts
Cavarero Adriana
logos, politics, philosophy

The project aims at analysing the history of philosophy as an enduring speculation, from Plato and Aristotle onwards, on logos as phoné semantiké. The central hypothesis is the following: the philosophical tradition progressively marginalizes the vocal component of logos submitting it to the semantic one. The research focuses on philosophical and literary representations of vocality (from Homer’s sirens to the modern studies on orality: Havelock, Ong, Zumthor) as well as on the opposition between the vocal sphere and the sphere in which the semantic element constructs and produces criteria for the political (from Plato to Foucault). Moreover the research focuses on the way this opposition affects the models (ancient and modern) of democracy: both as public space characterized by rational communication (Habermas) and as community characterized by dialogue or argumentaion (Communitarians).


Funds: assigned and managed by the department

Project participants

Adriana Cavarero
Professore onorario
Olivia Guaraldo
Full Professor
Title Authors Year
A più voci. Filosofia dell’espressione vocale Cavarero, Adriana 2003
Theorizing politics Cavarero, Adriana 2002
Tu che mi guardi, tu che mi racconti Adriana Cavarero 1997


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