By Umberto Eco
Piezas que nacieron de un encargo o del puro divertimento donde Umberto Eco habla de los temas más variados, paseando con desenvoltura desde l. a. literatura a l. a. política o l. a. astronomía, y donde cada escrito se convierte en una pequeña lección para el que lo lee.
El libro arranca con el texto titulado «Construir al enemigo», donde se insiste en las bondades de tener siempre a mano a un rival en quien descargar nuestras debilidades o faltas y, si ese rival no existe, pues habrá que crearlo. Le siguen otros textos que cabalgan de Dan Brown a Barak Obama y Angela Merkel, y una espléndida pieza que aborda el tema de Wikileaks, invitándonos a reflexionar sobre el poder del silencio en una sociedad donde el escándalo es moneda corriente.
En otros escritos sale a los angeles luz l. a. corrupción política italiana, aliñada con el cuerpo de mujeres hermosas y dispuestas a triunfar, pero alrededor de este tema tan manido el professore hila unsagaz discurso sobre el ruido mediático, especialmente creado desde los centros de poder para distraer al ciudadano medio y ocultar otras noticias importantes. Y de l. a. política pasamos al Ulises, de Joyce, para descubrir una nueva opinión sobre esta novela que muchos mientan y pocos han leído.
Resumiendo, Eco tiene edad y condición para hablar de casi todo, enlazando temas que en apariencia parecen muy lejanos, y Construir al enemigo es el mejor ejemplo de una inteligencia privilegiada puesta al servicio de esos lectores que a los angeles vida le piden algo más que titulares de periódico.
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Additional info for Construir al enemigo
This assumption of the philosophical author as the God of his thought-experimental world, as having merely to assert or stipulate that things are thus-and-so in order for things to be thus-and-so within the world of his ﬁction, might hold with respect to Nagel’s use of Martians in that same article, since their existence is purely imaginary. But how can a philosophical claim about the human capacity to understand real (however putatively alien) forms of conscious life be worth making if it entirely fails to make contact with their true nature?
If Costello properly understood that internal relation between Nagel’s bat and the philosophy of mind, as she claims to do, then (Norma might well think) she would not be dragging it into a lecture on the moral status of nonhuman animals—at least not without providing an elaborate justiﬁcation of some kind. And yet Costello gives no indication that she sees herself as having any such responsibility. But Norma’s carefully calibrated sigh of disdain might also derive from a more formal concern—her familiarity with the philosophical genre of the thought-experiment, whose deployment is a central technique in any analytical philosopher’s tool-kit and may even be the way in which some achieve a kind of immortality (insofar as their imaginary case, like Nagel’s, engenders a productive secondary literature of interpretation and argument).
30 CHAPTER TWO It is quite as if McMahan thinks that we ﬁrst develop a concept of a person (say, as a psychologically continuous entity) and then relate to those we identify as persons in ways we judge appropriate to their metaphysical genus, so that those relations might be evaluated for their consistency with our independently given nature. But in truth, our concept of a person is constituted by, ﬁnds its life and sense in the context of, the normal forms of our lives with other persons—with embodied, ﬂesh-and-blood creatures inhabiting structures of language and culture.