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Cristian Ciocan Philosophy Without Freedom Pheno 2005 Vol. 3 Euro Mediterranean Part 1 STD

Cristian Ciocan Philosophy Without Freedom Pheno 2005 Vol. 3 Euro Mediterranean Part 1 STD

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Published by Gabriela Ionascu

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Published by: Gabriela Ionascu on Feb 14, 2012
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Philosophy without Freedom
Constantin Noica and Alexandru Dragomir 
Cristian CIOCAN
University of Bucharest Romanian Society for Phenomenolog
 ABSRAC: In this paper, I discuss about two major Romanianphilosophers: Constantin Noica and Alexandru Dragomir. I nar-rate their spectacular biographies, in order to show how powerfulcan be the resistance through philosophy, even in the hard timesof political totalitarianism, as they were, for the Eastern Europe,under the communist dictatorship. It is true that Noica andDragomir are two of the most influential personalities for thehistory of phenomenology in Romania. However, their lives alsoseem to be exemplary for the philosophical life as such, which re-veals its intrinsic value when facing the asperities of misfortune.
Let me start with a general question: Can philosophy exist with-out freedom? We usually believe that thinking, reflecting, and philosophizingneed always a certain degree of freedom. Aristotle is the first to sus-tain, in the beginning of the
, that philosophy started in
Te copyright on this essay belongs to the author. Te work is published hereby permission of the author and can be cited as
Phenomenology 2005, Vol. III,Selected Essays from Euro-Mediterranean Area,
ed. Ion COPOERU & HansRainer SEPP (Bucharest: Zeta Books, 2007), available in printed as well aselectronic form at www.zetabooks.com.Contact the author here: cristian.ciocan@phenomenology.ro
Egypt, where the class of priests was exempted from labor, thus ob-taining the necessary comfort for reflecting. But besides this comfort,this freedom from daily necessities, it takes another type of freedomfor the philosophical instinct deeply enrooted in man to be able todevelop as a free philosophical exercise, in a live and creative philo-sophical culture, allowing for a polyphony of voices and a dialogue of the various points of view. I am not referring here to a total freedomin an ideal republic of philosophers, but a
certain degree 
of liberty.I refer to political freedom, the civic or social freedom. Tis typeof freedom made possible the most fertile stages in the history of philosophy. If we think of the Greeks, we see that the flourishing of philosophy was possible in a free political climate. Philosophy alwaysdeveloped under a certain protection, a more or less tolerant attitudeof the authorities, be they kings, emperors, noblemen, popes or car-dinals: this happened with the ancient philosophy, with the philoso-phy of the Middle Ages, and again with the German Idealism. Whenprotection and freedom disappears, philosophy dies too, or it is sup-pressed, as it is the case of the closing of the Neo-Platonic school of  Athens by a Justinian edict.Te terrible 20
century brought a totally different situation,never met before, where the limitation of man’s liberty became astate affair. When such a regime goes on for several decades, as wasthe case of Communism in Eastern Europe, the transformations canbe atrocious, for generations are born and die in a concentrationary universe, without light or hope. Under such a regime, philosophy isreduced to an instrument of the propaganda, an offi cial ideology. And we ask again: Can philosophy exist without liberty?Te Romanian case, and especially the case of the Romanianphilosophy under communism, can be understood against the back-ground of a larger social context, the recent history of the countries
destroyed by the imperialism of the Soviet regime. However, wemust understand its specificity.Te Romanian culture—as a national culture, in a nationallanguage—is rather young culture. Even if the national cohesionof the Romanians is older, the Romanian Nation affi rmed itself explicitly with the occasion of the historical events that traversedEurope around 1848, gaining its independence from the OttomanEmpire only in 1877. Concerning philosophy, the first name that we must mention is that of Dimitrie Cantemir (1673-1723), a kingof Moldavia who corresponded with Leibniz and who was electeda member of Academy of Berlin in 1714. Even if his philosophicalactivity was rich enough, he was recognized in the world most forhis work of historian. His works about the Ottoman Empire wereimmediately translated in several languages and were known by Voltaire, Byron and Victor Hugo. Unfortunately, firstly because of the historical vicissitudes, because the Romanians have not knownlarge periods of political stability where the humanist culture coulddevelop itself, the case of Cantemir rested a singular one. And thus it went until the 19
century, when the Romanianstarted to study intensively in Berlin, in Paris and in Vienna, ac-quiring therefore with them the philosophical ideas that circulatedin Occident. Te first philosophical course written in Romanian was elaborated on a German model by Eftimie Murgu in 1834-36, for the Mihaileana Academy of Iasi and was the first attemptto establish a philosophical terminology in Romanian Language. We can note also the attempt of Mihai Eminescu—a famousRomantic poet, himself very much influenced by the philosophy of Schopenhauer—to translate fragments of the
Critic of the Pure Reason
in 1878. At the beginning of the 20
Century, the circulation of ideasincreased and the Romanian Culture began to enter, step by step,

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