The whole project revolves around the figure and work of Leonardo Da Vinci, deepening the influence of his thought on the particular theme of the relationship between science and irrationality, and investigating its impacts and legacies to posterity: born and formed at the end of the In the Middle Ages, Leonardo developed an intellectual personality that widely exceeded the limits of medieval man and, while preserving some of the matrices of the thought of his time, gave life to an extremely modern reflection “on the nature of things”. On the one hand, in fact, he surpasses the rather limited vision of his peers as regards the consideration of reality as a rational phenomenon, interpretable and explainable through mathematical laws; on the other hand, on the contrary, it keeps alive a dose of skepticism that leads him to see the world and (above all) the behavior of men as something unpredictable, which can be calculated exactly only up to a certain threshold, by approximation.
This coexistence between opposites will mark all the experience of the pre-modern world. The rise of science as a dominant force in the cultural and political field will be contrasted by doubt and irrationality, a strong and constant opposite until the eighteenth century (from where it will slowly be overshadowed). Revolutionary theories such as heliocentrism, the roundness of the earth, the existence of human societies in the southern hemisphere, theories that fully deny the science of the ancient Greeks and Romans and open immense horizons, still struggle to establish themselves as absolute truth, because of irrational prejudices and doubts that undermine their assumptions. We continue to believe, still in the modern age, the truths of Aristotle and, more than anything else, where these are evidently disavowed (the theme is intimately Leonardo’s, as evidenced by the first three Proems of his literary work, which focus on the theme of authority denied), we try to find a compromise between new and old.
ACTIONS, ACTIVITIES, OUTPUTS:
The project will take place through the creation of 4 specific macro-actions for the dissemination of cultural contents:
MACRO-ACTION 1 – WORKING ON HISTORICAL / NARRATIVE TEXTS OF MORE IMPORTANCE, IN THE POST-LEONARDIAN THEME OF SCIENCE AND IRRATIONAL. This first macro-action of the project aims to compose a miscellaneous volume of essays on the link between science and irrationality in the literature of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, focusing on three points: the conflict between magic and science, the aestheticization of ‘machines’ (theme more than ever Leonardo), and the construction of some specific differences (of religion and gender) on the threshold between reason and irrationality;
MACRO-ACTION 2 – WORKING ON THE MOST REPRESENTATIVE EPIC TEXTS. This second macro-action intends to work on a particular branch of the epic, what could be called “scientific epic”: there are, between the 16th and 17th centuries, authors who attempt to write their treatises in the form of a poem, giving a form art with avant-garde scientific contents. Among these, Giovanni Ventimiglia’s Celestial Ulysses (1657) stands out, of which we intend to give a commented critical edition;
MACRO-ACTION 3 – RETURNING TO CITIZENS AND FAMILIES: DISCLOSURE PRESENTATIONS AND ACTIVE WORKSHOPS ON THE TEXT IN DIFFERENT LOCAL, REGIONAL, NATIONAL AND INTERNATIONAL CONTEXTS (see ‘places of development’ to know the specific stages of the program. Presentations and workshops they are foreseen in different contexts: from universities to museums and libraries). This macro-action involves the organization of a cycle of meetings on the theme “science and irrational” and “art and science”: these meetings want to involve, in the afternoon, young people and families interested in the theme of the relationship between science and irrational, also through exhibitions and visual events;
MACRO ACTION 4 – MULTIMEDIA WORKSHOPS AND IN-DEPTH PARTICIPATIVES IN SCHOOLS. Special days of activities will be organized in the institutes including BEM in Staranzano, DELLA TORRE di Gradisca, ISIS PERTINI, for the involvement of the very young and students in participatory philosophical-literary laboratories dedicated to deepening the theme and dissemination through multimedia tools, suitable to easily reach the youth groups.
The project was financed by the Regione Friuli Venezia Giulia, in the frame of the humanistic divulgation call
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