Rivista per le Medical Humanities

Igino Domanin
rMH 8, 2008, 11-13

This is the body

The body always reflects also the basic structure of an epoch, of a culture. In this sense, it constitutes a destiny, a place of happening and a powerful metaphor. We see the centrality of the body as significantly in the disputes of the Sixties, as well as in the followers of narcissism and in the “lounge lizards Epicurean” of the Eighties, as in today’s fashion of the malleability of the body and its technological grafts. How can we read our time today through its corporal figures? Various images of bodies pushed to their limits, between humanity and bestiality, become a guide to the thoughts that this article presents under the sign of the tragedy of destiny.

Graziano Martignoni
rMH 8, 2008, 14-19

A destiny called Cain

From the bewildering confusion that inhabits the human existence faced with the destiny of the body, the soul and world, to the destination built by opening to the range of possibilities and decisions, like an exercise of freedom, man meets the shape of ambivalence and of the fight between the two pulsional forces that dominate his actions: that of life and that of annihilation. The author follows some sparse evidence of such combat in the characters of Cain and Abel, from banal violence to the fanatic fundamentalism that animates the silent forms of hygienic-preventative society and its “totalitarian health” gadgets.

Fabio Merlini
rMH 8, 2008, 20-28

The present as destiny

This text starts from the lesson of a master, Nietzsche, questioning our current condition of people condemned to an actuality in which there is no more sense of historic perspective. Looking at the work Nietzsche wrote on Schopenhauer as an educator, the author proposes an interpretation of the notion of out-datedness through which he searches to explain some phenomenon, such as innovations, applicability, functionality, that reshape the sense of culture and conscience in today’s contexts of life.

Fulvio Papi
rMH 8, 2008, 29-33

A plurality of the mask

The text discusses some meanings of the word destiny: the “tragic” one sketched in Hegelian phenomenology and that of the “individual” one through which Rousseau contemplates, rewriting it, his life. The character of destiny, in its narrative function related to a personal affair, is then seen from the point of view of old age, in order to remove it from the game of its illusion. Here it can appear as what it is: the way things happen, where chance and fortune were able to play out their roles, where what you see, is a plurality of masks rather than a story.

Simona Gasparetti Landolfi
rMH 8, 2008, 83-93

The poor knight

Starting with the hope of V. von Weizsäcker, that medicine is getting closer to philosophy, continuing a communal path towards knowing the man who understands and gives meaning, that is capable of questioning phenomenon, real life, biographical paths, this essay offers an interpretation of the figure of Prince Myshkin, protagonist in the novel by Dostoevsky, and his being unwell. The concepts of identity, care, health and illness are put into question in a radical way in the novel, in the name of a subjectivism that on the one hand appears invulnerable to the parameters of science and on the other discloses a possibility of interpreting experience of one’s self that illuminates dimensions that are in part unknown, not only to medicine, but also to philosophy. In this character, in many ways extraordinary, is demonstrated a view of the world and an existential experience that is in no way possible to generalize or regulate, that refers above all to propriumet ipsissimumof a character, in their indissoluble spiritual unity.  

Paolo Marino Cattorini
rMH 8, 2008, 94-98

Mental transplants

The medical choices of transplants raise several ethical questions regarding the nature, borders and personal status of the whole human body or of some parts of it. What mental and emotional changes happen to the recipient? What is the ethical relevance of the feeling of guilt and the desire to know the identity of the dead donor? A narrative approach to moral philosophy might take advantage of literary works and in particular movie pictures that have described and interpreted these dimensions. The history of film-making shows many examples of bodily exchanges, cinema itself being a kind of mental transplant, where images, visions, thoughts, affections are transferred from the director’s fantasy to the illusory screen and then to the stranger spectators, who consent to believe in the surprising stories that infect their mind-body unity. In this perspective, the article summarizes some famous films about human organ transplants.