CE27 - Culture, création, patrimoine

The powers of the soul. Anthropology of the experience (XIV-XVI) – ANTHRAME

Submission summary

ANTHRAME offers a fundamental research project on 14th-16th century anthropology in Italy that is sorely lacking. Now, although anthropology as a science was not established until the 18th century, we use this term to designate the questioning of the nature and functions of the human being, considered as the object and the finality of his orientations in his worldly experience. The term experience is knowingly assumed because it allows us to situate ourselves in current historiography, while emphasizing our originality.
Indeed, our research hypothesis is as follows: the conception of the nature of the human being in Italian culture between the fourteenth and sixteenth centuries knows new meanings of "being oneself", which cannot be reduced neither to the medieval “person”, as an individual and rational substance, nor to the “consciousness” of the classical age.
Our method is as follows: The project examines the relationship between the powers of the soul or "internal senses" (imagination and memory) and the intellect in order to rethink anthropological reflection in Italy between the 14th and 16th centuries. Our perspective thus reverses the historiographical trend which favors the study of the intellect. On the one hand, we would like to analyze everything that the intellective grasp leaves outside, such as dreams or involuntary memories; on the other hand, to study new disciplines, such as history or poetics, which recognize their own principles in memory and the imagination. Therefore, we believe that the conception of the human being in Italian culture has new meanings of "being oneself". In this regard, “anthropology of experience” means that the universe of significance opened up by the relative autonomy of memory and imagination goes beyond cognitive finality and defines the proper of man.
memory In this regard, we have determined four sets of questions which will direct the scientific program of our project and justify its decomposition into four consequent and progressive tasks. These can be summarized as follows: i. What are the powers of the internal senses (imagination and memory)? ii. What are the new modalities of experience and the principles of new knowledge specific to the internal senses? iii. How do you think back then of the experience of being yourself as a human being? iv. How are manifestations of what is called personality disorder seen, including mental illnesses and gender identity disorders? These questions (which can also be expressed as research "themes") have been established because they allow the full measure of the disruptive and alternative power of the "internal senses", imagination and memory, without reducing their scope. disruptive effect on intelligence.

Project coordination

Fosca Mariani Zini (Centre d'études supérieures de la Renaissance)

The author of this summary is the project coordinator, who is responsible for the content of this summary. The ANR declines any responsibility as for its contents.


LEM Laboratoire d'Etudes sur les Monothéismes
Freie Universität / Institut für Philosophie
University of Gothenburg / Departement of Philosophy
CESR Centre d'études supérieures de la Renaissance
ISJPS Institut des sciences juridique et philosophique de la Sorbonne
CRH Centre de recherches historiques
Centre Jean Pépin
Ca' Foscari / Dipartimento di filosofia
SPHERE Sciences - Philosophie - Histoire
Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität / Philosophisches Seminar
University College / School of Philosophy
Università Statale di MIlano / Dipartimento di Filosofia

Help of the ANR 285,040 euros
Beginning and duration of the scientific project: December 2021 - 42 Months

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