Massimo Marraffa

Ernesto De Martino su crisi e riscatto della presenza

  • Abstract

Informations and abstract

Keywords: Crisis of Presence, Defense Mechanisms, Dehistorification, Personal Identity, Self-consciousness.

At the core of Ernesto De Martino’s thought lie the questions of the precarious nature of the subject’s self-construction and of the resulting defensive character of self-consciousness. De Martino forges a phenomenological psychology of identity hinging on the concepts of presence and (the complementary) crisis of presence. “Presenceµ is self-consciousness, understood as finding oneself at the center of one’s own orderly and meaningful subjective world, and hence at the center of a historical and cultural environment to which one feels one belongs. But this self-consciousness is a precarious acquisition, continuously constructed by culture and constantly exposed to the risk of crisis. In this article I follow the psychiatrist Giovanni Jervis – who in the late 1950s participated in De Martino’s team study of the ecstatic healing cult of tarantism in the Salentine Peninsula in southern Italy – in arguing that hypotheses and evidence from psychological sciences confirm De Martino’s idea of the human subject.

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