Monday, 16 February 2015 19:00

5. The open character of canons

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Canons provide philosophical practitioners with valuable tools for their work. They make them familiar with texts and authors or with traditions they weren't aware of or attentive enough to. On the whole, canons offer impulses and help us refine our philosophical perspective. That is the standard benefit of canons.

However, canons seem to have a disturbing aspect. By operating with a dialectic of inclusions and exclusions, they seem to presuppose a kind of authority that decides what comes in and what stays out. That has always been a sufficient reason why canons are often encountered with mistrust. However, this mistrust is based on the popular fallacy that canons are static and homogenous, a notion which fails to do justice to both their inherent dynamic and striking variety.

The dialectics of inclusion and exclusion bring to light what is perhaps the most beneficiary effect of canons: their enormous ability to generate profound questions and instigate discussions of crucial issues. However suggestive of authorities canons may seem, through their dialectic movement, they rather challenge them. Because their open character invites us to reflect about what is of importance to us and not to submissively accept what is considered crucial by a tradition, which is also itself a system of canons.

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Manos Perrakis

I am a philosophical practitioner from Athens, Greece, based in Berlin, where I received my Ph.D. from Humboldt University. My areas of interest are History of Philosophy, Contemporary Philosophy, Aesthetics (Philosophy of Music), Philosophical Anthropology and Practical Philosophy.

As a philosophical practitioner, I offer education and consulting services for individuals and organizations. I have conducted philosophical cafés for the wide public and workshops for counseling professionals. My current focus lies on the development of education and consulting formats inspired by philosophy and literature.

My book publications include a monograph on Nietzsche’s philosophy of music in German, a novel in Greek, and an anthology of Early German Romanticism.

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