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The Life of Things, the Love of Things$
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Remo Bodei

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780823264421

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: September 2015

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823264421.001.0001

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Opening Up to the World

Opening Up to the World

(p.49) 2 Opening Up to the World
The Life of Things, the Love of Things

Remo Bodei

, Murtha Baca
Fordham University Press

We are surrounded by an innumerable variety of objects that saturate our daily existence and are waiting to be understood, depending upon where our interests lie. These objects have diverse physiognomies, and each one demands that it be considered singly. The process of understanding the life of things can be compared, initially, to the process of someone writing a text, pouring his ideas, experiences, and feelings into it. We call the subjectivity of the writer “subjective spirit,” and the text is “objective spirit,” a transposition of signs onto a material support, representing what the individual thinks, imagines, and feels. Everything that surrounds us and that makes up the human world is the work of billions of people (the dead and the living) who have shaped reality, leaving traces that survive their work and their physical disappearance. To understand this world made by humans it is necessary—in a second moment—to behave like the potential reader of that text, retranslating into one’s own language and inserting into one’s own mental horizon the meaning and content that have been deposited in the text by the writer. Thus we rise from the “objective spirit” to a new “subjective spirit” of the person who interprets a text written by someone else. The person who interprets a text becomes intersubjective, when anyone who has found or deciphered a particular document decides to make public whatever had remained encased, in inert, dead form, within the objects that bore it: tombstones, monuments, papyri, scrolls, papers.

Keywords:   Craftmen, Decipher, Duration, Everyday, Materiality, Memory, Persons, Read, Society, Things, Write, Memory

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