Interview with Dona Marisa Alcaide

We interview Doña Marisa Alcaide, coordinator of the Philosophy seminar “The clearing in the forest: The question of the subject facing the challenges of globalization”, which begins on 7th March at the Elena Pessino Center for Cultural Diffusion aiming to provide the necessary tools and open a space to think and reflect on reality and its possibilities, contributing to critical judgment in order to envision alternatives to the current one-track single –minded thinking.

What is your opinion of the activities taking place at the Foundation and the recent inauguration of the Elena Pessino Center of Cultural Diffusion?

Both the work done by the Foundation in the field of functional diversity and risk of social exclusion and the commitment to knowledge and culture seem very important and very necessary. In our world, run by the principle of productivity, only in economic terms and in the short term, these issues have little “interest” thus they are not a priority for governments. And if we talk about philosophy, which is permanently questioned in the curricula… The less that individuals think and reflect, the easier the ownership and control of the masses. So we can thank the Foundation for contributing to help cover something so lacking yet so real in our current society.

What are your expectations regarding the results of the seminar?

They are very high. We are fortunate to be accompanied by Teresa Oñate, one of our great philosophers, with whom I have worked hand in hand in the design of this seminar. Along with the other professors as speakers, the wisest voices of critical philosophical thought in this country. They will pull us out of our comfort zones, as a psychologist would say. They will  shake us awake from our everyday apathy. They will alter the course that marks the dominant one-track single thought. How will they do this? Well, as Heidegger would say, by pointing out the ways of thinking. I hope the experience transforms us and leaves us wanting to change the world and equips us with key elements to carry it out. So, to briefly answer your question, yes, I have very high expectations and I am very optimistic that we will accomplish this.

What will the seminar provide for participants?

As we have said, hopefully it will provide some clues as to how to think from another perspective about alternative to the established “common sense”, by questioning our reality from a viewpoint of philosophical criticism, which has nothing to do with the usual television debates. It involves looking back at the classics that are the basis of our reflection, by looking for answers and alternatives as to how to live within an indifferent ghastly world? This would be one of our main questions to deal with.

What is the reason for the choice of title “The clearing in the forest”?

“The clearing in the forest” has been borrowed from Martin Heidegger. He used this term to explain the happening of truth in terms of revelation and concealment. When you walk through a dark forest and come to a clearing, as well enlightening you, it also allows you to see the forest. The clearing always stops you. We felt it was a beautiful and very appropriate title as a general framework for a philosophy seminar. Opening a clearing in our lives in order to think and reflect. However, it is the sub-heading: “THE QUESTION OF THE SUBJECT FACING THE CHALLENGES OF GLOBALIZATION” which focuses and conveys the seminar.

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