Title: Dynamics of Legitimation: History, Myth, and the Construction of IdentityAuthor: Flavio CassinariTranslated by Giacomo Donis (text) and Anna Morselli (notes)Imprint: The Davies Group, Publishers284 pp.soft coverUSD 28.00ISBN 978-1934542156Pub date: January, 2010Cassinari investigates how time shapes human identity, both individual and collective. It is part of the author’s thesis that all empirical representations of time and of human identity can be reduced to just two paradigms, defined here as “historical” and “mythical” experience, which share the same transcendental structure, defined here as a “dynamics of legitimation.” Thus, historical perspective and mythopoeia are responsible for the actual representations that time takes, all the way from ancient to modern societies, and the “dynamics of legitimation” is the condition for the possibility of the historical and mythical experience of human identity and time. Presenting themes tackled by different academic disciplines (in particular, Philosophy, Anthropology, Sociology, and Classical Studies), the book adopts a transdisciplinary approach to the connection between time and human identity, and it gives a non-specialist answer to specialized problems on human identity arisen in historical studies and social science. Through the original concept of “dynamics of legitimation,” this book offers a philosophical focus on conceptual assumptions on human identity common to different social sciences. The book fulfils the scientific criteria proper to each discipline, and it takes into consideration the most up-to-date literature, but it makes a deliberate effort to bridge the gap between different types of expertise: it touches on aspects of wider cultural interest using a language that translates the specialized concepts of each discipline, in order to make them interact with each other.ContentsIntroductionChapter One History1. Historia rerum gestarum1.1 Searching for causes1.2 Truth and usefulness2. Res gestae2.1 The essence of mankind and its progress2.2 Novelty: time as object and its calculation2.3 Order and becoming: law and freedom3. The subject and its time3.1 The form of historical identity3.2 Historical identity, cause and time3.3 Political willChapter Two Myth1. From history to myth1.1 Myth and myths2. Mythical identity2.1 Functionality2.2 Pluralization and fragmentation2.3 Individual and collective3. Mythical time3.1 Function and repetition3.2 Mythical causalityChapter Three Dynamics of Legitimation1. Empirical and transcendental1.1 Factual co-existence of history and myth1.2 The common transcendental structure and its identity-orientation2. Elements of the dynamics of legitimation2.1 Primacy of the present2.2 Causality: interaction and abduction2.3 Belonging and distancingConclusionsNotesBibliographyAuthor IndexSubject IndexReviews“A magisterial work of interpretation of the relationship between identity and the perception of time. A profound analysis casting new light on the traditional opposition between historical reason and mythical experience. A must to understand what is concealed behind the birth of the modern subject.”—Jocelyn Benoist, White’s Visiting Professor in HumanitiesUniversity of Chicago“Flavio Cassinari’s book is a rare example of theoretical clarity and erudition, spanning from Kant to Heidegger, from Benjamin to Merleau-Ponty, from classical antiquity studies to anthropology, always holding focus, and engaging with original thought and interpretive suggestions that deserve careful consideration and discussion.”—Remo Bodei, University of California, Los Angeles“Flavio Cassinari’s last work is a pressing question concerning human experience and its development through the experience of time. It can be viewed as a long journey through contemporary philosophy, carried out by a truly enviable knowledge of authors and texts, and an uncommonly rich analysis of its main themes.”—Fulvio Papi, Emeritus Professor, University of PaviaAbout the AuthorFlavio Cassinari was Professor of Philosophical Hermeneutics at the University of Pavia, where he was a member of the Interdepartmental Committee for Cognitive Sciences. He was also a member of the editorialboard of the philosophical journal “Fenomenologia e società.” Cassinari specialized in German classical philosophy and contemporary phenomenology and hermeneutics. He authored three monographs on these subject areas: Definizione e rappresentazione (Definition and Representation, 1994), where he demonstrated that the ontological question is rooted in the anthropological one, Mondo, esistenza, verità (World, Existence, Truth, 2001), where he pointed out different ontological approaches in Heidegger’s Seinsfrage, from which different positions in the contemporary continental philosophy derive, and Il pensiero poetante (The Poetic Thought, 2000), where he focused the link between Heidegger’s philosophical concept of language and his poetical practice. Working with anthropologists, sociologists, classicists and epistemologists of human sciences, in three books Cassinari distanced himself from the Phenomenological and Hermeneutical tradition in order to re-think the notion of subjectivity and its historical character: in Passato e presente (Past and Present, 2000), Cassinari showed advantages and difficulties of the hermeneutical approach to historical knowledge, and in Dalla differenza al soggetto (From Difference to Subject, 2000), he used for the first time the concept of “dynamics of legitimation,” as a historical link between human beings and their past. In Tempo e identità (Time and Identity), published in 2005, the “dynamics of legitimation” is delineated as a transcendental pattern, which founds the shaping of human identity, both individual and collective.