Studi Slavistici V • 2008

Metafore spaziali della conoscenza di sé nei dialoghi di H.S. Skovoroda. Fonti patristiche

Published January 3, 2009
How to Cite
Bartolini, M. G. (2009). Metafore spaziali della conoscenza di sé nei dialoghi di H.S. Skovoroda. Fonti patristiche. Studi Slavistici, 5(1), 65-88.


Spatial Metaphors for Self-knowledge in the dialogues of H.S Skovoroda. Patristic Sources

In this paper the Author analyzes some spatial metaphors informing H.S. Skovoroda’s representation of self-knowledge as a dynamic process. Knowledge of the true self – which is one of the recurring themes in the Ukrainian philosopher’s oeuvre – is often portrayed as tension between open (e.g. streets, markets, the sky, the planets…) and closed spaces (e.g. the house, the room), with the ‘home’ being a symbol for the soul. As man seeking communion with God has to abandon what lies outside his inner self, the authentic gnoseological process is represented as an introverted movement through symbolic space. Broadly speaking, this very opposition harks back to Philo of Alexandria and Patristic thought, whose anti-physicist stance shaped their rejection of the phenomenological world as an ‘interior vs. exterior’ contrast. Furthermore, the broader biblical context in which those spatial terms appear is also taken into account, while demonstrating Skovoroda’s partial dependence on Patristic models. The fi nal part of the paper argues that the scheme underlying Neo-platonic emanation – which is itself to be considered as an oscillation between unity and dispersion – appears to be a symbolic model for Skovoroda’s spatial representation of self-knowledge.