Boyan Manchev

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Clouds. Philosophy of the Free Body

(Sofia: Metheor, 2020, in Bulgarian: Облаци. Философия на свободното тяло).

(Translated from the Bulgarian by Katerina Popova)

Clouds - english edition

Philosophy is in debt to poetry. But it is also in debt to science, whose poetic attitude philosophy has ceased to understand. Philosophy is in debt to the creative power of nature itself, and therefore to freedom. Philosophy must think what makes it possible; only then will it reopen its possibility.

Therefore: the clouds.

Besides being a difficult, if not paradoxical, object of science or figure of representation, or a privileged poetic image, could clouds also be a philosophical concept? Yes, is the answer of philosophical fantastics –

the method introduced by the book Clouds. Philosophy of the Free Body. Yes, because every concept is a cloud. The cloud is a form that thinks.

Neither a Hyperborean nor a white horseman, the cloud is an enigma which, before being thought, thinks us.

The cloud is a form that thinks. New philosophy means a new form. That is why the book about clouds, the cloudy book, is also a prolegomenon to a new philosophy of form. 

Ontology of the Cloud 

The cloud is a more solid foundation for ontology than any other element. Anaximander knows that crossing the boundless inevitably leads to an area eternally shrouded in clouds. The boundary is a cloudy space, condensed space. There, time bends and warps. 

Anaximander walked in our footsteps. He rode our waves. He drank of our breath, encountering our cloud, our mist that soaked the sea, pale-pink swirls rolling along its shimmering surface at dawn, accompanied by the hollow murmur of the dark water, by the silence of the gloomy depths. The unknown and the frightening visit us in these liminal spaces, in these spectral places. The ship sails on, every breath abates, as though air slides on air, there’s no momentum, no acceleration, nor is there inertia without a force. When the mist clears, what will we see there?