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This entry presents different modes for understanding the notion of silence. Metaphorically, it is used in different cultures to signal different extremes: a technique of mystical revelation of the self, or, on the other extreme, a sinister resonance that recalls death. As such, silence is a term that often refers to the ambiguity of life in the threshold of revelation and/or in the limit between life and death. In the West, the rise of silence as a value has been associated with the rise of the modern, rational subject, tied in turn to an aesthetics of attentive listening and an...

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