- Why did everyone start to hate the Russians if the U.S. did the same thing in Afghanistan, Iraq?
- What needs to be corrected in the management of Russia first?
- Why did Blaise Pascal become a religious man at the end of his life?
- How do I know if a guy likes you?
- When they say "one generation", how many do they mean?
Girard's mimetic theory is criticized in some of her works by the Italian philosopher Barbara Carnevali. In the article ” The desire for a different life. Karnevali's Proust, Girard and Envy argues that Girard's reading of Proust through the prism of his mimetic theory is based on a three-step reduction of human nature. First, Girard reduces all the richness of Proust's “phenomenology of passions” to desire, then he reduces desire to mimetic desire, and mimetic desire to a specific form of mimetic desire, which he considers characteristic of modern societies – envy between equals. Girard's envy is a perverse form of love for God, which in secularized modern societies turns to the other. This perverted love is expressed in modern culture in such phenomena as idolatry, the cult of personality, the cult of celebrities, when the object of adoration is attributed to divine qualities.
The object of love itself, to which the mimetic desire is directed, has no intrinsic value, its prestige and charm are only the result of an imaginary projection of envy. Love and adoration always conceal envy, a consequence of an ontological lack. The subject of envy seeks, ultimately, to destroy the object of his envy, to take away his being. Therefore, envy is one step away from violence. Karenwali believes that Girard borrowed such a pessimistic view of human nature from the negative anthropology of St. Augustine, which describes human passions negatively – as pathologies, a consequence of the fall. So the model of mimetic desire is a theological model.
Karnevali offers an alternative reading of ” In Search of Lost Time “in the light of Plato's tradition of understanding erotic desire as described in the legend of Eros in Plato's” Feast”. Unlike mimetic desire, Plato's Eros does not seek to take being away from another, but to participate in it. Therefore, Karnevali's analysis rehabilitates such an unsightly feature of human nature as snobbery. Snobbery, like love in Proust, should be understood not as a desire to destroy, to take away the existence of another, on whom envy is directed, but a desire to be invited, to become part of the circle of the chosen. This reading of Proust, while not denying some of Girard's important insights into the fate of human religious aspirations in modern societies, shows that mimetic theory is limited to a theological view of human nature.