At least since German idealism and Hegel’s fascination with Greek tragedy, thinkers have increasingly turned to drama. The first point we want to focus on is whether the issue may not be deeper: if drama is in fact part of philosophy. In 2002, Martin Puchner made a very intelligent review of how, since Plato, philosophy is at the same time dependent on theatre but always denying the theatre that exists. "Heidegger had captured the turn of the ontology for the philosophy of language with the wording 'language is the house of being', a different tradition of philosophy appears to believe that this is a home theatre." (524) "The history of the theory can not be considered independently of theatre history (...): Plato/Greek Tragedy; Deleuze/Artaud, Nietzsche/Wagner; Derrida/Mallarmé; Benjamin/Trauerspiel"(529) But "the theory creates its own concepts of theatricality, which tend to be at odds with the real theatre." (530). As we can see already in Plato, who wrote tragedies when he was young, and, according to Diogenes Laertius (apud Barish 5), would have even begun to passionately learn the dramatic art, until he was "cured" by the teachings of Socrates. But by choosing, within the various existing forms of philosophical writing, the dialogues between different characters, Plato devoted himself not only to reject, but to compete with the theatre. In The Birth of Tragedy, Nietzsche was the first to describe Plato's dialogues as a combination of tragedy and comedy, even as the creation of a new synthetic genre: romance. Mikhail Bakthin adopted this argument (without assigning it to Nietzsche) and, more recently, Puchner (522-523) developed it. This drama is not intended to be performed, given Plato’s aversion for the device: actors waving and showing off for a mass, which comes together to see more than to think. Thus, Puchner says, Plato invents a new form of theatricality, which we may call the first closet drama - an expression used for the drama that is written to be read and not represented, either in antiquity or, more frequently, after the seventeenth century. "Conceived by the enemy of the theater, the closet drama is a form specifically designed to keep off the theatre, but also and more importantly, to take his place. Far from giving up of all the theatricality, Plato moves the experience of attending the theatre for the act of reading a closet drama, which becomes the new forum for the activity of philosophizing. "(Puchner 523)

The French Symbolists took the same path: "In the absence of real theater, the theatrical gestures of the mime, described in the texts of Mallarmé, become, in the famous reading of Derrida, nothing more than a peculiar form of writing, theater is thus assimilated to the status of text and writing. (A similar attempt to transform a theory based on theatre into a theory based on the dramatic text can be found in The Origin of German Tragic Drama, when Benjamin imposes on Baroque theater the notion of textual allegory.)" (Puchner 526).

Deleuze also tried to "invent, in philosophy, an equivalent of the theatre" (he said it in Différence et répétition: 17), but instead of writing a drama to be read because it rejects the existing representation, it is based on an Avant-Garde Theatre, antitextual, that had already manifests the criticism of theatre (see the whole legacy of Artaud). "As Plato competed with Greek tragedy, Deleuze borrowed a theatre that had already separated itself from acting, so at odds with the theatre as any Platonic philosopher could be. The turning of Deleuze towards the theatre was therefore possible because of the remoteness of Artaud from it. (...) This is why the theory does not need to turn against the representational practices of the theatre, the theatre itself has taken the vanguard of this critical role in the aggressiveness of formulating their own theatrical imagination."(527-528) As for Nietzsche, he is in a dual position: he has a pro-theatrical philosophy as long as Wagner's work is still conceptual and programmatic, "of the future"; but when his operas begin to be staged, when Louis II sponsors the Bayreuth institution, Nietzsche never ceases to ridicule it, switching to an anti-theatrical stance. "As with Plato, we can see here that what motivates the anti-theatrical position is not an ideological aversion against the theatre, but rather a dependence upon it." (529)

This project, along with a review of this multiple dependences between philosophy and drama, also wants to account for the increasing use of what, in a 1983 article, Clifford Geertz (66) called the "dramatic analogy ": from the second half of the century XX, theory increasingly uses the ideas of performance, embodiment, mask, physicality, scene, and stage. But it is not enough that theory gives attention to theatricality, it is also necessary that the theory itself is aware of it. Hence the other two aspects of the project: to develop the contribution of dramatic concepts to philosophical thought, and vice versa, to develop the contribution of philosophy to the scenic languages. Deleuze believes that Nietzsche and Kierkegaard, while reconstructing philosophy as an immediate act, "invent an amazing equivalent of the theater within philosophy," and thus they not only create a new philosophy but also a "theater of the future”. The problem is that we still don’t know what theater can be born out of the vision of Deleuze, or that of Nietzsche. Badiou and then Peter Hallward (cf. Cull 11) criticized the fact that Deleuze is a thinker of the theater de-embedded or de-materialized; it is a literary or philosophical approach with little connection to the specific language of the scene, which does not prevent some contemporary directors to depart from Deleuze to create scenic languages. But in fact the concept of "body without organs", which Deleuze so much takes up from Artaud, and which among us José Gil (2001) developed so brightly, is, like Nietzsche's Dionysus, "essentially imageless, having nothing to do with the body itself”; and, “despite the ecstatic vanity of [Artaud’s] vision of an anti-theatre, its excruciating mystery, with apparitions from beyond, there is no performance without the always vulnerable, material body” (Blau, 2009:33). According to Gil (2001:73-74), even in the book Mille Plateaux, where Deleuze develops the concept of "body without organs," which means the plan of immanence here, "after reading these very dense pages, a mystery remains as to the purpose of 'what should be done’ to evade the strata and build a full body. For we still do not see what changes we should make the body suffer so that it becomes a plan of immanence.” We begin to see this when Gil remarkably shows how a dancer proceeds. This project will also work to do the same for the other arts, based not only in Deleuze, but on all authors who included a theatre within philosophy. Some books recently published have placed in the current agenda the "intersections between theater, performance and philosophy”.

Finally, to sharply define the terminology: "drama" is a semantic field used by all and we know of its polysemy. Here, we characterize what is “dramatic” as what takes place on a stage or on movie screen and also what happens in everyday life. It is true that there may be, in some languages or in some literary studies, the tendency to associate "drama" only to written text, or dramatic literature, but nothing forces us to do so and that is not at all our intention. In many excellent cases, the dramatic is even associated with what transcends text. For instance, Benjamin wrote: "In the dramatic, the mystery is precisely that point where it transcends the realm of its own language into another realm, higher and inaccessible to that language. So it can never express itself in words, but only in representation; this is the 'dramatic' in its most rigorous sense" (apud Lehmann 68). Precisely, this project seeks to distance itself from past discussions on "Philosophy and Literature", for it does not understand drama as (mere) literature, but rather in its performative dimension. It is precisely by the multiplicity of its languages that drama can enrich the philosophy of language: this project will accept contributions that refer to any of the languages used in the scene, from text to movement or space, as well as case studies in which the dramatic is found in theater, dance, film, opera, or in euphoric or dysphoric situations of everyday life.