EducationEssaysFeature

Gianni Vattimo Interview

Gianni Vattimo is considered to be among the most important living European philosophers, alongside Charles Taylor, and Jürgen Habermas.  Known for his interpretation of Nietzsche’s and Heidegger’s philosophies, he also developed a postmodern theory he calls “weak thought,” meant to question the hard objectivity of claims in religion, politics, and culture. Over several decades he maintained a dialogue and correspondence with Jacques Derrida, Richard Rorty, and René Girard. In this interview, he reflects on his life and work, on the occasion of a new Vattimo archive opening in Barcelona.

Claudio Gallo is currently culture editor at La Stampa, a major Italian newspaper. He has also worked as a foreign desk editor and London correspondent, and has written for AsiaTimes, Enduring AmericaRT.com and the Los Angeles Review of Books. His main interests include Middle East politics and Western philosophy. He interviewed Gianni Vattimo for Public Seminar. …

READ MORE →
EssaysLiberal Democracy in QuestionMedia/Publics

Diagnosing American Politics

What the rise of Trump says about American democracy

I have a morbid fascination with Carl Schmitt. Morbid, because he manages to condense, in his political theory and philosophy of law, pretty much everything I find repulsive about the radical right. His pessimism about “human nature” is raw and simplistic and, unlike Hobbes, whom he superficially resembles, he is uninterested in clamping down on sin-infected humanity by way of a social contract that invests all sovereignty in an …

READ MORE →
EducationEssays

The German Geist Dwells Nowhere

The turmoil surrounding Heidegger’s Black Notebooks achieved new heights recently, with Freiburg University’s announcement that its legendary Heidegger Lehrstuhl would be abolished and converted to a junior professorship in logic (!) and analytic philosophy, as if to deliberately obliterate Heidegger’s legacy. Apparently, the Lehrstuhl has become too controversial. This decision may well be scandalous, as Markus Gabriel argued on March 3rd in Süddeutsche Zeitung, but the reasons he marshals in defense of a Heidegger Lehrstuhl in his essay — “Where Does German Spirit Dwell?” — seem to us to create needless confusion. A collegial response is in order.

 

READ MORE →
EssaysLiberal Democracy in QuestionTheory & Practice

Heidegger’s Black Notebooks: Extreme Silencing

The Black Notebooks (Die Schwarzen Hefte), containing Martin Heidegger’s assorted thoughts from the 1930s and 40s, throw new light on the self-aggrandizement into totalitarianism of the most German of all philosophers.

The Freiburg professor of philosophy was not yet 50 years old when, in 1937 and 1938, he retraced his way of thought (Denkweg): He conjoined manuscripts of his various books, talks and lectures in a factual (sachlich) and discerning manner, with a view to ascertaining how all of it should be continued, including a publication strategy. Buoyed by the feeling that he had already achieved the “authentic” breakthrough by 1936, as he wrote to his brother Fritz in 1948, he was henceforward convinced of his ability to lead Western philosophy into a form of “thinking” purified by a history of being and event (or enowning) (seins-und ereignisgeschichtlich geläutert) and thus freed …

READ MORE →