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Encyclopedia > Gianni Vattimo
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Gianni Vattimo at the National Gay Pride march, Como, 1999

Gianni Vattimo (born January 4, 1936) is an internationally recognized Italian author and politician. Many of his works have been translated into English. Image File history File links Vattimo,_Gianni_(1936-vivente)_-_Foto_di_Giovanni_Dall'Orto_-_Como_22-5-99. ... Image File history File links Vattimo,_Gianni_(1936-vivente)_-_Foto_di_Giovanni_Dall'Orto_-_Como_22-5-99. ... January 4 is the 4th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... 1936 (MCMXXXVI) was a leap year starting on Wednesday (link will take you to calendar). ... An author is the person who creates a written work, such as a book, story, article or the like. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ...

Contents

Biography

Vattimo was born in Turin, Piedmont. Turin (Italian: ; Piedmontese: Turin) is a major industrial city and business, cultural, and religious center in northwest Italy, capital of the Piedmont region, located mainly on the west bank of the Po River. ... Piedmont (Italian: Piemonte) is a region of northwestern Italy. ...


He studied philosophy under the existentialist Luigi Pareyson at the University of Turin, and graduated in 1959. After studying with Karl Löwith and Hans-Georg Gadamer in Heidelberg he returned to Turin where he became assistant professor in 1964, and later full professor of Aesthetics in 1969. While remaining at Turin, becoming Professor of Theoretical Philosophy in 1982, he has been a visiting professor at a number of American Universities. To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article may require cleanup. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article may require cleanup. ... The University of Turin (Italian Università degli Studi di Torino, UNITO) is the university of Turin in the Piedmont region of north-western Italy. ... 1959 (MCMLIX) was a common year starting on Thursday of the Gregorian calendar. ... Karl Löwith (9 January 1897 in Munich – 26 May 1973 in Heidelberg) was a German-Jewish philosopher, a student of Heidegger. ... Hans-Georg Gadamer Hans-Georg Gadamer (February 11, 1900 – March 13, 2002) was a German philosopher best known for his 1960 magnum opus, Truth and Method (Wahrheit und Methode). ... A view of the city from the castle (Schloss) The castle (Schloss) above the town Shopping district Heidelberg and the other cities of the Neckar valley View from the so called alley of philosophers (Philosophenweg) towards the Old Town, with Heidelberg Castle, Heiliggeist Church and the Old Bridge Heidelberg is... 1964 (MCMLXIV) was a leap year starting on Wednesday (the link is to a full 1964 calendar). ... Kittens are often considered quite cute. ... 1969 (MCMLXIX) was a common year starting on Wednesday (the link is to a full 1969 calendar). ... 1982 (MCMLXXXII) was a common year starting on Friday of the Gregorian calendar. ...


After being active in the Partito Radicale, the short-lived Alleanza per Torino, and the Democrats of the Left, Vattimo joined the Party of Italian Communists. Between 1999 and 2004 he was a member of the European Parliament. Categories: Politics stubs | Liberal related stubs | Liberal parties | Italian political parties ... The Democrats of the Left (Italian: Democratici di Sinistra, often referred to as DS) is the main Italian left-wing political party, part of the Ulivo electoral coalition. ... The Party of Italian Communists (Italian: Partito dei Comunisti Italiani, also translated into English as Italian Communists Party) is a political party in Italy. ... 1999 (MCMXCIX) was a common year starting on Friday, and was designated the International Year of Older Persons by the United Nations. ... 2004 (MMIV) was a leap year starting on Thursday of the Gregorian calendar. ... A Generoso Andria (European Peoples Party) Roberta Angelilli (Union for Europe of the Nations Group) B Paolo Bartolozzi (European Peoples Party) Sergio Berlato (Union for Europe of the Nations Group) Fausto Bertinotti (European United Left/Nordic Green Left) Roberto Felice Bigliardo (Union for Europe of the Nations Group...


He is openly homosexual, and an avowed Catholic. Since its coinage, the word homosexuality has acquired multiple meanings. ...


Vattimo’s Philosophy

His philosophy can be characterized as postmodern with his emphasis on "pensiero debole" (weak thought). This requires that the foundational certainties of modernity with its emphasis on objective truth founded in a rational unitary subject be relinquished for a more multi-faceted conception closer to that of the arts. Postmodernity (also called post-modernity or the postmodern condition) is a term used by philosophers, social scientists, art critics and social critics to refer to aspects of contemporary art, culture, economics and social conditions that are the result of the unique features of late 20th century and early 21st century... It has been suggested that Modern Times (history) be merged into this article or section. ...


Vattimo draws on the philosophy of Martin Heidegger with his critique of foundations and the hermeneutical philosophy of his teacher Hans-Georg Gadamer. Perhaps his greatest influence though is the thought of Friedrich Nietzsche whose “discovery of the 'lie', the discovery that alleged 'values' and metaphysical structures are just a play of forces” (1993:93), plays an important role in Vattimo’s notion of “weak thought”. Martin Heidegger (September 26, 1889 – May 26, 1976) was an influential German philosopher, best known as the author of Being and Time (1927). ... Hermeneutics (Hermeneutic means interpretive), is a branch of philosophy concerned with human understanding and the interpretation of texts. ... Hans-Georg Gadamer Hans-Georg Gadamer (February 11, 1900 – March 13, 2002) was a German philosopher best known for his 1960 magnum opus, Truth and Method (Wahrheit und Methode). ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ...


Being as event

Vattimo rejects any notion of a transcendental structure of reason or reality that would be given once and for all. This does not imply the loss of truth, but a Heideggarean reinterpretation of truth as the opening of horizons. Such truth is deeper than propositions which are made possible by such openings. Philosophies then are always responses to contingent questions, they are ‘ontologies of actuality’, a thesis that can be confirmed by the historico-cultural links of particular philosophies. For hermeneutics to be consistent with its own rejection of metaphysics, it must present itself, argues Vattimo “as the most persuasive philosophical interpretation of a situation or ‘epoch’” (1997:10). To do this Vattimo proposes a reading of hermeneutics as having a "nihilistic" vocation. In philosophy, transcendental/transcendence, has three different but related primary meanings, all of them derived from the words literal meaning (from Latin), of climbing or going beyond: one that originated in Ancient philosophy, one in Medieval philosophy and one in modern philosophy. ... Reason is a term used in philosophy and other human sciences to refer to the faculty of the human mind that creates and operates with abstract concepts. ... Proposition is a term used in logic to describe the content of assertions. ... Modal logic, or (less commonly) intensional logic is the branch of logic that deals with sentences that are qualified by modalities such as can, could, might, may, must, possibly, and necessarily, and others. ...


Nihilism as the truth of history

To Vattimo hermeneutics has become boring and vague lacking any clear significance for philosophical problems. His answer is to insist on the nihilistic consequences of hermeneutics. The claim that “there are no facts only interpretations and this too is an interpretation” amounts to saying that hermeneutics cannot be seen as the most accurate/true description of the permanent structures of reality of human existence. Hermeneutics is not a metaphysical theory in this sense and so can only be "proved" by being presented as the response to a history of being, a history of the fabling of the world, of the weakening of structures, that is as the occurrence of nihilism.


This nihilistic reading of history involves a certain attitude towards modernity whereby modernity is dissolved from within through a twisting, distorting radicalisation of its premises. Vattimo uses Heidegger’s term Verwindung to capture this postmodern recovery from modernity. It has been suggested that Modern Times (history) be merged into this article or section. ...


Weak thought and ethics

History as a process of weakening, (secularisation and disenchantment are other terms Vattimo uses) “assumes the form of a decision for non-violence” (1992:95). An ethics of communication along the lines suggested by Jürgen Habermas suffers, according to Vattimo, from finding itself in a substantially ahistorical position, while oscillating between formalism and cultural relativism(1992:117). For Vattimo it is only when hermeneutics accepts its nihilistic destiny that “it can find in ‘negativity’, in dissolution as the ‘destiny of Being’ … the orientating principle that enables it to realize its own original inclination for ethics whilst neither restoring metaphysics nor surrendering to the futility of a relativistic philosophy of culture”(1992:119) Ethics (from the Ancient Greek ethikos, meaning arising from habit), a major branch of philosophy, is the study of value or quality. ... Jürgen Habermas Jürgen Habermas (born June 18, 1929 in Düsseldorf) is a German philosopher, political scientist and sociologist in the tradition of critical theory, best known for his concept of the public sphere. ... The term formalism describes an emphasis on form over content or meaning in the arts, literature, or philosophy. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article may require cleanup. ...


Works

Selected works:

  • (1991) The End of Modernity: Nihilism and Hermeneutics in Post-modern Culture, Translated by John R. Snyder, Polity Press, 1991 Translation of La fine della modernità, Garzanti, Milan, 1985
  • (1992) The Transparent Society Translated by David Webb, Johns Hopkins University Press, 1994 Translation of La società trasparente, Garzanti, Milan, 1989
  • (1993) The Adventure of Difference: Philosophy after Nietzsche and Heidegger Translated by Thomas Harrison and Cyprian P. Blamires, Johns Hopkins University Press, 1993 Translation of Le avventure della differenza, Garzanti, Milan, 1980
  • (1997) Beyond Interpretation:The Meaning of Hermeneutics for Philosophy, Translated by David Webb, Stanford University Press, 1997 Translation of Oltre l'interpretazione, Laterza, Rome-Bari, 1994
  • (1998) Religion by Jacques Derrida, Edited by Gianni Vattimo, Translated by David Webb Stanford University Press, 1998
  • (1999) Belief by Gianni Vattimo, et al, Polity Press, 1999 Translation of Credere di credere, Garzanti, Milan, l996
  • (2002a) Nietzsche: Philosophy as Cultural Criticism Translated by Nicholas Martin Stanford University Press, 2002 Translation of Introduzione a Nietzsche, Laterza, Rome-Bari,1985
  • (2002b) After Christianity, New York: Columbia University Press, 2002.
  • (2004) Nihilism and Emancipation: Ethics, Politics and Law, Edited by Santiago Zabala, Columbia University Press, 2004
  • (2005) The Future of Religion, Richard Rorty and Gianni Vattimo, Edited by Santiago Zabala, Columbia University Press, 2005
  • (2006) After the Death of God, John D. Caputo and Gianni Vattimo, Edited by Jeffrey W. Robbins, Columbia University Press.

Works on Vattimo

  • (2007) Weakening Philosophy. Essays in Honour of Gianni Vattimo, Edited by Santiago Zabala [1], Montreal: McGill-Queen's University Press, 2007.

See also

This article or section needs a complete rewrite for the reasons listed on the talk page. ... Postmodern Christianity is an understanding of Christianity that is closely associated with the body of writings known as postmodern philosophy. ... Weak theology -- in close association with deconstruction-and-religion -- is a school of thought within continental philosophical theology that has been heavily influenced by Jacques Derridas style of theorizing known as deconstruction. ...

External links


  Results from FactBites:
 
Gianni Vattimo - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (908 words)
Gianni Vattimo (born January 4, 1936) is an internationally recognized Italian author and politician.
Vattimo draws on the philosophy of Martin Heidegger with his critique of foundations and the hermeneutical philosophy of his teacher Hans-Georg Gadamer.
Vattimo rejects any notion of a transcendental structure of reason or reality that would be given once and for all.
GIANNI VATTIMO (3782 words)
Vattimo theorizes the advent of a new era, governed by a "pensiero debole" (weak thought), which is neither demonstrative nor aggressive, but directed towards the "pietas" with respect to the historic values left to us in legacy and governed by the realization of a subject, neither unitary nor subordinate to logical selfconsciousness, but many-faceted.
Vattimo, relevant exponent of the "ermeneutica" of today and strongly influenced by the thought of Martin Heidegger and of Friedrich Nietzsche, is of the opinion that the overcoming of philosophy leads to the ethics of the interpretation.
Vattimo intends to retrace with this dialogue his journey of approach to the works of Nietzsche of the last forty years and at the same time to present his own interpretation of a philosophy which is too often manipulated and reduced to myth.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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