Gianni Vattimo

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Date and place of birth: 1936, Turin, Italy

Living place: Turin, Italy

Theme: phylosophy, politics

ECC Participation: panel member

Vattimo is an Italian philosopher, member of the European Parliament and writer for “La Stampa” and “L’Unita.” An expert on modernist thought and philosophical hermeneutics of the last 200 years, he is generally acknowledged as a preeminent postmodernist. In 1985, he published “The End of Modernity”, one of the most important books on the subject of postmodernism.

”It is only thanks to God that I'm an atheist.”

In 1959, he graduated from the Faculty of Letters and Philosophy at the University of Turin. In 1982, he became a professor at his alma mater. He also studied with Hans-Georg Gadamer at Heidelberg and is considered is one of the German philosopher’s greatest students. Vattimo is known for creative interpretation of Nietzsche (“Dialogo con Nietzsche,” published in 2001) and Martin Heidegger. He defines the postmodern situation as reality lacking the unity of human nature and the world and claims that unity is one of Western culture’s more dangerous myths. Instead of fostering peace and improving living conditions, it contributes to their destruction. It was used as justification for the Global War on Terrorism, total unification and imperialism insensitive to cultural differences.

Vattimo is very active in public life and sympathizes with leftist groups. From 1999 to 2004 he served as a member of the European Parliament winning back his seat in 2009. He fights for a less dogmatic and more merciful Catholic church. He thinks that the idea of Christian love could be helpful in our multicultural, globalized age. In 2005, Vattimo and Richard Rorty published “The Future of Religion” in which, using Nietzschean notions of experience and modern hermeneutics, they painted a paradoxical picture of atheist Christianity.


 

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