Contemporary Italian Philosophy

Crossing the Borders of Ethics, Politics, and Religion

Edited and translated by Silvia Benso
Edited by Brian Schroeder

Subjects: Continental Philosophy
Series: SUNY series in Contemporary Italian Philosophy
Paperback : 9780791471364, 324 pages, April 2007
Hardcover : 9780791471357, 324 pages, April 2007

Table of contents

Introduction: Contemporary Italian Philosophy: The Confrontation between Religious and Secular Thought 
Maurizio Pagano
Part 1. Marking the Borders: Historical Legacies
1. The Desire for Eternal Life: The Platonic Roots of Western Political Science and Its Ethical and Theological Consequences
Carlo Sini
2. Philosophy, Poetry, and Dreaming
Sergio Givone
3. Christianity and Nihilism
Vincenzo Vitiello
4. Philosophy and Christian Theology Today: A Hermeneutic Circularity as Fact and Task
Giovanni Ferretti
5.   Ontology of Actuality
Gianni Vattimo
Part 2. Crossing the Borders: Current Thematizations
6.   Metaphysics of Thinking, Metaphysics of Being
Virgilio Melchiorre
7. The Truth of Existence and the Sacred (ethos anthropo daimon)
Mario Ruggenini
8. Transcendental without Illusion: Or, The Absence of the Third Person
Marco Maria Olivetti
9.  Finitude and Responsibility: For an Ethics of the Finite in the Time of Risk
Salvatore Natoli
10. Praise of Modesty
Pier Aldo Rovatti
Part 3. Opening the Borders: The Appeal of the World
11. Logics of Delusion
Remo Bodei
12. Toward a Symbolic of Sexual Difference
Luisa Muraro
13. On Virtue
Emanuele Severino
14. Two Concepts of Utopia and the Idea of Global Justice
Salvatore Veca
15. The World and the West Today: The Problem of a Global Public Sphere
Giacomo Marramao
16. Names of Place: Border
Massimo Cacciari
Selected Bibliography
About the Editors

Leading Italian philosophers engage issues in ethics, politics, and religion.


Italian philosophy provides a long-overdue and much-needed supplement to continental thinking. This book offers some living and lively examples, some for the first time in English, of original thought from the Italian philosophical scene. The contributors—seventeen leading Italian philosophers—offer perspectives from many areas, particularly ethics, politics, and religion. Contemporary Italian Philosophy includes a primarily historical introduction and is composed of three parts, corresponding with the unfolding of past, present, and futural thinking.

Silvia Benso is Professor of Philosophy at Siena College. She is the author of The Face of Things: A Different Side of Ethics, also published by SUNY Press. Brian Schroeder is Professor of Philosophy and Director of Religious Studies at the Rochester Institute of Technology. He is coeditor (with Lissa McCullough) of Thinking through the Death of God: A Critical Companion to Thomas J. J. Altizer, also published by SUNY Press. Together they are coauthors of Pensare Ambientalista. Tra filosofia e ecologia.


"Benso and Schroeder's book is indispensable and a cause for celebration. There have lamentably been no collections that allow us entry into the Italian philosophical environment. This collection, in a way never done before in the English language, displays the majesty of the Italian philosophical scene. These philosophers are not epigones, but original and provocative thinkers. Contemporary Italian Philosophy single-handedly transforms one's sense of the continental philosophical terrain. " — Jason M. Wirth, author of The Conspiracy of Life: Meditations on Schelling and His Time