Italian Philosophy in Precarious Times
Fourteen Italian philosophers reflect on how the global experience of vulnerability and precariousness—of which the Covid-19 pandemic is but one example—compels us to rethink life and collective living.
This volume gathers fourteen contributions written by Italian philosophers within the context of the precariousness and vulnerability revealed by the Covid-19 pandemic. The pandemic compels us to rethink what is affected most by this global occurrence yet does not end with it—that is, life. Beyond the geographical, socio-political, and medical contexts in which the reflections originate, Rethinking Life is deeply utopian, presenting aspirations toward a different configuration of life and collective living centered on relational subjectivities, interconnectedness, interdependence, and, ultimately, solidarity. How does the pandemic—what it represents and exposes—call us to rethink our notion of life? How does an episode of morbidity affect a fuller understanding of life? Can such a hermeneutic shift be dared and sustained? The sobriety of the reflections yields elegant, incisive, and direct prose of profound effect and immediacy—and a captivating, lucid, and thought-provoking narrative.
Silvia Benso is Professor of Philosophy and Director of the Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Program at the Rochester Institute of Technology. She is the author and editor of many books, including coeditor (with Elvira Roncalli) of Contemporary Italian Women Philosophers: Stretching the Art of Thinking, also published by SUNY Press.
"This volume represents the best that philosophy has to offer the contemporary world: deeply probing, reflective responses to a world in crisis. The reader will find in these essays precisely the kind of original thought and sensitivity to present and future uncertainty demanded by a global pandemic. Most impressively, they will find a refusal to flee the vulnerability that is our human condition." — Diane Enns, Ryerson University
"An extraordinary, timely, provocative, and engrossing volume. Benso collects an exceptional range of Italian voices, all of whom are rooted in their own cultural points of reference yet widely conversant with global thought in a Continental idiom, as they confront philosophically an experience with which we are all grappling." — Jason M. Wirth, Seattle University