Viva Voce

Conversations with Italian Philosophers

By Silvia Benso

Subjects: Philosophy, Italian Studies
Series: SUNY series in Contemporary Italian Philosophy
Paperback : 9781438463780, 318 pages, January 2018
Hardcover : 9781438463797, 318 pages, April 2017

Alternative formats available from:

Table of contents

Introduction: Italian Philosophy—Threshold between Cultures

Part I. Ethics, Passions, Practices

Logics of Delusion, Passions, and Time
A Conversation with Remo Bodei

Ethics, Bioethics, and Ethical Sentimentalism
A Conversation with Eugenio Lecaldano

Life, Suffering, Happiness, and Virtue
A Conversation with Salvatore Natoli

Truth, Figures of Truth, and Practices of Life
A Conversation with Carlo Sini

Metaphysics, Ethics, and Applied Ethics
A Conversation with Carmelo Vigna

Part II. History, Justice, Communities

Sexual Difference, Relational Space, and Embodied Singularities
A Conversation with Adriana Cavarero

Ontology of Contingency, Power, and Historical Space-Time
A Conversation with Giacomo Marramao

Philosophy of Right, Historiography, and Individuality
A Conversation with Fulvio Tessitore

Interpretation, History, and Politics
A Conversation with Gianni Vattimo

Global Justice, Democracy, Uncertainty, and Incompleteness
A Conversation with Salvatore Veca

Part III. Imagination, Art, Technology

Technology, Communication, and Aesthetics of the Sublime
A Conversation with Mario Costa

Freedom, Guilt, Nihilism, and Tragic Thought
A Conversation with Sergio Givone

Imagination, Rituality, and Transit
A Conversation with Mario Perniola
Part IV. Rationality, Sciences, Experience

Mathematics, Sciences, Objectivity, and System Theory
A Conversation with Evandro Agazzi

Mathematics, Freedom, and Conflictual Democracy
A Conversation with Giulio Giorello

Science, Knowledge, Rationality, and Empirical Realism
A Conversation with Paolo Parrini

Part V. Being, Nothing, Temporality, Place

Metaphysics, Experience, and Transcendence
A Conversation with Enrico Berti

The Absolute, Finite Beings, and Symbolic Language
A Conversation with Virgilio Melchiorre

Being, Memory, and the Present
A Conversation with Ugo Perone

Being, Becoming, and the Destiny of Truth
A Conversation with Emanuele Severino

Topology, Nothingness, and the Possible God
A Conversation with Vincenzo Vitiello

Part VI. Human Beings, Evil, Transcendence

Religious Experience, Philosophy, and Theology
A Conversation with Giovanni Ferretti

Person, Evil, and Eschatology
A Conversation with Giuseppe Riconda

Select Bibliography

Firsthand perspectives on the past, present, and future of contemporary Italian philosophy.


Through conversations with twenty-three leading Italian philosophers representing a variety of scholarly concerns and methodologies, this volume offers an informal overview of the background, breadth, and distinctiveness of contemporary Italian philosophy as a tradition. The conversations begin with general questions addressing issues of provenance, domestic and foreign influences, and lineages. Next, each scholar discusses the main tenets, theoretical originality, and timeliness of their work. The interviews conclude with thoughts about what directions each philosopher sees the discipline heading in the future. Every conversation is a testimony to the differences that characterize each thinker as unique and that invigorate the Italian philosophical landscape as a whole. The individual replies differ widely in tone, focus, and style. What emerges is a broad, deep, lively, and even witty picture of the Italian philosophical landscape in the voices of its protagonists.

Silvia Benso is Professor of Philosophy at the Rochester Institute of Technology. She is the author, editor, and translator of several books, including Contemporary Italian Philosophy: Crossing the Borders of Ethics, Politics, and Religion (coedited with Brian Schroeder) and The Face of Things: A Different Side of Ethics, both also published by SUNY Press.