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The Responsibility of the Philosopher by Gianni Vattimo

The Responsibility of the Philosopher


The Responsibility of the Philosopher by Gianni Vattimo

Over the course of his career, Gianni Vattimo has assumed a number of public and private identities and has pursued multiple intellectual paths. He seems to embody several contradictions, at once defending and questioning religion and critiquing and serving the state. Yet the diversity of his life and thought form the very essence of, as he sees it, the vocation and responsibility of the philosopher. In a world that desires quantifiable results and ideological expediency, the philosopher becomes the vital interpreter of the endlessly complex. As he outlines his ideas about the philosopher's role, Vattimo builds an important companion to his life's work. He confronts questions of science, religion, logic, literature, and truth, and passionately defends the power of hermeneutics to engage with life's conundrums. Vattimo conjures a clear vision of philosophy as something separate from the sciences and the humanities but also intimately connected to their processes, and he explicates a conception of truth that emphasizes fidelity and participation through dialogue.


There is no better guide to Gianni Vattimo's philosophy than Franca D'Agostini's introduction to this book. One of Vattimo's most skilled students, D'Agostini manages to present both the logic behind weak thought and the novelty of this text, which reveals the Italian master's intuitions on crucial problems of contemporary philosophy. -- Santiago Zabala, author of The Remains of Being: Hermeneutic Ontology After Metaphysics

About the Author

Gianni Vattimo is emeritus professor of philosophy at the University of Turin and a member of the European Parliament. His books with Columbia University Press include Hermeneutic Communism: From Heidegger to Marx; A Farewell to Truth; Christianity, Truth, and Weakening Faith: A Dialogue; Not Being God: A Collaborative Autobiography; Art's Claim to Truth; After the Death of God; Dialogue with Nietzsche; The Future of Religion (with Richard Rorty); Nihilism and Emancipation: Ethics, Politics, and the Law; and After Christianity.

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Book Info

Publication date

19th June 2012


Gianni Vattimo

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Columbia University Press


168 pages


Social & political philosophy
Ethics & moral philosophy



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