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Philosophy Today

Volume 60, Issue 3, Summer 2016

Stefano G. Azzarà
Pages 703-722
DOI: 10.5840/philtoday2016713128

Gianni Vattimo
From Weak Thought to Hermeneutics as a “Second Realism” and a Philosophy of Praxis

Since the 1980s, Vattimo’s “Weak Thought” has been an emendation of his previous revolutionary and dialectical reading of Nietzsche. Marxist terrorism in Europe exposed the indissoluble link between dialectics and violence, and consequently Vattimo’s revision was a rejection of any reconstructive effort for a new political and social order. But in the age of Silvio Berlusconi, Vattimo rediscovered the joy of political commitment. Ecce Comu was a call to pursue “a project of human emancipation” founded “on the search for equality.” More recently, Of Reality and Hermeneutic Communism are a rejection of neoliberal philosophies and constitute a jump back to the Seventies. Vattimo aims once again to change the world and reality, a reality that other philosophies (Ferraris’ New Realism) simply contemplate as a pure fact. Vattimo defends the “revolutionary” meaning of hermeneutics against realism’s conservative tendencies and develops a project close to Gramsci’s “philosophy of praxis.”