Italian philosopher Gianni Vattimo dies at 87

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The philosopher Gianni Vattimo He died this Tuesday night in the Rivoli hospital (Turin) at the age of 87. The scholar spent his last days hospitalized after his health deteriorated. The news of his death was given Simone Caminada38 years old, his assistant and partner for 14 years.

He considered himself both a communist and a Christian, but he was the anti-dogmatic thinker par excellence, the convinced opponent of the claim to describe the authentic order of reality through philosophy, or even science. Gianni Vattimo must be recognized for his coherence in the criticism of all metaphysical constructionexpressed in the posture commonly known as “weak thought“, from the title of a famous collection of essays that he edited with Pier Aldo Rovatti in 1983.

The Turin philosopher must also be recognized for having always tried to make his refined theoretical elaboration accessible to the average public. His writing was limpid, although suggestive, of which the autobiography Not being Godwritten with Piergiorgio Paterlini (Aliberti, 2006) is a formidable example. And he was always open to dialogue and participation in the most diverse initiatives. Even in the political field he did not hesitate to show his face: for a long time He was a member of the European Parliamentalways to the left, but gradually changing position.

Born January 4, 1936, Vattimo He was the son of a Calabrian carabinieri stationed in Turin, who had died of pneumonia when little Gianni was only 16 months old. Raised in precarious conditions, he always claimed his proletarian origins. Barely turning 18, he had become a diocesan delegate of Catholic Action students, from which he was soon expelled for his critical stance towards ecclesiastical authority. However, he always remembered with affection his teacher, Monsignor Pietro Caramela Catholic thinker with very conservative ideas, linked to the legacy of Thomas Aquinas.

In 1955, the future philosopher had joined the RAI with his friends Furio Colombo and Umberto Eco, but abandoned it after a couple of years. His true path was to university, under the direction of another important professor and friend, Luigi Pareyson. Vattimo had graduated in 1959 with a thesis on Aristotle and in 1964, at only 28 years old, he had joined teaching as a professor of Aesthetics. The previous year his book had been published Being, history and language in Heidegger (Marietti, 1963), which already indicated a line of research with original features.

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