The goal of this forum is not simply to celebrate this important year for Vattimo but also to engage his thought critically. This is why I invited thinkers to interpret his philosophy of religion (Noëlle Vahanian), nihilism (Robert T. Valgenti), political thought (Katerina Kolozova), and the latest developments of weak thought (William Egginton). Their concise contributions allow us to acknowledge the significance and diversity of Vattimo’s philosophical work. Yet Vattimo was more than philosopher who wrote seminal studies of Nietzsche and Heidegger, influencing such thinkers as Richard Rorty and Jacques Derrida: he was also a politician who relentlessly fought for and endorsed progressive policies both in Italy and at the European Union, where he was a deputy for 10 years. The pieces here honor both aspects of his legacy.
Even though Vattimo has retired from political and academic life, he is hardly inactive. Like other “retired” philosophers, such as Ágnes Heller and Jürgen Habermas, he continues to engage in philosophical, political, and cultural debates throughout the world. This forum testifies to that continued engagement.
Santiago Zabala is ICREA Research Professor of Philosophy at Pompeu Fabra University and author of The Remains of Being (2009), The Hermeneutic Nature of Analytic Philosophy (2008), and co-author, with Gianni Vattimo, of Hermeneutic Communism (2011).