Gianni Vattimo

Gianni Vattimo is one of Italy’s greatest living philosophers, whose writings represent a highly original contribution to debates on the nature of modernity, political commitment and religion. Professor of Theoretical Philosophy at the University of Turin since 1982, in his work he has sought to use the conceptual resources of Gadamer’s hermeneutics, Heidegger’s metaphysics and Nietzsche’s nihilism to define the postmodern condition in terms of his idea of ‘weak thought’. This concept is based on his argument that we must reconfigure our understanding of truth, replacing modernity’s emphasis on objectivity with a more ‘aesthetic’ conception that emphasizes contingency and the new horizons offered by a positive conception of nihilism. He has applied this perspective to politics and religion in the form of revitalized commitments to both communism and Catholicism. His Polity books include Beyond Interpretation: The Meaning of Hermeneutics for Philosophy, Religion (with Jacques Derrida) and Belief.