A reply to the reviewer of “Totalitarismo, democrazia, etica pubblica. Scritti di filosofia morale, filosofia politica, etica”

As it is written in the foreword, what the book offers is, immediately, an overview on the current status of the moral and political philosophical debate (each chapter is a sort of piece of this mosaic). But reading deeply the book is possible to find, as is normal, a fil rouge, a background thesis, that runs through all the chapters: an attempt to define in a critical way the moral and political framework of the current society, trying to delineate alternatives in the way in which we intend our aggregative forms – especially starting from the idea and the practice of democracy, nowadays reduced into formal mechanisms –, and possible escape lines.


As for the quoted authors, as ever happens in the essays, I made a selection – it’s strange having to specifying this. And so, I chose the authors that, for me, are fundamentals and those that are secondary, in the economy of my speech, deepening the first – and the same with the arguments, some are main themes same are collateral analyses for me. And so, I criticized the authors with which I disagree, specifying why – without obscure them from the philosophical scene, for their impact on that –, and I used quotations with which agree, specifying the source – for not assign to me those ideas – but declining them in the economy of my personal speech. And about some mentioned contents of my discourse, I would like to clarify in short at least two important issues. First, Arendt and Jonas sit well together for me because in Arendt is possible to find an indirect but very cogent critique to the naive and dangerous stances of Jonas: the sacralization of biological life, the mythologizing and the normative use of the nature, is at the ground of the Nazi ideology, as Arendt shows speaking about the modern triumph of the anthropological figure of the animal laborans, emblematically represented by Eichmann. Second, to affirm that the Declaration of Human Rights of 1948 is universal, modern and Western, is not a disclaimer of its advancements – why should it be so is not clear for me – but is a reasoning on another level than that of the socio-political decisions: that of the conceptual background of our society – that contains also its advancements. This critical view is extremely important because permit us to intend our society – and its advancements – not as the only one possible society – like for example in the Eurocentrism or now, we can say, in the “Westerncentrism” – but as a possible society; avoiding so also the theoretical “Westerncentrism” that is given in the reading of authors that are not modern and/or Western with the eyes of a modern and Western person – e.g. the sui generis Popperian reading of Plato, Hegel and Marx.


For me too the book would have benefitted from an analytical index and a bibliography, it is a pity that the publisher has not made, however, as is written in the premise, the footnotes are enriched with the necessary bibliographic details.

About Federico Sollazzo

Federico Sollazzo holds a Ph.D. in Philosophy and Theories of Human Sciences from the “Roma Tre” University of Rome, Italy. He currently teaches at the University of Szeged, Hungary, in the field of Moral and Political Continental Philosophy, leading his courses in English. He has published the volumes: "Totalitarismo, democrazia, etica pubblica. Scritti di Filosofia morale, Filosofia politica, Etica" (2011) and "Tra totalitarismo e democrazia. La funzione pubblica dell’etica" (2015). He has also published several essays and articles, in Italian and English (as original versions), with some translations into Albanian, Czech and Hungarian, in collective volumes, academic journals and cultural web-sites. His main authors and topics of interest are: H. Arendt, N. Bobbio, A. Camus, J. Habermas, M. Heidegger, N. Machiavelli, H. Marcuse, P.P. Pasolini, J.-P. Sartre, instrumental rationality, philosophy of technology, mass-culture, advanced industrial society, concept of power in modernity, anthropocentrism. He is a member of the scientific board of the Publisher “KKIEN Publishing International”, of the editorial board of the Journal “Socrates” and the e-Magazine “Filozofski pogledi / Philosophical views”, of the Presidency of the “World Philosophy Network” and contributing author of the Journal "Nordicuum-Mediterraneum". He is also the creator and editor of the web-site “CriticaMente”: www.costruttiva-mente.blogspot.com