Prof. Dr. Maurizio Ferraris

University of Turin

Curriculum VitaeMaurizio Ferraris

Maurizio Ferraris is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Turin, where he is also the director of LabOnt (Laboratory for Ontology). He is a columnist for “La Repubblica”, the editor of “Rivista di Estetica” and co-editor of “Critique” and the “Revue francophone d’esthétique”. Professor Ferraris was fellow of the Italian Academy for Advanced Studies in America and of the Alexander von Humboldt Stiftung, Directeur d’études of the Collège International de Philosophie and visiting professor at the École des hautes études en sciences sociales in Paris, as well as at other European and American universities. He authored more than forty books that were translated into several languages, among which History of Hermeneutics (Humanities Press 1996), Documentality (Fordham UP 2012) and Goodbye Kant! (SUNY UP 2013). His latest books are Anima e iPad (Guanda 2011), Lasciar tracce. Documentalità e architettura, ed. by R. Cappozzi and F. Visconti (Mimesis 2012), Manifesto del nuovo realismo(Laterza 2012, winner of the Capalbio Prize) and Filosofia globalizzata (Mimesis 2013, ed. by L. Caffo). From June 2013 to July 2014, Professor Ferraris was fellow at the Käte Hamburger Center for Advanced Study in the Humanities “Law as Culture”.

Research Project

Documentality and Intentionality

This research project, which aspires to develop into a book, puts to the test a theory on social ontology that I have developed in previous works (in particular, Ferraris 2005 and 2009) while measuring it with the results of cognitive science) and of web philosophy.

Generally, social ontology justifies the existence of proper objects with Searle’s theory according to which social objects are physical objects transformed through an imposition of function (1995), or they are the result of a declaration (2010). In both cases, Searle postulates the action of a constitutive function, collective intentionality, whose nature has yet to be clarified, in such a way that it appears to have been constructed “ad hoc” to justify the theory.

Contrary to Searle’s theory, which we can call the “Theory of Intentionality”, I am defending what I call the “Theory of Documentality”, according to which social objects are the result of social acts characterized by the fact that they are written, upon an external surface or even simply in people’s minds. This theory has no need to call upon intentionality, and accounts for the widespread—and evergrowing, thanks to developments in digital technology—diffusion of recordings in the contemporary world.

The goal of my research is to demonstrate that documentality is constituent not only of the social world, but also of psychic life and of intentionality itself. I intend to do this by examining the role of inscriptions in the mental sphere, while taking into consideration the cognitive sciences and web philosophy.

Publications (Monographs):

  • Manifest des neuen Realismus (translatetd by Malte Osterloh), Frankfurt/Main: Klostermann 2014 (Volume 6 of the Series “Law as Culture”, edited by Werner Gephart).
  • Filosofia globalizzata, Milano: Mimesis 2013.
  • Bentornata Realtà. Il nuovo realismo in discussione (with Mario De Caro), Torino: Einaudi 2012.
  • Lasciar tracce: documentalità e architettura, Milano: Mimesis 2012.
  • Manifesto del nuovo realismo, Roma-Bari: Laterza 2012, 1st edition, 4th reprint.
  • Anima e iPad, Parma: Guanda, 2nd edition 2011.
  • Filosofia per dame, Parma: Guanda 2011.
  • Ricostruire la decostruzione. Cinque saggi a partire da Jacques Derrida, Milano, Bompiani, 2nd edition 2010.
  • Documentalità. Perché è necessario lasciar tracce, Roma-Bari, Laterza 2009, 2nd edition 2010; Engl. edition: Documentality, Why It Is Necessary to Leave Traces, translated by Richard Davies, Fordham University Press 2012.
  • Piangere e ridere davvero. Feuilleton, Genova: il melangolo 2009.
  • Una Ikea di università. Alla prova dei fatti (new extended edition), Milano: Raffaello Cortina 2009.
  • Storia dell’ontologia (with other authors), Milano: Bompiani 2008, 2nd edition 2009.
  • Il tunnel delle multe. Ontologia degli oggetti quotidiani, Torino: Einaudi 2008.
  • La Fidanzata Automatica, Milano: Bompiani 2007.
  • Sans Papier. Ontologia dell’attualità, Roma: Castelvecchi 2007.
  • Babbo Natale, Gesù Adulto. In cosa crede chi crede?, Milano: Bompiani 2006.
  • Jackie Derrida. Ritratto a memoria, Torino: Bollati Boringhieri 2006; Spanish translation: Jackie Derrida. Retrato de memoria, Bogotá: Siglo del Hombre, 2007.
  • Dove sei? Ontologia del telefonino, Milano: Bompiani 2005; 2nd edition 2006; 3nd edition 2010 with an introduction by Umberto Eco; French translation by Pierre-Emmanuel Dauzat, T’es où? Ontologie du téléphone mobile, Paris: Albin Michel 2006; new edition in the series “Letture di filosofia”, with an introduction by Umberto Eco, Milano, Il Sole 24 ore 2007; Spanish translation by Carmen Revilla Guzmán, ¿Dónde estás? Ontología del teléfono móvil, Barcelona: Marbot 2008; Romanian translation by Teodora Pavel, Alo? Unde eşti? Mic tratat despre telefonul mobil, Bucureşti: RAO 2008; Hungarian translation by Judit Gál, Hol vagy? A mobiltelefon ontológiája, Budapest: Európa 2008; Russian translation, NLO Publisher; Turkish translation, Periferi Kitap; Korean translation, Hyunsil Publisher; USA English translation, Fordham University Press; Serbian translation by Ivo Kara-Pešić, Gde si? Ontologija mobilnog telefona, Fedon: Beograd 2011.
  • Goodbye Kant!, Milano: Bompiani 2004, 5th edition 2006; Spanish translation, Goodbye, Kant! Qué queda hoy de la Critica de la razón pura, Madrid: Losada 2007; French translation by Jean-Pierre Cometti, Goodbye, Kant! Ce qu’il reste aujourd’hui de la Critique de la raison pure, Préface by P. Engel, Paris: Editions de l’éclat 2009; Serbian translation by Ivo Kara-Pešić, Goodbye Kant! Šta ostaje danas od Kritike čistog uma, Paideia: Beograd 2010; English translation, SUNY Press, forthcoming.
  • Ontologia, Napoli: Guida 2003, 2nd edition 2008.
  • Introduzione a Derrida, Roma-Bari: Laterza 2003; 3rd edition 2008; Spanish translation, Introducción a Derrida, Buenos Aires-Madrid: Amorrortu editores 2006.
  • L’altra estetica (with other authors), Torino: Einaudi 2001.
  • Il mondo esterno, Milano: Bompiani 2001.
  • Experimentelle Ästhetik, Wien: Turia und Kant 2001.
  • Una ikea di università, Milano: Cortina 2001.
  • Nietzsche y el nihilismo, Madrid: Akal 2000.
  • La filosofia del Novecento (with other authors), Pavia: Ibis 1999.
  • Nietzsche (with other authors), Roma-Bari: Laterza, 2nd edition 2004.
  • L’ermeneutica, Roma-Bari: Laterza 1998, 2nd edition 2003; Mexican translation, La hermenéutica, Ciudad de México: Taurus Mexicana 2000; Spanish translation by Lázaro Sanz, La Hermenéutica, Madrid: Ediciones Cristiandad 2004.
  • Honoris causa a Derrida, Torino: Rosenberg & Sellier 1998.
  • Estetica razionale, Milano: Cortina 1997.
  • Il gusto del segreto, with J. Derrida, Roma-Bari: Laterza 1997; English translation, A Taste for the Secret, London: Blackwell 2001; portuguese translation, O Gosto do Segredo, Lisboa: Fim de Século 2006.
  • Estetica (with other authors), Torino: Utet 1996.
  • L’immaginazione, Bologna: il Mulino 1996; Spanish translation by F. Campillo Garcia, La Imaginación, Madrid: Visor 1998; Turkish translation by Firat Genç, İmgelem, Ankara: Dost 2008.
  • Analogon rationis, Milan: Pratica filosofica 1994.
  • Mimica. Lutto e autobiografia da Agostino a Heidegger, Milano: Bompiani 1992; Spanish translation, Luto y Autobiografía, Mexico City: Taurus 2000.
  • La filosofia e lo spirito vivente, Roma-Bari: Laterza 1991.
  • ·Postille a Derrida, Torino: Rosenberg & Sellier 1990.
  • Nietzsche e la filosofia del Novecento, Milano: Bompiani 1989; 2nd edition 1999; new edition, with a new introduction, 2009.
  • Storia dell’ermeneutica, Milano: Bompiani 1988; 9th edition, with a new introduction, 2008; English translation, History of Hermeneutics, New Jersey: Humanities Press 1996; Spanish translations, Historia de la Hermeneutica, Madrid: Akal 2001 / Mexico City: Siglo XXI 2002.
  • Ermeneutica di Proust, Milano: Guerini e associati 1987.
  • La svolta testuale. Il decostruzionismo in Derrida, Lyotard, gli “Yale Critics”, Pavia: Cluep 1984; 2nd edition, Milano: Unicopli 1986; Spanish translation (partial) in M. Asensi (ed.), Teoría literaria y deconstrucción, Madrid: Arco / Libros 1990.
  • Tracce. Nichilismo moderno postmoderno, Milano: Multhipla 1983; 2nd  edition with a new introduction, Milano: Mimesis 2006.
  • Differenze. La filosofia francese dopo lo strutturalismo, Milano: Multhipla 1981; 2nd edition with a new introduction, Milano: Edizioni AlboVersorio 2007.