The Verwindung of Capital: On the Philosophy and Politics of Gianni Vattimo

Symposium: Canadian Journal of Continental Philosophy/Revue canadienne de philosophie continentale 13 (1):73-99 (2009)
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Gianni Vattimo occupies the relatively rare position of being both a prominent philosopher and an engaged politician. This article outlines Vattimo’s philosophy of “weak thought” and his democratic socialist politics, and argues that there is a “gap” between them: his stated political positions seem at odds with aspects of his philosophy. This gap between the phi- losophical and the political is examined with reference to the topic of globalised capitalism. I then apply Vattimo’s own strategy in reading other philosophers to his thought, attempt- ing to draw out the possible political implications of weak thought against his own stated position. I do this through the application of one of Vattimo’s central concepts, Verwindung (―twisting-free‖), to globalised capitalism. I conclude with some reflections on the prospects for a politics of weak thought.



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Ashley Woodward
Dundee University

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