Rethinking Philosophy, Semiotics, and the Arts with Umberto Eco - Davide Dal Sasso, Maurizio Ferraris, Ugo Volli

Rethinking Philosophy, Semiotics, and the Arts with Umberto Eco

Rivista di Estetica n.s. N. 76, 2021, anno LXI

Davide Dal Sasso, Maurizio Ferraris, Ugo Volli

The open edition


The theoretical path of Umberto Eco (1932-2016) was that of a great intellectual who ranged from non-fiction to literary production. His was a very extensive research programme. On the basis of studies concerning aesthetics, communication and medieval thought, Eco developed it by elaborating a semiotic theory and studying language and cognition. His reflections on the method and possibilities of theoretical formulation have been crucial to his research – precisely because, as he wrote, no theoretical system comes without contradictions. Philosophers, therefore, do not have the task of eliminating them but rather of seeking them out where they are not apparent. This issue of Rivista di Estetica collects essays that contribute to investigating several aspects and specificities of Eco’s research in philosophy, semiotics and the arts, in order to bring to light his reflection on theoretical investigation and his commitment to developing a practice that can offer important resources for today’s research. It is an invitation to rethink those three theoretical fields by drawing on the teachings of this great scholar.


Summary of contents




Section One | Philosophy

CLAUDIO PAOLUCCI, The Notion of System in the Work of Umberto Eco: Summa, Structure, Code, Encyclopaedia, and Rhizome

RICCARDO FEDRIGA, Dystopias and Historiographical Objects: The Strange Case of the Middle Ages

MAURIZIO FERRARIS, Alive as You and Me

Section Two | Semiotics

UGO VOLLI, The Origins of Umberto Eco’s Semio-Philosophical Project

ANNA MARIA LORUSSO, Power, Dangers and Resources of Forgery, from Theory to Novels

MASSIMO LEONE, Indexes: Cultural Nature and Natural Culture

Section Three | Arts

CAROLA BARBERO, Some Remarks on Eco’s Confession and His Mystical Raptus

STEFANO OLIVA, Eco and Berio between Music and Open Work

POLONA TRATNIK, The Openness of Art. The Poetics of Art and Loss of Autonomy of Art

DAVIDE DAL SASSO, On Form and Structure: Umberto Eco and the Basis for a Positive Philosophy of the Arts


TIMOTHY TAMBASSI, Per un catalogo geografico universale. Ontologie ibride, rappresentazioni cartografiche e intersezioni geo-informatiche