But what is “the limit” in our world? Messina philosophers at the Gallarate Study Center conference


By John

A strong theme, which crosses many crucial aspects of our contemporaneity: the XXVIII Conference of Center for Philosophical Studies of Gallarate – underway in Rome where it will end today – is «The limits and beyond». In contemporary culture we talk about “limits” in relation to – for example – environmental resources and their management, which closely involves lifestyle habits and economic development. In a more strictly philosophical context, the theme of the limit has covered and continues to run through reflections both of a theoretical nature, pertaining to the possibilities of knowledge, and of a practical and ethical-moral order: think of the excesses of “self-referential anthropocentrism”, the vision centered on the predominance of the human, for now the subject of pressing criticism. On the opposite side, the tension to overcome limits belongs to the human, and on the level of social and political relations the “perched” within the limit can inspire attitudes of closure and exclusion. «The connection between limit and additionality – writes in a note the Board of the Scientific Committee of the Centre, chaired by prof. Francesco Totaro) – is in short inextricable and lends itself to the pursuit of a dosage that incorporates its fruitfulness without flattening and without escapes, also avoiding the short circuit between the two dimensions, often at the origin of destructive attitudes towards others and towards oneself . The fall into nihilism can in fact occur both out of desperation for the finite and the limit, and out of desperation for the infinite and the unlimited. The ridge between limit and unlimited therefore becomes thin and, therefore, the tension between the poles of the finite and the infinite is permanent, just as the search for their measure is incessant”.
Such a fruitful theme is at the center of the reflection of the three days of study, in which important exponents of philosophical research from the University of Messina participate: the opening works of the first day were chaired by prof. Marianna Gensabella (formerly professor of Moral Philosophy and member of the National Committee for Bioethics, president of the Sicily section of the Italian Institute of Bioethics, and who is part of the Board of the Scientific Committee of the Centre), and one of the two reports («The limit in thought by Martin Heidegger») was by prof. Caterina Resta, full professor of Theoretical Philosophy.
The teacher. Anca Vasiliu spoke of «Platonic perspectives on the topography of being». Very interesting were the talks dedicated yesterday to the concept of “limit and unlimited” in mathematical thought (prof. Paolo Zellini) and to the “ethical limits” of artificial intelligence (prof. Luisa Damiano). Today is the final day, investigating «limits of the finite and ontology of the eternal» (prof. Leonardo Messinese) and «limit of the finite and ontology of the inexhaustible» (prof. Ugo Perone).