Marcello Pera

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Senatore
Marcello Pera
Marcello Pera.jpg
President of the Italian Senate
In office
May 30, 2001 – April 27, 2006
President Carlo Azeglio Ciampi
Preceded by Nicola Mancino
Succeeded by Franco Marini
Personal details
Born (1943-01-23) January 23, 1943 (age 71)
Lucca, Italy
Nationality Italian
Political party Independent
Other political
affiliations
Italian Socialist Party
(until 1994)
Forza Italia
(1994-2009)
The People of Freedom
(2009-2012)
Profession Philosopher
Politician
Religion none (Christian atheist)

Marcello Pera (Italian pronunciation: [marˈtʃɛllo ˈpɛːra]) (born January 28, 1943[1]) is an Italian philosopher and politician. He was the President of the Italian Senate from 2001 to 2006.

Career[edit]

Pera, who was born in Lucca,[1] graduated in accounting, and he worked for the Banca Toscana and for the Camera di Commercio in Lucca. He went on to study philosophy at the University of Pisa, concentrating on the works of Karl Popper and his open society theory, and advocating these principles during the difficult 1970s, the anni di piombo.

His academic career began 1976 at the University of Pisa. He then went on to pursue research activities internationally: Visiting Fellow, University of Pittsburgh, 1984; Linguistics and Philosophy, MIT, Cambridge, Mass., 1990; Visiting Fellow, Centre for the Philosophy of Natural Sciences, London School of Economics, 1995-96. He taught Theoretical Philosophy from 1989 to 1992 at the University of Catania. In 1992 he became full professor of Philosophy at the University of Pisa.

Marcello Pera has written for the newspapers Corriere della Sera, Il Messaggero, and La Stampa, and to the news magazines L'Espresso and Panorama.

Pera has become a leading opponent of post-modernism and cultural relativism and on this subject he resonates with religious thinkers.

Opposing cultural relativism he declared, "There are... good reasons for deeming that some institutions are better than others. And I deny that such a judgment must necessarily lead to a clash." [2]

Opposing the post modern denial of the possibility of ascertaining objective facts, he says, "Against deconstructivism I do not deny that facts do not exist without interpretation. I refute Nietzsche's thesis that "there are no facts, only interpretations" (F. Nietzsche, Afterthoughts); or Derrida's "there is nothing beyond the text" (J. Derrida, Of Grammatology)." [2]

In the Senate[edit]

He was elected as a Senator for Forza Italia in 1996 and 2001.[1] During the XIV Legislature, he was President of the Senate from May 30, 2001 to April 27, 2006.[3] He was re-elected to the Senate in 2006 and 2008.[1]

Dialogue with Pope Benedict XVI[edit]

An atheist,[4] Pera co-authored a book with then Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, titled Senza radici ("Without Roots"), and is the author of the introduction to the book originally titled L'Europa di Benedetto nella crisi delle culture, or in short, The Europe of Benedict, written by Ratzinger shortly before he became the pope. It has been reprinted as Christianity and the Crisis of Cultures. [5]

Pera's 2008 book Perché dobbiamo dirci cristiani ("Why We Must Call Ourselves Christians"), has a letter-preface by Pope Benedict XVI.

Publications[edit]

  • Induzione e metodo scientifico, Pera M., Editrice Tecnico Scientifica, Pisa, 1978
  • Popper e la scienza su palafitte, Pera M., Laterza, Roma-Bari, 1981
  • Hume, Kant e l'induzione, Pera M., Il Mulino, Bologna, 1982
  • Apologia del Metodo, Pera M., Laterza, Roma-Bari, 1982
  • La Rana ambigua. La controversia sull'eletricità tra Galvana e Volta, Pera M., Einaudi, Torino, 1986; English translation The Ambiguous Frog: The Galvani-Volta Controversy on Animal Electricity, Princeton University Press, Princeton 1991
  • Scienza e retorica, Pera M., Laterza, Roma-Bari, 1992; translated into English and revised as The Discourses of Science, (Chicago University Press, Chicago 1994
  • Senza radici/Without Roots, Pera M., Ratzinger J., Mondadori, Milano 2004, Basic Books, New York 2006; German edition: Sankt Ulrich Verlag, Augsburg 2005; Spanish edition: Peninsula, Barcelona 2006
  • Perché dobbiamo dirci cristiani ("Why We Must Call Ourselves Christians"), Mondadori, Milano 2008; with a letter-preface by Pope Benedict XVI

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Page at Senate website (Italian).
  2. ^ a b http://www.senato.it/presidente14leg/21572/21575/28223/42108/composizioneattopresidente.htm
  3. ^ Senate page for Pera as a member of the XIV Legislature (French).
  4. ^ Curzio Maltese, Come ti sei ridotto: modesta proposta di sopravvivenza al declino di una nazione, Feltrinelli, 2006, p. 57.
  5. ^ Joseph Ratzinger, Christianity and the Crisis of Cultures (San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 2006), copyright page, table of contents.

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Nicola Mancino
President of the Italian Senate
2001 - 2006
Succeeded by
Franco Marini