|President of the Italian Senate|
May 30, 2001 – April 27, 2006
|Preceded by||Nicola Mancino|
|Succeeded by||Franco Marini|
January 23, 1943 |
|Italian Socialist Party
The People of Freedom
|Religion||none (Christian atheist)|
Pera, who was born in Lucca, 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.
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." 
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)." 
In the Senate
He was elected as a Senator for Forza Italia in 1996 and 2001. During the XIV Legislature, he was President of the Senate from May 30, 2001 to April 27, 2006. He was re-elected to the Senate in 2006 and 2008.
Dialogue with Pope Benedict XVI
An atheist, 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. 
Pera's 2008 book Perché dobbiamo dirci cristiani ("Why We Must Call Ourselves Christians"), has a letter-preface by Pope Benedict XVI.
- 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
- Page at Senate website (Italian).
- Senate page for Pera as a member of the XIV Legislature (French).
- Curzio Maltese, Come ti sei ridotto: modesta proposta di sopravvivenza al declino di una nazione, Feltrinelli, 2006, p. 57.
- Joseph Ratzinger, Christianity and the Crisis of Cultures (San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 2006), copyright page, table of contents.
|President of the Italian Senate
2001 - 2006