The Lost Interiority and Infinite Distraction


The Lost Interiority and Infinite Distraction

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Lecture: The Lost Interiority and Infinite Distraction

Lecturers: Fabio Merlini (Eranos Foundation, Ascona / SFUVET, Lugano), Massimo Mori (Università di Torino / Accademia delle Scienze, Torino)

Date: Friday, May 5, 2023, h. 6:15pm

Place: Locarno Cantonal Library, Palazzo Morettini, Lecture hall

Cycle: Eranos-Jung Lectures 2023 - The Great Worksites of Contemporaneity. Looks at the Knots of the Present

Language: Italian

Introduction: Stefano Vassere (Locarno Cantonal Library)

Discussion with the audience to follow

The recording of the conference can be viewed on the official YouTube channel of the Eranos Foundation.

Lecture Presentation

The processes of externalization to which we are subjected today take the form of an irresistible lure. Something is always demanding our attention, interrupting its continuity and incessantly diverting it to different calls each time. The result is a perpetual being outside itself. But what kind of existence is it where one's own inner world turns out to be sucked in so insistently by the outer world, almost to make it the sole concern of life? What way out then to imagine?T he Eranos Foundation and the Cantonal Library of Locarno offer an evening of reflection around these and other questions, also with the help of reference to the classics, starting from the publication of Fabio Merlini's book, Ritornare in sé. L'interiorità smarrita e l'infinita distrazione (Nino Aragno, Torino 2022).

Lecturers' Bio-bibliography

Fabio Merlini, Regional Director of the Swiss Federal University for Vocational Education and Training (SFUVET) in Lugano, Switlerland, serves since 2010 as the President of the Eranos Foundation. From 2012 to 2019, he has served as President of the Cultural Commission of the Canton of Ticino. In 1998, he was nominated privat-docent at the Université de Lausanne, Switzerland, where he taught Philosophy of Culture. Subsequently, from 1999 to 2003, he taught Systemic Philosophy and was appointed Professor of Epistemology of the Human Sciences at the Université de Lausanne. In 2003, he was nominated adjunct Professor of Communication Ethics at the Università degli Studi dell’Insubria in Varese, Italy, where he taught until 2011. From 1996 to 2000, he co-directed the “Groupe de Recherche sur l’Ontologie de l’Histoire” at the Hussler Archives of the École Normale Supérieure in Paris, whose seminar works, Après la fin de l’histoire (1998), Historicité et spatialité (2001), and Une histoire de l’avenir (2004), were published by J. Vrin. His publications include La comunicazione interrotta. Etica e politica nel tempo della “rete” (2004), L’efficienza insignificante. Saggio sul disorientamento (2009, translated into French as L’époque de la performance insignifiante. Réflexions sur la vie désorientée, 2011), Schizotopies : Essai sur l’espace de la mobilisation (2013, then translated into Italian as Ubicumque. Saggio sul tempo e lo spazio della mobilitazione, 2015), L’architettura inefficiente (with L. Snozzi, 2014, also translated into French as L’architecture inefficiente, 2016), Catastrofi dell’immediatezza (with S. Tagliagambe, for the series "I saggi di Eranos", Vol. 3, 2016), and Triste esthétique. Essais sur les catastrophes de l’immédiateté (2018, published also in Italian as L’estetica triste. Seduzione e ipocrisia dell'innovazione, 2019). His most recent book is entitled Ritornare in sé. L’interiorità smarrita e l’infinita distrazione (2022). He also served as editor of the volumes Nuove tecnologie e nuove sensibilità. Comunicazione, identità, formazione (2005), Identità e alterità. Tredici esercizi di comprensione (with E. Boldrini, 2006), Per una cultura della formazione al lavoro. Studi e analisi sulla crisi dell’identità professionale (with L. Bonoli, 2010), and Semi ad usum praesentis. Un incontro sul pensiero di Jean-Jacques Rousseau (2013). He is co-author of the Cahier de l’Herne dedicated to Friedrich Nietzsche on the 100th anniversary of his death (2000) and of the miscellaneous volume La philosophie au risque de la promesse (2004), along with J. Derrida, P. Ricoeur, M. Crépon, and other authors. For the “Eranos Classics” series, he co-edited the original edition of Carl Gustav Jung’s Rebirth. Text and Notes of the Lecture held at Eranos in 1939 (with R. Bernardini, 2020). Among his poetry works, we mention here Filo di perle. Poesie liriche in tre tempi (2015). He is a Faculty Member of the Institute of Analytical Psychology and Psychotherapy (IPAP), Postgraduate School of Psychotherapy (Ivrea).

Massimo Mori (Turin, 1948) is Professor Emeritus at the University of Turin. After a Degree in Philosophy (1971), he completed his education at the Universities of Frankfurt am Main, Erlangen-Nürnberg, and Munich. He taught Philosophy of History, Moral Philosophy, and History of Philosophy at the University of Palermo and then at Turin University. He was visiting professor at the Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg. He was also invited to participate in conferences and seminars in Italy, Germany, Portugal, Russia, Brasil, and Japan. He was Director of the Department of Philosophy of Turin University (1993–1997 and 2001–2005), where he also supervised the Ph.D. courses in Philosophy and Philosophical Hermeneutics. Since 2006, he has been Director-in-chief of the “Rivista di filosofia.” He is also an Advisory Board member of several other journals. Since 2018, he serves as president of the Turin Academy of Sciences. Among his publications, we list here La filosofia della storia da Herder a Hegel (1976), La ragione delle armi. Guerra e conflitto nella cultura classica tedesca (1770-1830) (1984), La filosofia di Kant (1990), Libertà, necessità, determinismo (2001), La pace e la ragione. Kant e le relazioni internazionali: diritto, politica, storia (2008), Studi kantiani (2017). He also authored Storia della filosofia moderna (2015) and, with G. Cambiano, Storia e antologia della filosofia (3 vols., 1993; 2nd ed., 2001) and Storia della filosofia contemporanea (2014). With G. Cambiano and L. Fonnesu, he edited Storia della filosofia occidentale (7 vols., 2014-2015). He eventually edited the miscellaneous volumes Vom Naturzustand zur kosmopolitischen Gesellschaft. Staat und Souveränität bei Kant (2017), Libero arbitrio. Storia di una controversia (with M. De Caro and E. Spinelli, 2014), Illuminismo. Storia di un'idea plurale (with S. Veca, 2018), Leibniz e la cultura enciclopedica (2019), and Gli intellettuali e la grande guerra (2020). His most recent books are entitled Esperienze del camminare (2022) and Piacere (2023).


To mark the 90th anniversary of the Eranos Conferences (1933-2023), the Foundation wanted to question some leading figures in today's cultural world, asking them to present the projects and issues on which they are working. The idea is to bring into dialogue at a distance qualified gazes on the nodes of our present, to highlight their risks, opportunities, and prospects. Not, of course, to listen to the last word on what is happening today, but rather to enter their laboratories of thought and try to focus on a kind of ongoing geography of the present time: to orient ourselves, to find ourselves, to map out possible virtuous paths-despite the disorientation and uncertainty that characterizes us, in an age that is very rich in technological resources, but very poor in future perspectives. Rather than inviting them to reflect on a guiding theme, as is the Eranos-Jung Lectures usual practice, we wanted to offer the lecturers the chance to present to the audience the issues they are working on, to see how the gaze on an object is constructed, through what sensibility, what concerns, what desire for understanding, and what method. And, of course, what passion. It will be a journey that will allow us to visit some “great worksites of contemporaneity” dedicated to different thematic areas: i.e., the state of health of our democracies; the fate of the “book” object and interiority in the time of endless distraction and social media; the reality of the metaverse, the overcoming of the human, and the resources of mysticism; the sonic perceptive in a society that continually solicits the sense of hearing; the solitude of the artist in the glittering world of the commodification of creativity; the drifts of the divine; and the meaning of making culture. In essence: a journey outside and inside ourselves.

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