On Thursday, May 4, 2017, the conference Fenomenologia come stile: Declinazioni del metodo fenomenologico in Italia e in Francia was held at Collegio Ghislieri in Pavia. This conference was funded by the Institut Français and the French Embassy to Italy, within the framework of an initiative aimed at enabling Italian doctoral students to organize cultural events in which young researchers, as well as Italian and French universities, are involved.
Among the members of the Milan school of phenomenology, the figure of the musicologist Luigi Rognoni deserves to be remembered. He was a student of Antonio Banfi and, together with Enzo Paci, co-founded the journal aut-aut and was a member of its editorial board until his death.
[Materiali di Estetica, N. 3,1, 2016, p. 119-122. Republished by gracious permission of the Author]
1. I take this title from an essay by Guido Davide Neri, the contents and take of which I decided to further develop by taking a more personal stance towards it. This decision to refer back to Guido’s pages comes from the great debt of gratitude that I owe to him since our first meeting more than 50 years ago.
The essay in question was written in 1982, and the ‘after’ of the title referred to the situation in Eastern Europe following the repression and normalization that took place over the 1960s and 70s. In this regard, Neri particularly focused on the condition of Poland, by referring to Solidarność and the attempt to build a “stratified socialism” (as Neri defined it in another article from 1974).
Neri would later recall, however, also another “after” – namely the one that follows Gorbachev’s failed attempt to renew the Soviet Union, which ends up dissolving along with the very idea of a “realized” socialism.
In order to better understand this point, it is helpful to take into account Neri’s last paper, which consists of a series of notes for a lecture on phenomenology that he never managed to deliver (see on this Neri, Il sensibile la storia l’arte. Scritti 1957-2001, Verona: ombre corte, 2003, 171-183. See also L. Fausti, Guido Davide Neri tra scepsi e storia. Un percorso filosofico, Milano: Unicopli, 2010, 122-124).
[Paper presented by Francesco Tava at the 2016 Annual Conference of the British Society for Phenomenology. Manchester, 2-4 September]
Let me say by way of introduction that rather than talking of the future of phenomenology this paper will tackle phenomenology’s past. More precisely, what I am going to deal with is a secondary and often neglected chapter in the history of phenomenology that for many reasons is still meaningful today, in light of the most recent trends of phenomenological research. The reason why I decided to focus on the contribution of Milanese philosophers, and especially of Antonio Banfi, to the development of phenomenology, is due to the project of a philosophy blog that I have recently started, together with a group of collaborators in Italy and abroad.