Exactly two years ago, on 15 April 2019, the IASC community received the news of Marcelo Dascal’s passing.
Marcelo was not only the President of the IASC. For many of us, he was such a friend that whatever definition we seek today to define his role, it is inappropriate.
Today, two years later, our community is once again rallying around Varda, Tamar and Hagit, and their entire family, to remember that very sad event. At the same time, we are once again asking ourselves how we can continue to walk along the path he indicated.
As you may recall, in the spring of 2020, we would have liked to initiate a moment of discussion within our community, on the occasion of the first edition of the “Marcelo Dascal Lectures”, organised at the University of Pisa, thanks to the fundamental contribution of Adriano Fabris and Pierluigi Barrotta, at that time Head of the Department of Civilisations and Forms of Knowledge.
Unfortunately, the sudden outbreak of the pandemic in Italy forced us to postpone the event a few days before its start.
Over the past year, we have witnessed an unimaginable situation: the suspension of activities in the universities, their replacement by distance learning, the transformation of many aspects of a life we took for granted and which, instead, turned out to be fragile. Many of us have had the opportunity to share publicly our reflections on these transformations and how they have affected the fabric of society.
For many of us, the last two years have been marked by disorientation, by not being able to indicate in what form our activity could continue. Today, there are some signs that we are slowly beginning to see a turnaround, although they are still uncertain and do not allow us to plan ahead.
In recent weeks, I have proposed to some friends who are close to the Association or have been its members for a long time to share some information on their most recent academic and scientific activities. These friends responded enthusiastically to my appeal and I would like to thank them for this. We have thus brought together in this choral booklet their testimonies, news of their latest publications, and the memories they have kindly made available.
It is as if all this material constitutes the beating heart of an association which in this way demonstrates its vitality, even at such a delicate time. We would like it if, starting from these testimonies, many other friends decide to share their thoughts. We will publish them on the Association’s website.
The variety of contributions we have received is really comforting! This variety, already evident in the geographical origin of those who have accepted our invitation, is our strength.
Just as a plant is born from the transformation of a seed, so this variety of ideas, geographies and cultural traditions is capable of fertilizing our future, starting from a shared memory.
This is why we are so confident about the presence in our booklet of the young scholars Roberto Gronda and Juliana de Albuquerque.
This message comes at a time when the FISP – of which IASC is a voting member – has just taken an important decision regarding the next World Congress of Philosophy.
During the last WCP, in Beijing, Australia’s candidacy was approved. Unfortunately, however, various organizational difficulties arose, and for this reason the Australian philosophical association announced its resignation. Within the FISP Steering Committee there was an extensive debate following which, after consulting the Italian philosophical community, it was established that the WCP will be held in Rome in the summer of 2024.
We hope, therefore, to meet each other in Rome in 2024. Even earlier, as soon as circumstances permit, we intend to reschedule the Marcelo Dascal Lectures.
At a time of general rethinking and redefinition of new priorities, we hope that the drive to study controversies as well as the promotion of initiatives (conferences, reading groups, translations) on the thought of Marcelo Dascal will never diminish. In this sense, I am pleased to announce the translation into Italian of four essays written by Marcelo in a volume published by Ets of Pisa entitled La bilancia della ragione.
In the volume’s afterword, Luca Maria Scarantino, President of the FISP, observes that Marcelo Dascal’s studies “translate into linguistic terms a commitment to resolve human conflicts by listening to and being willing to compose the reasons of the other”.
Today, as we all know, the theme of listening to others and the willingness to build bridges rather than walls is, if possible even more strongly, at the heart of the philosophical agenda, and we feel committed to the task of promoting these two instances.
That is why, two years after that sad 15 April 2019, we are here, trying all together to imagine the future. In the name of Marcelo.