Alessandro Fontana. Tracce di un’esperienza di pensiero

Autore: Jean-Louis Fournel
In: Storica. 77 • anno XXVI, 2020
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The contributions gathered here offer a range of perspectives on Alessandro Fontana’s critical thought by retracing various stages of his past collaborations, revisiting the critical junctures of his work of translation and editing, and remembering his past conversations. In his works in progress, Fontana always found it important to situate a «problem» at the centre and then trace its emergence across the most disparate discursive spheres and the most varied chronologies. And this «problem» – which, in his methodology, served as a «line of sight» or an «axis of gravitation», to borrow his words – touched on crucial questions that rarely remained confined within distinct disciplinary boundaries: «the development and transformation of cultural and historical consciousness»; the relationship between power and truth; politics as simulation and dissimulation, a topic addressed in a work that questioned the «remote reasons why “we have become what we are”», following Foucault’s teachings (and it is no coincidence that Fontana’s last major undertaking was to publish Foucault’s lectures). It is precisely for this reason that we must examine this Forum so carefully now, at a time when research in the social sciences is being measured quantitatively and structured according to disciplines, with adverse consequences for those looking to compare and exchange knowledge.

Keywords: knowledge and power; consciousness in history; Michel Foucault; Machiavelli; epistemology.