In this interview Vattimo discusses with Zabala the possibility of a nihilist philosophy of law as an alternative to the idea of justice and the violence that predictably results from it. To make this substitution would involve the redirection of humanity away from its self-understanding as progressively approaching a metaphysical truth that is eternal and toward the acceptance of an already existing “polytheism of values,” where truth is a contingent and changing product of discursiveness. A society that structures its legal system on what Vattimo terms “optimistic nihilism” would dismiss any urge for the unity and strength supposedly characteristic of monoculturalism and univocal values. Such cohesion as is possible must come from flexibility, responsiveness to contingency, and an openness to multivocal values. “To apply justice to human affairs,” Vattimo argues, is no more than “to adjust things” as conditions change.
“Weak Thought” and the Reduction of Violence: A Dialogue with Gianni Vattimo
Gianni Vattimo, Santiago Zabala, Translated by Yaakov Mascetti; “Weak Thought” and the Reduction of Violence: A Dialogue with Gianni Vattimo. Common Knowledge 1 April 2019; 25 (1-3): 92–103. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/0961754X-7299150
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