Cite as: Gunter Gebauer, Contribution to the book presentation Il giallo di Wittgenstein: Etica e linguaggio tra filosofia e detective story, ICI Berlin, 12 October 2010, video recording, mp4, 22:51 <>
12 Oct 2010


By Gunter Gebauer

Video in English

Format: mp4
Length: 00:22:51
First published on:
Rights: © ICI Berlin

Part of the Book Presentation

Il giallo di Wittgenstein: Etica e linguaggio tra filosofia e detective story

Ludwig Wittgenstein used to say that for doing philosophy he needed to read American detective novels. He loved the so-called hard-boiled stories and particularly Rendez-vous with fear by Norbert Davis, a friend and colleague of Raymond Chandler. He recommended this book to many of his philosopher friends, even attempting to track down its author to congratulate him. In order to understand the reasons for this apparent eccentricity, “Il giallo di Wittgenstein” stages a dialogue between Wittgenstein’s later philosophy and Davis’s detective novel. In doing so, the book addresses some of the issues and topics that current research has identified as central to Ludwig Wittgenstein’s last thought: from perspicuous representation to seeing-as, from linguistic subjectivity to physiognomics, from the anthropological method to the concept of Lebensform, from the ethic and religious point of view to the aesthetic and poetic dimension of Wittgenstein’s philosophy.

Sara Fortuna teaches philosophy of language at the Università Guglielmo Marconi and is associate member at the ICI Berlin Institute for Cultural Inquiry. She works on theories of physiognomics, perception and origin of language as well as on aesthetics, feminist theories, film. Her publications include ‘A un second sguardo’ (2002); ‘Il laboratorio del simbolico. Fisiognomica, percezione, linguaggio da Kant a Steinthal’ (2005); ‘The Power of Disturbance: Elsa Morante’s ‘Araceli’ ((2009; ed. with M. Gragnolati); ‘Dante’s Plurilingualism’ (2010; ed. with M. Gragnolati and J. Trabant).

Sergio Benvenuto is philosopher, psychoanalyst and researcher at the National Research Council in Rome, Italy. He is president of the Institute for Advanced Studies in Psychoanalysis. His recent books include “Perversioni. Sessualità, etica, psicoanalisi” (2005); ‘Accidia. La passion dell’indifferenza’ (2008); ‘On Freud’s Tracks’ (2008, with A. Molino).

Gunter Gebauer is Professor of Philosophy at the Freie Universität Berlin. His research interests include philosophy of language, anthropology, aesthetics and game theory.  Among his publications: ‘Mimesis. Kultur – Kunst – Gesellschaft’ (1993, ed. with C.Wulf); ‘Habitus’ (ed. with B. Krais, 2002); ‘Poetik des Fussballs’ (2006); ‘Wittgensteins anthropologisches Denken’ (2009).

Manuele Gragnolati teaches Medieval Studies and Italian Literature at Oxford University, where he is Fellow at Somerville College. He has investigated the relationship between identity and corporeality in Dante and medieval eschatology, the intersections between language, textuality, and subjectivity in medieval and modern authors from Guido Cavalcanti to Elsa Morante and Giorgio Pressburger, as well as the metamorphoses undergone by Dante’s oeuvre in the twentieth- and twenty-first centuries. He serves as Advisor to the Director at the ICI Berlin.


ICI Berlin
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Sergio Benvenuto
Sara Fortuna
Gunter Gebauer
Manuele Gragnolati

Organized by

ICI Berlin
In cooperation with the Istituto Italiano di Cultura di Berlino