Umberto Eco

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The Philosophy of Umberto Eco


Umberto Eco was Professor Emeritus of Semiotics at the University of Bologna. He founded the first degree course in drama, art, and music studies, and set up the degree program of Communication Sciences, personally directing it in its early years. He also founded and directed the Advanced School of Humanistic Studies of the University of Bologna. The Philosophy of Umberto Eco stands out in the Library of Living Philosophers as the volume on the most interdisciplinary scholar to date and probably the most widely translated. Eco was a founder of modern semiotics and is widely known for his work in aesthetics and philosophy of language. He was also a leading figure in the emergence of postmodern literature, and is associated with cultural and mass communication studies. The 23 critical essays cover the full range of his output on philosophical questions bearing on truth, reality, cognition, and literature, as well as topics such as advertising, television, and children’s literature. The book appeals to a broad audience not only because of its interdisciplinary nature but also because of Eco’s famous ‘high and low’ approach, which is deeply scholarly in conception and very accessible in outcome. 


Intellectual Autobiography of Umberto Eco

Why Philosophy?

(Replies follow some essays)

John Marenbon: Umberto Eco and Medieval Aesthetics

Costantino Marmo: Eco’s Semiotics and Medieval Philosophy

David Boersema: Negotiation and Regulation: Eco on Knowing

Donald Phillip Verene: The Pursuit of the Pursuit of Truth

Piero Polidoro: The Reasonable’s the Limit

Morana Alač: The Model Reader and the Mundanity of Reading Practices

Patrizia Violi: Encyclopedia: Criticality and Actuality

Claudio Paolucci: Eco, Peirce, and the Anxiety of Influence: The Most Kantian of Thinkers

Andrea Valle: Modes of Sign Production

Rossella Fabbrichesi: Eco, Peirce, and Iconism: A Philosophical Inquiry

Jean Petitot: Semiotic Enargeia: A Tribute to Umberto Eco

Ernie Lepore and Matthew Stone: Eco, Metaphor, and Interpretation: A Cure for the Common Code

Siri Nergaard: Translation: A Question of Experience. On Umberto Eco’s Translation Theory

Edoardo Crisafulli: Nomen Est Omen: Eco’s Reflections on Translation

Walter Stephens: The Lover of Books: Eco’s Medieval and Early Modern Reading

Lubomír Doležel: Eco’s Narratology

Ulla Musarra-Schrøder: “Encyclopedia” and “Possible Worlds”: History, Fiction, and Falsification in the Novels of Umberto Eco

Norma Bouchard: Umberto Eco’s Semiotic Imaginary

Helen Bennett: Reading Lessons in Foucault’s Pendulum

Lucio Angelo Privitello: “I Have Wandered in a Face…”

Charles Jencks: Of Bowls, Magnetized Marbles, and Umberto Eco

Brian McHale: Five or Six Postmodernisms

Lucrecia Escudero Chauvel: Cultural Studies, Ideology, and Media Texts

Bibliography of the Writings of Umberto Eco