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Pareyson, Luigi

Philosopher Professor of philosophy at the University of Turin since 1964, Pareyson was one of the first interpreters and commentators of existentialism in Italy. From existentialism, Pareyson develops an original elaboration of an ontology of the self which permeates his most seminal work, Estetica (Aesthetics) (1954). In opposition to the Crocean aesthetic based on ideal intuition (see Croce), Pareyson proposes an aesthetic based on the actual process of ‘making’, of transforming matter into artefact. It is only by focusing on the different stages and moments of this process, he argues, that one can gain insight into the essence and meaning of the aesthetic object itself. This processual knowledge is arguably subjective and changes according to the agent of creation. Subjectivity is fundamental to Pareyson’s philosophy and central to his discussion of interpretation which is based on the capacity of the individual to decode meanings. It follows that interpretation, and the meanings arrived at through interpretation, are plural and multifarious and forever susceptible to change. The influence of Pareyson’s philosophy of interpretation is clearly visible in the works of some of his most illustrious students, among them Gianni Vattimo and Umberto Eco.