Open Journal Systems

CFP: “Emilio Garroni: a new looking-through”

edited by Andrea D’Ammando and Tommaso Morawski


Emilio Garroni’s thought (1925-2005) left a deep trace on Italian aesthetics in the second half of the 20th century. As a complex and multifaceted intellectual, Garroni’s long-term career of research and studies focused on arts (and their crisis), cinema, literature, architecture, music and psychoanalysis. But he has especially worked on semiotics, in whose field he has been one of the leading figures and one of the most lucid critics in Italy; and then, in an even more in-depth and original way, on aesthetics, from a perspective strongly marked by Kant's thought.  In fact, it is precisely from the profound rethinking of Kant's critical philosophy – and in particular of the Critique of the Faculty of Judgment –, launched in 1976 with the essay Estetica ed epistemologia, that Garroni has gradually elaborated and clarified his best-known and most demanding thesis: aesthetics is not – and never has been – a special philosophical discipline, capable of carving out a specific field in order to say something about precise objects (art or beauty), but rather a “non-special” philosophy, aimed at investigating the experience’s possibility conditions. The terrain of aesthetic reflection thus becomes that of the problem of the experience’s meaning in general, necessarily grasped in its paradoxical link with specific contingencies, not exclusively artistic; and aesthetics is thus configured as the eminent form of a critical way of thinking that emerged in the 18th century and came to completion precisely with Kant's aesthetic reflection. From Wittgenstein, however, Garroni borrowed an expression, “looking-through” (durchschauen), which in a sense sums up and clarifies the main coordinates of critical thought (and its “founding paradox”): philosophy questions the meaning of experience’s conditions, and yet can only do so from within the experience, and not from a non-place outside of it. From this perspective, philosophy is thus not a mere looking, but, precisely, a looking-through, that is: an effort to trace back the condition of the conditioned into the conditioned, a questioning of (and a talking about) the conditions of possibility of experience in general within the determined experience and through it.

Guided by the ethical rigour of a great teacher and by a constant attention to the philosophical comprehension issue, in his research Garroni explored the most diverse areas of culture, handing down an important heritage of ideas that are still worth discussing and elaborating to students and scholars of subsequent generations. This is confirmed by Castelvecchi’s recent republication of one of his production’s key texts, Estetica. Uno sguardo-attraverso.


In the wake of a renewed interest in Emilio Garroni’s work, this issue of “Aesthetica Pre-Print” proposes to investigate some of the conceptual nuclei of his thought in order to verify its strength and richness in relation to contemporary perspectives and lines of philosophical research.

The curators will welcome contributions that highlight the “non-speciality” of Garroni’s research path, with particular attention to those that will be able to make his way of critically questioning experience, in all its breadth and complexity, react with the new currents and themes of contemporary debate. Among these, some (but not all) of the topics that can be addressed in this issue are:


  • The new ways of investigating space and the new issues related to spatiality that have arisen in recent decades since the so-called "spatial turn";


  • The perspective of enactivism and the mind-body relationship;

  • The notion of creativity and its relationship with contemporary thinking about technology.


  • The condition of contemporary arts, with particular attention to the notion of exemplarity (understood in a strong Kantian sense), to the art/life relationship and to the concepts of myth, symbol and semanticity;


  • Investigations into the grammars of art and contemporary artistic languages;


  • The comparison with the new realisms and the critique of correlationism;


  • The different ways of tackling the theme of meaning.



A first selection will be done through a call for abstracts. Proposals in English or Italian, no shorter than 300 words, should be sent by September 15, 2021 to Dr. Tommaso Morawski ( and Dr. Andrea D’Ammando ( Abstracts need to be prepared for blind review. The name of the author and title of the abstract will be sent through a separate word doc or pdf, attached to the same email. 


Full papers must not be longer than 30,000 characters. Admitted languages are English and Italian. The final essays should be prepared for double-blind peer review and sent in Word Document Format (.doc or .docx) by  30 April, 2022 to Dr. Tommaso Morawski ( and Dr. Andrea D’Ammando (