Playing the Game

Pier Aldo Rovatti

Playing the Game

may fri 27, 2016 - 5.30 p.m.
piazza del Duomo
 - admission free

What does “playing the game” mean today, in a social setting characterised by the idea or ideology of competition? Pier Aldo Rovatti tries to retrace the positive side of the issue, beyond the ambiguities it raises. Game playing cannot be reduced merely to a matter of competition. Indeed, it could actually counterbalance this social imperative: there’s no game without the joy of playing, without the ability to handle unpredictability. Knowing how to play the game also means coping with risk and loss. In its more philosophical sense, play should be an experience that mitigates individualistic selfishness and claims of possessing the truth, because there is no real game without knowing you’ve been played, without the ability to bring one’s own subjectivity into play. One of the many possible examples is the lack of play in the teaching methods commonly practiced in Italian schools.

Pier Aldo Rovatti, professor of Contemporary Philosophy at the University of Trieste, has edited the magazine aut aut since the 1970s, a publication that has regularly covered the subject of play, also in some special instalments. In 2014, Rovatti created the Scuola di filosofia in Trieste, a focal point for the Contemporary Philosophy Laboratory he founded in Trieste decades ago.

Since the publication of Il pensiero debole (Feltrinelli, 1983, reprinted several times and translated in various languages - in English entitled Weak Thought) together with Gianni Vattimo, Rovatti has stressed the philosophical and political importance of play, linking it paradox, writing and irony as well as relating it to psychoanalysis and psychiatry.

His books include L’elogio del silenzio (1992), Il paiolo bucato (1998), Abitare la distanza (2007), published by Cortina; and Restituire la soggettività. Lezioni su Franco Basaglia (AlphaBeta, 2013).