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Institute of Advanced Study

Dr Felice Cimatti

COFUND Policy & Enterprise Fellow at Castle College (April – June 2013)

Felice Cimatti is Professor in Philosophy of Language and Director of the Programme of Philosophy of Language & Theory of Communication at the University of Calabria, Professor at the Freudian Institute in Rome and Founder of the 'Centro Studi di Filosofia e Psicoanalisi'.

Along with having an impressive track record of publications, he is also a well known intellectual and respected cultural commentator in Italy, through the radio programme 'Fahrenheit', which is the most popular cultural programme in Italy. He has sparked debate with his previous book, the title of which translates as 'The Ape Talking to Itself. Language, Self awareness and Freedom in the Human Animal' and he is currently writing what is expected to be another provocative book to be titled 'How to Become an Animal'. Further, in 2012 Prof. Cimatti won the ‘Premio Musatti’ assigned by SPI, Società Psicoanalitica Italiana.

His research revolves around the topic of the limits of language. The intuitive idea captured by this systematisation is the idea of the human creature as essentially restless. He will endeavour to explore the link between this restless or tormented subjectivity with the social, political and ecological crisis of our time. Our time inflects this subjective restlessness into an incessant need for things; things to be acquired only through a massive and unjust exploitation of people and resources. In doing this he will seek to find away to avoid the anthropological mechanism that produces these effects: the faculty of language. Based on his previous research on primates, his provocative thesis implies a study of ‘animality’ as a heuristic model to imagine a condition of life not based on subjectivity.

Prof. Cimatti’s research interests chime with current debates in the MLAC ‘Culture and Difference’ and ‘Literature History Theory’ research groups and during his Policy and Enterprise Fellowship, he will continue and develop conversations between himself and Dr Stefano Cracolici, Dr Caitriona Ni Dhúill and Prof Nick Zangwill concerning the concept of restlessness as a driving force and will share his experiences of conducting cultural discussions in a public forum (i.e. Fahrenheit).