Skip to main content

Mr. Giorgio Durante

Research Student


Thesis topic

I am primarily interested in the problem of atheism and secularization in modern society, and in two questions in particular. First: how should the relationship between Christianity and Modernity be considered? In other words: are the leading concepts and attitudes of Modernity new and original, or simply the re-transcription of theological ideas and values within a secular and humanistic framework? Second: does the path of modern thought inevitably result in a secular age characterized, according to Charles Taylor, by an exclusive humanism? Namely, are atheism and the end of religion the inevitable outcome of Modernity?

Despite different perspectives and opinions about the origins of Modernity, most part of the reconstructions and narratives agree with a monolithic and one-sided vision of it. A strand of one directional thought towards secularization. I will criticize this perspective by defending and expanding on the analysis of the two alternative forms of Modernity presented by the Italian philosopher Augusto Del Noce (1910-1989).

Both of these forms find their starting point in Descartes, who can be interpreted as the founder of modern rationalism as well as the supporter of a new ‘theocentric humanism’ based on the centrality of human and divine freedom. On this double interpretation of Descartes, Del Noce bases his deconstruction of a single strand of thought concerning Modernity and looks at history of the Modern philosophy with an open mind and from a different perspective.

Other research interests

I lectured extensively in Imperia and Sanremo, in particular on Plato, Kant, Nietzsche, Hannah Arendt, Simone Weil and Edith Stein, very often with my students, who I consider as the best ‘books I have written’. Together with some former students, I founded and I still run an association that organizes debates on philosophical topics.

I have also conducted Psychodrama workshops in several Italian cities and some of which focused primarily on teacher-student rapport.

About me

I live in Diano Marina, a small but lovely and friendly coastal resort in Liguria (Northern Italy).

I got my degree in Philosophy at the University of Milan in 1983 with a Dissertation on the Italian philosopher Piero Martinetti (1872-1943). In addition, I have a Master’s degree in  Psychodrama from the School of Psychodrama in Milan.

Since 1984, I have been teaching History and Philosophy in a Secondary School (Liceo Scientifico) in Imperia. After almost thirty years in this job, which I love very much, I felt the need for professional improvement, so I decided to study in a new and stimulating academic context outside my country. It is very challenging to do that at 55, but I am still very happy and proud of my decision.

One of my main interests is the development of history of philosophy, with particular attention to the transition from classical age to Modernity. My other cultural interests are Literature, classical Music, Politics, Psychology and Theology.