Born in Catanzaro in 1946, Giacomo Marramao studied at the University of Florence (where he graduated in Philosophy under Eugenio Garin's guidance in 1969) and at the University of Frankfurt.
Between 1976 and 1995 he was professor of Philosophy of politics and History of Political Doctrines at the Istituto Orientale in Naples.
He was visiting professor in European and American universities: Paris (Sorbonne, Nanterre), Berlin (Freie Universität), London (Warburg Institute), Vienna, Madrid (Complutense), Barcelona, Santander, Oviedo, Murcia, Granada, Maiorca, New York (Columbia University), Mexico City (Unam), Buenos Aires (Uba), Rosario, Cordoba, Rio de Janeiro (Universidade Federal), San Paolo (Unesp).
At the beginning of the 1980s he was co-founder of influent magazines like "Laboratorio politico" and "Il Centauro". He is now co-editor of "Iride" - a magazine of public philosophy - and director of the Fondazione Basso, in Rome.
He is now professor of Theoretical and Political Philosophy at the Philosophy and Social Sciences Department of the Third University of Rome, member of the Collège International de Philosophie of Paris and professor honoris causa at the University of Bucharest. Many of his books are translated into foreign languages, such as Kairos: Towards an Ontology of Due Time, The Davies Group Publishers, Aurora CO 2006, and the English version of Passaggio a Occidente, due to be published in 2008 by Verso CO, London-New York.
Starting from the study of Italian and European Marxism (Marxism and Revisionism in Italy, 1971; Austro-Marxism and left wing Socialism between the two Wars, 1977), Marramao has analysed the political categories of modernity suggesting – on the same wavelength as the Frankfurt School (The political and its transformations, 1979) and Max Weber (The disenchanted order, 1985)– an innovative symbolic-genealogical reconstruction of them.
According to this view, which recovers Karl Löwith's historical-philosophical hypothesis, in modern forms of social organizations there are settled meanings deriving from a process of secularization of religious contents – that is, the re-proposal of the Christian symbolic horizon inside a worldly dimension. In particular, secularization finds its centre in a process of "temporalization of history" thanks to which the categories of time (that translate Christian eschatology into a generic opening to the future: progress, revolution, liberation, etc.) gain an increasing centrality in the political representations of Modernity.
Based on these reflections – also exposed in After the Leviathan, 1995; Westward passage.Philosophy and globalization, 2003 and The Passion of the Present, 2008 – a clear thematization of the philosophical problem of time has grown up. In opposition to Henri Bergson's and Martin Heidegger's views – which delineate with different shades a pure form of temporality, more original than its representations and spatializations – Marramao declares that the link time-space is inseparable and, also connecting to contemporary Physics, he asserts that the structure of Time possesses an aporetic and impure profile, compared to which the dimension of space is the formal reference necessary to think its paradoxes (Minima temporalia, 1990; Kairos: Towards an Ontology of Due Time, 1992).
It has recently been published a collection of essays to celebrate his 60th birthday (Figure del conflitto, Valter Casini Editore, Rom3 2006), with international contributions by, among others: Remo Bodei, Massimo Cacciari, Franco Rella, Manfred Frank, Jean L. Cohen, Adriana Cavarero, Homi Bhabha, Antonio Negri, Rudiger Bubner, Axel Honnet, Marc Augè, Manuel Cruz, Jorge E. Dotti, Salvador Giner, etc
Some of his recent publications are (Complete list --> Bibliography):
- Ontologia della libertà, in AA.VV., Eros, utopia e rivolta. Il pensiero e l'opera di Herbert Marcuse, ed. by Leonardo Casini, Angeli, Milabo 2004
- La voce della storia. Incontro con Giacomo Marramao, ed. by Giulia and Piero Pruneti, in "Archeologia viva", n.104, 2004
- Il globo, i luoghi, le identità, in Università di Roma "La Sapienza"/Dipartimento di Architettura e Analisi della Città, Corpi dell'architettura della città. Mutazioni, ed. by Alessandra Criconia, Palombi Editori, Roma 2004
- L'educazione alla differenza, in F.Mele /ed.), Le spie dell'incertezza, Bulzoni, Roma 2004
- L'Europa futuro dell'America, in "Passages", n.3, 2004
- Öffentlichkeit und Erfahrung in der globalen Zeit, in Arbeit und Utopie. Oskar Negt zum 70. Geburtstag, ed. by Tatjana Freitag and Marcus Hawel, Humanities Online, Frankfurt am Main 2004
- Il mondo e l'Occidente oggi, in "Parolechiave", n.31, 2004
- En la máscara del Poder, in "La Ciudad Futura", n.55, Buenos Aires 2004