(from The Canvas, by Salvatore Garau, 2017)

The project ‘Pan/demìa. Philosophical Observatory’, was born out of the desire to explore the contribution of the human sciences in addressing and understanding the viral crisis: a virtual space dedicated to the most controversial and urgent issues arising from the irruption of the Coronavirus, to be investigated with the support of the thought of the great philosophers.
‘Pan/demìa. Philosophical Observatory’ thus constitutes an arena in which CNR-Ispf researchers, as well as other scholars of international standing in the humanities, measure themselves against some of the great themes that are shaping contemporary society. These major themes are addressed with essays and critical insights in specific thematic sections.

The first one, ‘Epidemics in the history of science and the transformations of the idea of contagion’ offers a historiographical view to some of the epidemics that have punctuated human history since the distant past, and to the narratives that have been made about them, with a detailed analysis of the declinations of the ideas of contagion, fear, pestilence, and pestilence over the centuries.
The section ‘History and forms of the imaginary and emotions in the face of the pandemic’ reconstructs the emotional face of the crisis and the images that are powerfully imprinted in our collective consciousness. The wide range of emotional reactions to the pandemic – such as fear of the other, conspiracy theories, enemy construction and anxiety – are recontextualised from a philosophical point of view in order to grasp their possible drifts, but also the creative and cognitive potential they can give rise to.
The focus on the instances of the present time continues with the section ‘The community and the effects of the pandemic: philosophical, political and cultural debates’, in which crucial themes for the development of an aware citizenship are explored, such as the social role of science and its inherent uncertainties, the concepts of boundary and separation, the new forms of conscious sociality, the anonymisation of death, and the relationship between public opinion and decision-making processes.
As the title suggests, the last section, ‘After the pandemic: the future, the digital, new scenarios’, completes the project ‘Pan/demìa. Philosophical observatory’ with an imaginative effort on the evolutionary scenarios looming on the horizon and on the risks and opportunities that will shape the new world we are going to inhabit at the end of this crisis.

Scientific project by: David Riccardo Armando, Silvia Caianiello, Elena Campus, Geri Cerchiai, Rosario Diana, Roberto Evangelista, Dario Generali, Armando Mascolo, Roberto Mazzolla, Leonardo Pica Ciamarra, Monica Riccio, Giovanni Rota, Manuela Sanna, Alessia Scognamiglio, Luisa Simonutti, Alessandro Stile, Sonia Trampetti

Technical manager: Ruggero Cerino