Carlo Lancellotti

Carlo Lancellotti

Professor of Mathematics, City University of New York

Is Western Culture Facing a New Totalitarianism?

Professor Lancellotti has recently translated into English the book Crisis of Modernity, written by the influential Italian philosopher, Augusto Del Noce. In this talk, Professor Lancellotti will discuss del Noce’s thesis that since the 1960s Western culture has been facing a “new totalitarianism.” This new totalitarianism excludes from the public sphere of all forms of discourse that do not fit into a scientistic and essentially technocratic paradigm. According to Del Noce, what defines totalitarianism is the complete subordination of both ethics and culture to politics. Coercion by force is not necessarily the best method to that effect. A much better way is to remove all the “equipment”, so to speak, that makes it possible to transcend politics:  philosophical reason, non-utilitarian liberal education, national tradition, the family as a vehicle of ideal values, etc. The resulting scientistic form of totalitarianism is very different from older forms because it is a totalitarianism of disintegration rather than a totalitarianism of domination.

Monday, March 13, 2017, 5:30-7:30

Seminars take place at Professor Mooney’s home near Princeton’s campus. Dinner is included. To find out more about these events, please email us at