In parallel with the celebrations of the University of Padua’s 800th Anniversary the UNIVERSA Padua Freedom Lectures format was created to underline our foundational value of libertas. This freedom has inspired our mission and is imprinted in the University’s motto: Universa Universis Patavina Libertas.
The first guest invited to speak about freedom is Jean-Luc Nancy, a great voice of contemporary French philosophy. Nancy has addressed political-social problems in terms of the development and construction of society and the coexistence of individuals in the modern age. Nancy’s dissertation entitled L’Expérience de la Liberté (The Experience of Freedom) published in French in 1988 and in Italian in 2000, addresses itself as a systematic, lucid and deeply radical thesis.
Living in the most diverse of ways, in terms of social and cultural contexts, and to be claimed or to be conquered, freedom is the distinctive feature of the modern world. In these past few months of emergency and restrictions it has been demonstrated, once again, why freedom is an inalienable right, expendable only at a highest of price. Therefore, by beginning with the current events the reflections offered by the French philosopher and educators of our University will go to the heart of history and the conceptualization of the idea of freedom by asking: What did we learn from the experience of personal restrictions during the quarantine? What does the exercise of freedom consist of? In what sense a person is, if possible, able to say or to be truly free?