Dr. Tullio Viola


Alumnus (Max-Weber-Kolleg für kultur- und sozialwissenschaftliche Studien)


Max-Weber-Kolleg (Steinplatz 2) / Raum 506d (4. OG)

+49 361 737-2809


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Max-Weber-Kolleg für kultur- und sozialwissenschaftliche Studien
Nordhäuser Str. 63
99089 Erfurt


Universität Erfurt
Max-Weber-Kolleg für kultur- und sozialwissenschaftliche Studien
Postfach 90 02 21
99105 Erfurt

Dr. Tullio Viola

Zur Person

Curriculum Vitae

  • 2004-2009 Studium der Philosophie in Pisa, Lyon und Berlin.
  • 2010-2015 Promotion in Philosophie an der Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin. Titel der Dissertation: “Philosophy and History. The Legacy of Charles S. Peirce’s Realism”.
  • 2010-2014: Stipendiat, Kolleg-Forschergruppe “Bildakt und Verkörperung”, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin.
  • 2011-2012: Visiting Scholar, Department of Philosophy, Columbia University.
  • 2014-2018 Wissenschaftlicher Mitarbeiter, Forschergruppe “symbolische Artikulation”, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin.
  • Seit April 2018: Postdoktorand am Max-Weber-Kolleg. Forschungsprojekt: Symbols and the Dynamic of Culture. Betreuer: Prof. Dr. Hans Joas.


My project focuses on a historical-philosophical investigation of theories of the symbol in American and German philosophy between the nineteenth- and the twentieth centuries. More specifically, it aims at unearthing the shared background of sources and assumptions that tied together the discussions on the concept of symbol in pragmatism, neo-Kantianism, hermeneutics, and historicism. At the same time, the project also aims to show the continuing relevance of such discussions, by suggesting that many of the questions that keep being asked today by philosophers, historians, sociologists and cognitive scientists about the role of symbols in human culture delve their roots into the theories first put forth almost a hundred years ago.

From a more theoretical angle, two interrelated concepts play a decisive role in my investigation: the concept of indeterminacy (or vagueness), and that of articulation. Many of the authors I consider regard symbols as inherently indeterminate, in the sense that their purport and meaning are at no time fully disclosed, but keep developing over time in a way that is at least in part unforeseeable. This development may in turn be conceptualized as the gradual articulation of an original nucleus of meaning through the contribution of new experiences. So defined, the concept of articulation stands out as a paradigmatic model of how complex symbolic entities such as beliefs, concepts and values may develop over time, and may advance their claim to universal validity without detaching themselves from the contingent circumstances of their genesis.

Publikationen (Auswahl)

  • “Habit and the Symbolic Process”, in Sabine Marienberg (Hg.), Symbolic Articulation: Image, Word, and Body between Action and Schema, Berlin/Boston: De Gruyter 2017.
  • mit R. Gronda (Hg.): Pragmatism and the Writing of History, Speciall Issue, European Journal of Pragmatism and American Philosophy, VIII/2 (2016). <http://journals.openedition.org/ejpap/611>
  • “C. S. Peirce on Abduction and Embodiment” in M. Jung, R. Mazdia (Hg.), Pragmatism and Embodied Cognitive Science, Berlin/New York: De Gruyter 2016.
  • “Peirce and Iconology: Habitus, Embodiment, and the Analogy between Philosophy and Architecture”, European Journal of Pragmatism and American Philosophy, 4/1 (2012), 6-31.
  • “Philosophy and the Second Person: Peirce, Wilhelm von Humboldt, Benveniste, and Personal Pronouns as Universals of Communication”, Transactions of the Charles S. Peirce Society, 47/4 (2011), 389-420.