Open main menu

Marcello Pera (Italian pronunciation: [marˈtʃɛllo ˈpɛːra]) (born 28 January 1943[1]) is an Italian philosopher and politician. He was the President of the Italian Senate from 2001 to 2006.

Marcello Pera
Marcello Pera Senato.jpg
President of the Italian Senate
In office
30 May 2001 – 27 April 2006
Preceded byNicola Mancino
Succeeded byFranco Marini
Member of the Senate
In office
9 May 1996 – 14 March 2013
Personal details
Born (1943-01-23) 23 January 1943 (age 76)
Lucca, Kingdom of Italy
Political partyIndependent
Other political
Italian Socialist Party
(until 1994)
Forza Italia
The People of Freedom



Pera, who was born in Lucca,[1] graduated in accounting, and he worked for the Banca Toscana and for the Camera di Commercio in Lucca. He went on to study philosophy at the University of Pisa, concentrating on the works of Karl Popper and his open society theory, and advocating these principles during the difficult 1970s, the anni di piombo.

His academic career began 1976 at the University of Pisa. He then went on to pursue research activities internationally: Visiting Fellow, University of Pittsburgh, 1984; Linguistics and Philosophy, MIT, Cambridge, Massachusetts, 1990; Visiting Fellow, Centre for the Philosophy of Natural Sciences, London School of Economics, 1995-96. He taught Theoretical Philosophy from 1989 to 1992 at the University of Catania. In 1992 he became full professor of Philosophy at the University of Pisa.

Marcello Pera has written for the newspapers Corriere della Sera, Il Messaggero, and La Stampa, and to the news magazines L'Espresso and Panorama.

Pera has become a leading opponent of post-modernism and cultural relativism and on this subject he resonates with religious thinkers.

Opposing cultural relativism he declared, "There are... good reasons for deeming that some institutions are better than others. And I deny that such a judgment must necessarily lead to a clash." [2]

Opposing the post modern denial of the possibility of ascertaining objective facts, he says, "Against deconstructivism I do not deny that facts do not exist without interpretation. I refute Nietzsche's thesis that "there are no facts, only interpretations" (F. Nietzsche, Afterthoughts); or Derrida's "there is nothing beyond the text" (J. Derrida, Of Grammatology)." [2]

In the SenateEdit

He was elected as a Senator for Forza Italia in 1996 and 2001.[1] During the XIV Legislature, he was President of the Senate from May 30, 2001 to April 27, 2006.[3] He was re-elected to the Senate in 2006 and 2008.[1]

Dialogue with Pope Benedict XVIEdit

An atheist,[4] Pera co-authored a book with then Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, titled Senza radici ("Without Roots"), and is the author of the introduction to the book originally titled L'Europa di Benedetto nella crisi delle culture, or in short, The Europe of Benedict, written by Ratzinger shortly before he became the pope. It has been reprinted as Christianity and the Crisis of Cultures. [5]

Pera's 2008 book Perché dobbiamo dirci cristiani ("Why We Must Call Ourselves Christians"), has a letter-preface by Pope Benedict XVI.

Pera is a critic of the policies of Jorge Bergoglio and his attempts to influence Italian politics, in particular his response to the European migrant crisis; he has accused Bergoglio of demanding that European states "commit suicide."[6][7]


Foreign honourEdit


  • Induzione e metodo scientifico, Pera M., Editrice Tecnico Scientifica, Pisa, 1978
  • Popper e la scienza su palafitte, Pera M., Laterza, Roma-Bari, 1981
  • Hume, Kant e l'induzione, Pera M., Il Mulino, Bologna, 1982
  • Apologia del Metodo, Pera M., Laterza, Roma-Bari, 1982
  • La Rana ambigua. La controversia sull'eletricità tra Galvana e Volta, Pera M., Einaudi, Torino, 1986; English translation The Ambiguous Frog: The Galvani-Volta Controversy on Animal Electricity, Princeton University Press, Princeton 1991
  • Scienza e retorica, Pera M., Laterza, Roma-Bari, 1992; translated into English and revised as The Discourses of Science, (Chicago University Press, Chicago 1994
  • Senza radici/Without Roots, Pera M., Ratzinger J., Mondadori, Milano 2004, Basic Books, New York 2006; German edition: Sankt Ulrich Verlag, Augsburg 2005; Spanish edition: Peninsula, Barcelona 2006
    • Ratzinger, Joseph; Pera, Marcello (2006). Without Roots: The West, Relativism, Christianity, Islam. New York: Basic Books.
  • Perché dobbiamo dirci cristiani ("Why We Must Call Ourselves Christians"), Mondadori, Milano 2008; with a letter-preface by Pope Benedict XVI


  1. ^ a b c d Page at Senate website ‹See Tfd›(in Italian).
  2. ^ a b "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2008-04-12. Retrieved 2014-02-09.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  3. ^ Senate page for Pera as a member of the XIV Legislature ‹See Tfd›(in French).
  4. ^ Curzio Maltese, Come ti sei ridotto: modesta proposta di sopravvivenza al declino di una nazione, Feltrinelli, 2006, p. 57.
  5. ^ Joseph Ratzinger, Christianity and the Crisis of Cultures (San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 2006), copyright page, table of contents.
  6. ^ "Il Papa, la Chiesa e i migranti. Parla Marcello Pera". Formiche. 5 July 2017. Retrieved 6 July 2017.
  7. ^ "Marcello Pera vs Papa Francesco/ "Bergoglio fa politica, è in atto uno scisma nella Chiesa"". Il Sussi Diario. 5 July 2017. Retrieved 6 July 2017.
  8. ^ "Semakan Penerima Darjah Kebesaran, Bintang dan Pingat Persekutuan".

External linksEdit

Political offices
Preceded by
Nicola Mancino
President of the Italian Senate
2001 - 2006
Succeeded by
Franco Marini