Luca Pellarin presents a working paper on ‚Acknowledging Limits. Building on Franz C. Overbeck Remarks on Modernity‘

Starting from the analysis of some excerpts of Franz C. Overbeck (1837-1905), the aim of this paper is to investigate the concept of “limit” with regard to Modernity and identify some limits of Modernity itself, trying to account for a recurring feeling that arises when one reads Overbeck’s production: the German theologian seems to constantly vindicate the need to set limits. On this basis, it will be shown, on the one hand, that: a. for Overbeck speaking of “limits” means addressing the moral field and the theory of knowledge; b. a proper character of Modernity is individualism; c. two of the most important representatives of individualism of his time were F. Nietzsche and P.-J. Proudhon; d. his interpretation of Modernity is rooted in the cultural tradition of the German thought (in primis in J.W. Goethe). Each of these items will thus be explored in depth in order to reach significant conclusions for the understanding of Overbeck’s work. On the other hand, despite the large attention devoted to Overbeck, the focus of the text will not be only on him; his reflections will instead be taken as an opportunity to survey the issues listed above.