Argumenta – Journal of Analytic Philosophy

Umberto Eco


Umberto Eco (5th January 1932 – 19th February 2016) was an Italian semiotician, philosopher, anthropologist, novelist and literary critic. Eco founded and developed one of the most important approaches in contemporary semiotics, usually referred to as interpretative semiotics. The main books in which he elaborates his theory are La struttura assente (1968), A Theory of Semiotics (1975), The Role of the Reader (1979), Semiotics and Philosophy of Language (1984), The Limits of Interpretation (1990), Kant and the Platypus (1997), and From the Tree to the Labyrinth: Historical Studies on the Sign and Interpretation (2014). As anthrpologist Eco created an original research program called Anthropology of the West from the perspective of non-Westerners, as defined by their own criteria. Eco developed this transcultural international network based on the idea of Alain le Pichon in West Africa. The so-called Bologna program resulted in a first conference in Guangzhou, China, in 1991 entitled “Frontiers of Knowledge. He was member of the Accademia dei Lincei, honorary fellow of Kellogg College of Oxford and awarded of the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic.