We live in an age of inconstancy and sudden change in private and public life. What is the place of perseverance in today's world? One can persevere in a diet or in one's study habits. One perseveres when one pursues a project to its end, at any cost, because one believes in it. Perseverance is in play, at a higher level, when one's goals are elevated and complex, when one continues to struggle, for example, for a more just society and even when history encourages one to abandon the fight. But what exactly inspires us to persevere? Why resist if the price is personal sacrifice? It is almost a question of faith, so much so that the word endures in the religious vocabulary. Perseverance is, according to the author, essentially a form of self-fulfillment.
This book is part of a new series entitled "Forgotten Words": silence, patience, frugality, perseverance, decency, prudence, courage... and, finally, old age. This new series comprises brief essays by authors having different intellectual backgrounds, who discuss these forgotten words, explore their contemporary relevance, and identify their existential features.
Salvatore Natoli teaches Theoretical Philosophy at the Bicocca University and History of Ideas at the Vita-Salute San Raffaele University, both in Milan.