Damiano Sacco completed his PhD in theoretical physics at King’s College London before obtaining an MA from the Centre for Research in Modern European Philosophy (CRMEP) at Kingston University. Whereas his PhD thesis has dealt with different aspects of string theory (F-Theory and M-Theory), his current research lies primarily in modern and contemporary aspects of the continental philosophical tradition, focusing in particular on the works of Martin Heidegger, Jacques Derrida, Giorgio Agamben, and Emanuele Severino.

Having published in both theoretical physics and philosophy, Sacco’s recent work has focused on the relationship between physics and metaphysics in the Western tradition, with the aim of determining in which respects the history of metaphysics has been influenced by the understanding of the natural world provided by physics. In parallel, his research has enquired into the historical categories and the metaphysical understanding that subtend the research programme of modern theoretical physics.

Residues of Presence: Between Physics and Metaphysics
Affiliated Project 2020-21

This project aims to develop an in-depth study of the philosophical and historical convergences that underlie the enquiries of physics and metaphysics in the tradition of the West. The goal is to establish a conceptual framework that may allow, on the one hand, European/continental philosophy to receive the insights arising from modern theoretical physics, and, in turn, contemporary physics to be confronted with the philosophical history of its principal concepts. The study will be carried out from the standpoint provided by the principal readings of the history of metaphysics that have appeared in the twentieth century.

In this theoretical framework, the project aims to determine the contours of an ‘irreducible’ site that would underlie the possibilities of the enquiries of physics and metaphysics at a specific juncture in their histories. To this end, the project will trace the study of this irreducible site to the linguistic and meta-linguistic decisions that precede the appearance of the phenomenon in physics, and the reflection over the order of this appearance in metaphysics.

Residues of Presence:
Between Physics and Metaphysics

ICI Project 2018-20

This project attempts to open a space of convergence between the insights arising from continental philosophy and modern physics. Both have challenged a naive faith in the horizon of constant presence that have long regulated both philosophical and  physical enquiries, most manifestly in the metaphysical domain on the one hand and in the classical physical regime on the other. Grounding itself in Giorgio Agamben’s work in What is Real as well as in Heisenberg’s philosophical writings, the project assesses the status of a notion of a potentiality for presence that could replace the realm of actuality and render it a mere epiphenomenon.

The mutually constitutive emergence of the object of observation and its environment, as put forth by Karen Barad, is reformulated and evaluated in accordance with this opening. The environment comes to represent a residue or externality of presence that is by necessity internal to any description, however indeterminate, non-metaphysical, or non-representational it may be. The element of the environment is thus seen to require a confrontation with Derrida’s notion of the quasi-transcendental and with Agamben’s thinking of the state of exception.