Santiago Zabala was raised in Rome, Vienna, and Geneva. He studied philosophy at the University of Turin and at the Pontifical Lateran University of Rome where he obtained his PhD in 2006. The following year Zabala was awarded the Humboldt Research Fellowship at the University of Potsdam. After spending the spring semester of 2010 as a visiting scholar at Johns Hopkins University, Zabala has been appointed ICREA Research Professor at the Pompeu Fabra University, where he currently teaches contemporary and political philosophy, supervises Ph.D. students and directs the UPF Center for Vattimo’s Archives and Philosophy. In addition to an extensive speaking schedule at conferences, seminars, and art Biennales, Zabala is also visiting professor at Renmin University, IDSVA, and several other international institutions.
Zabala's research focus in three areas each of which have generated several authored and edited books and Journals: ontology, political philosophy, and aesthetics. All these three areas are studied following the hermeneutic principle according to which truth is not an objective goal that philosophy must submit to, but rather the effect of the conflict of interpretations. Following the work of Martin Heidegger, Hans-Georg Gadamer, and Gianni Vattimo Zabala has emphasized the ontological nature of hermeneutics in order to demonstrate the danger of truth impositions for religious and political emancipation. The problem of emergency has been at the center of his research this past years in relation to politics, society, and art. His next books, essays, and articles will be on the problem of freedom in this age of so called alternative facts to demostrate, once again, how there are no facts, but only interpretations as Nietzsche once said.