Sadi Marhaba, Ph.D.

General Psychology Professor
Senior scholar at the University of Padova, Italy

Phone: +39 340 3102303

Sadi Marhaba was born in Rome in 1947. His father was a Lebanese Muslim, and his mother was an Italian Catholic. Sadi obtained a master’s degree in Philosophy in 1968 at Rome University, where prof. Guido Calogero focused his teaching on the concept of “dialogue”. His thesis was on history and epistemology of behaviorism, which at the time was mostly unknown in Italy. Sadi made an academic research and career in psychology, particularly epistemology and history of psychology. His basic training was in experimental Gestalt Psychology, especially visual perception, where an internationally known leading figure close to him was prof. Gaetano Kanizsa, at the University of Trieste.

Sadi wrote books and papers on these topics, focusing on what he called – using a Kantian term – epistemological “antinomies,” that is irreducibly contrasting positions in psychological thought – such as mechanomorphism vs. anthropomorphism, reductionism vs. anti-reductionism, logicism vs. phenomenologism, subjectivism vs. behaviorism, quantificationism vs. anti-quantificationism, theoreticism vs. anti-theoreticism, explanationism vs. descriptivism and predictivism. 

From 1982 to 2017, Sadi has been a Full Professor in the Department of General Psychology at the University of Padova, Italy. As he taught the basic course of “Fundamentals of Psychology” to 600 new students each year, in total he has had many thousands of students. With them Sadi has tried to communicate and share a critical approach to psychology. In parallel, he became a psychotherapist (Adlerian approach) and over the years, has had many enriching relationships with persons belonging to different cultures and conditions, including some of those who are usually defined as “mentally ill”. 

For 15 years, Sadi has taught some Schools of Psychotherapy and wrote a book on 25 different approaches in psychotherapy. His encounter with constructivism in general and Gergen’s Social Constructionism in particular confirmed and influenced a lot personal ideas about psychology and psychotherapy and human life in general. Currently, he would like to write something on all of this. In 2005, Sadi translated the precious book “Social Constructionism: Entering the Dialogue” by Kenneth and Mary Gergen into Italian. He adopted this book in to his university courses and in a Psychotherapy School (Institute of Constructivist Psychology, Padova) where he still teaches now. Currently, Sadi also teaches in the Brief Strategic Therapy School, in Arezzo.