From Kant to Croce

From Kant to Croce: Modern Philosophy in Italy, 1800-1950

Brian Copenhaver
Rebecca Copenhaver
LUIGI BALLERINI
MASSIMO CIAVOLELLA
Copyright Date: 2012
Pages: 832
https://www.jstor.org/stable/10.3138/j.ctt2ttm6m
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  • Book Info
    From Kant to Croce
    Book Description:

    From Kant to Croceis a comprehensive, highly readable history of the main currents and major figures of modern Italian philosophy, described in a substantial introduction that details the development of the discipline from 1800 to 1950.

    eISBN: 978-1-4426-9448-4
    Subjects: Philosophy

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. Preface and Acknowledgments
    (pp. vii-x)
    Brian Copenhaver and Rebecca Copenhaver
  4. Part I: Introduction

    • 1 A Strange History (Bobbio I)
      (pp. 3-6)

      When Norberto Bobbio died in 2004, an obituary in theGuardianrecorded his passing and remembered his career for that newspaper’s anglophone readership. TheGuardianpraised Bobbio as ‘Italy’s leading legal and political philosopher,’ noting that he was also ‘one of the most authoritative figures in his country’s politics. His status was marked by the Italian president’s immediate departure for Turin to be among the first mourners, and an extensive discussion of his writing in the media.’¹ For an American president (or, these days, an English prime minister) to rush to the funeral of a philosopher, even a very great...

    • 2 Idealism and Sensism (Rosmini I)
      (pp. 7-10)

      Consider two lists of thirteen names each: first, Pythagoras, Parmenides, Empedocles, Cicero, Plotinus, Anselm, Aquinas, Bonaventura, Machiavelli, Bruno, Campanella, Galileo, and Vico; next, Galluppi, Rosmini, Mamiani, Gioberti, Spaventa, Villari, De Sanctis, Fiorentino, Florenzi Waddington, Labriola, Croce, Gentile, and Gramsci.11What these names have in common is that they all belonged to Italians, either by birth or by residence. All were also philosophers, but the second group, except Gramsci, Croce, and perhaps Gentile, is invisible in the current anglophone history of philosophy. And yet the cause of their obscurity is a reason for remembering them: the story of philosophy in Italy...

    • 3 Philosophies Imported and Contested (Galluppi I)
      (pp. 11-13)

      Born in the northeast of Italy and living most of his life there, Rosmini looked at first to French rather than German philosophers, even though Austria had replaced France as the dominant foreign power in Restoration Italy after 1815. Born far to the south, in Calabria, Pasquale Galluppi had meanwhile opened a channel to German thought, though it was indirect, through French interpretations or translations of German texts. And this eventual openness to novel influences followed a very conventional education.23

      When Galluppi was born in Tropea, that Calabrian town was part of the Kingdom of Naples, and Galluppi was the...

    • 4 Experience and Ideology (Galluppi II)
      (pp. 14-23)

      Galluppi described his philosophy of experience as salvaging Kant’s failure to find a secure basis for human cognition. He divides the exposition of this philosophy in theElementsinto five parts filling more than six hundred pages. His names for these five parts are ‘pure logic,’ ‘psychology,’ ‘ideology,’ ‘mixed logic,’ and ‘moral philosophy and natural theology,’ each of them followed by a ‘summary in questions and answers.’ At the end of the mixed logic, he also provides an ‘exposition and evaluation of the transcendental philosophy.’ Translated here are Galluppi’s digest of Kant, one of the first of its kind in...

    • 5 Restoration and Reaction (Rosmini II)
      (pp. 24-26)

      Galluppi had grown up in the Europe of theancien régime, of which Rosmini had no experience, though he certainly shared Galluppi’s commitment to traditional Christian theism. By the time he entered the University of Padua to study theology in 1816, Napoleon was on St Helena, and the monarchs of Europe were trying to rebuild what the French Revolution had destroyed. Like Galluppi’s family, Rosmini’s was noble and hence in a position to profit from the Restoration. But even after his ordination in 1821, the young priest was stirred by the Italian patriotism that Italy’s Austrian masters found seditious. Rosmini...

    • 6 The Mother Idea (Rosmini III)
      (pp. 27-35)

      The reader of the first volume of Rosmini’sNew Essayfinds herself far from the turbulence of 1848 and its sad sequel. The scene of this volume is the Scottish Enlightenment, mainly Reid and other members of the ‘Scottish School,’ after which the second volume turns to the German Enlightenment – to Leibniz and Kant as heirs of Plato. These three philosophers ‘posited something innate to explain the fact of the origin of ideas … but what they posited was excessive and arbitrary.’ Plato was more excessive than Leibniz and Leibniz more than Kant, the most restrained of the three,...

    • 7 Primacy (Gioberti I)
      (pp. 36-39)

      Like Rosmini, Vincenzo Gioberti was a priest who came of age in post-Napoleonic Europe, but his faith was less settled than Rosmini’s and his politics more dissident. He was born in 1801 in Torino, which had just been annexed to France and remained French until Vittorio Emanuele I was restored in 1814 as King of Sardinia and Piedmont. Since Gioberti’s family was lower middle class, a career in religion could be a path to success. After studies with the Oratorians and then in the theological faculty of the University of Torino, he found a post as court chaplain, before taking...

    • 8 The Ideal Formula (Gioberti II)
      (pp. 40-44)

      Gioberti recorded the brunt of his assault on that claim in the fourth chapter of hisIntroduction: ‘The Ideal Formula.’98His goals there are two: first, to derive a formula that expresses a judgment which is foundational both ontologically and epistemically; and second, to explain why the philosophical method of his day (which he callspsychologism) had failed to find such a formula.

      Psychologism, according to Gioberti, depends on reflection, conceptual analysis, and imaginative synthesis of ideas to reach ontological conclusions about extra-mental reality. This method, he maintains, leads to sceptical and idealist mistakes in epistemology and naturalist and pantheist...

    • 9 A Natural Method (Mamiani)
      (pp. 45-47)

      Gioberti was not the first Italian of his day to look to Scotland for philosophical salvation, nor was he the first to follow Vico in exhorting Italy to revive past intellectual glories of her own. When Count Terenzio Mamiani della Rovere published hisRenewal of the Ancestral Italian Philosophyin 1834, he had been writing for more than a decade. Born in Pesaro in 1799, he made contact in the 1820s with the Florentine literary circle established by Giovan Pietro Vieusseux, a businessman of Swiss family who began to publish hisAntologiain 1821. Mamiani’s reviews appeared regularly in this...

    • 10 Revolution and Recirculation (Spaventa)
      (pp. 48-52)

      If many Italians thought that the antidote for sensism had to be some kind of idealism, something more modern than the Platonic kind was already available from the prolific Hegel, who had begun his career with thePhenomenologyin 1807 and died in 1831. Another decade passed, however, before Italian thinkers took much notice of Hegel, and by then his reputation was declining elsewhere in Europe. Few Italians could read him in German, and in any language his books were hard to find on the peninsula. Some learned about Hegel by travelling and teaching abroad, others from personal contacts with...

    • 11 Facts and Laws (Villari)
      (pp. 53-59)

      In the year of Spaventa’s death, Villari published a response to Henry Buckle’sHistory of Civilization in England. Inspired by Auguste Comte’sCours de philosophie positive(1830–42), Buckle had claimed that historians could find scientific laws by observing the basic forces of nature, and that such laws would reach beyond politics to the whole human condition. Villari was well qualified to introduce Buckle to Italy, having been a leading Italian voice for historical positivism since the memorable address that he gave to promote it in 1865. But this native Neapolitan had also studied with the Hegelian De Sanctis in...

    • 12 Real and Ideal (De Sanctis)
      (pp. 60-65)

      Although Villari was a conspicuous target for the young and ambitious Croce, one of Croce’s heroes was Villari’s teacher, Francesco De Sanctis, remembered today as the first great literary historian and critic of modern Italy – above all for hisHistory of Italian Literature(1870–1). Like other intellectuals of his generation, De Sanctis lived a life fractured by the epochal events of 1848 and 1860, which compelled him to think about human affairs in a broader and deeper way. Born in 1817 in the region of Avellino, east of Naples, he moved to the city in 1827 to pursue...

    • 13 Resurgence (Fiorentino and Florenzi Waddington)
      (pp. 66-76)

      After De Sanctis welcomed realism in his 1872 essay on ‘Science and Life,’ some critics thought he had surrendered to positivism, though Croce and Gentile would later deny it. In 1876, when the great critic published his ‘Principle of Realism,’ Francesco Fiorentino gave an inaugural address on the related themes of ‘Positivism and Idealism,’ and there was no doubt about his idealist credentials, though he acquired them only after completing an eclectic philosophical education based on Cousin, Galluppi, and Gioberti.

      Fiorentino was born in 1834 near the toe of the Italian boot, in Sambiase Catanzaro. He read law before moving...

    • 14 Matter and Idea (Labriola)
      (pp. 77-85)

      Antonio Labriola was born the son of a school teacher in 1843 in Cassino, and in 1861 he went to Naples to study philosophy. Working with Spaventa and other Hegelians, he began by criticizing Eduard Zeller’s version of Kantian epistemology; then he studied Socrates, Spinoza, and Feuerbach. Despite the long shadows cast in Naples by Spaventa and De Sanctis, Labriola was never comfortable with Hegel. He aimed one of his early efforts at Augusto Vera’s HegelianLectures on the Philosophy of History, but this should be seen in the context of coolness between Vera and Spaventa. Like his father, Labriola...

    • 15 No Speculative Movement (Barzellotti)
      (pp. 86-89)

      Before Labriola discovered communism, and long before he offered his final account of historical materialism, a new journal calledMindhad been founded in Britain. The first issue of 1876 included articles by Herbert Spencer on psychology, by John Venn on logic, and by Mark Pattison on philosophy at Oxford – the medley of science and philosophy that characterized the journal in its first decades. In 1878Mindpublished a long piece on ‘Philosophy in Italy’ by Giacomo Barzellotti (1844–1917), who had studied in Florence with Augusto Conti, a liberalizing Giobertian, before travelling in Germany and then teaching at...

    • 16 A Revelation (Croce I)
      (pp. 90-91)

      Croce was born in 1866 to an upper-class family of Pescasseroli, in the middle of the peninsula and halfway between Rome and Naples. An adolescent crisis of faith turned him to history, drama, and poetry, to De Sanctis, Silvio Pellico, and Giosuè Carducci. While still a liceo student, he also attended university lectures given in Naples by his father’s cousin, Bertrando Spaventa, thus disobeying his mother, who enforced the family’s dislike of both Spaventa brothers. Physical catastrophe struck in 1883 when an earthquake killed Croce’s immediate family and forced him to move to Rome, where he lived with cousin Silvio...

    • 17 History under Art (Croce II)
      (pp. 92-98)

      Croce begins by dividing all cultural production into two domains: science and art. If the two are mutually exclusive, and if history is not one of them, it must be the other. But the question framed by this distinction– ‘Is history science or art?’ – is vague and has led to weak answers, the commonest being that ‘history is science and art all at once.’ Only the recent German thinkers who have philosophized about history have replied in a rigorous way, maintaining that real history is strictly scientific and must always exclude art. Science seeks knowledge, art seeks pleasure, and...

    • 18 What Is Distinct? (Croce III)
      (pp. 99-105)

      Nonetheless, if Croce really means to bring history under art, and if aesthetics is the philosophy of art, then historians might well ask how Croce expects distinctive philosophizing about their craft to be possible. A full answer can come only from the higher-order inquiry that Croce called the Philosophy of the Spirit, the first of whose four parts would appear in theAestheticsof 1902. The whole colossal project is barely visible in the earlier essay, where Croce mentions ‘the highest idealities of the human spirit’ or forms of the Spirit. After finishing theAesthetics, Croce moved on to the...

    • 19 What Is Living? (Croce IV)
      (pp. 106-111)

      While taking hisLogicthrough several drafts, Croce was also doing the work that led to his most memorable statement about philosophy,What Is Living and What Is Dead in Hegel’s Philosophy? Published in 1907 (the preface is dated March 1906), it was the first of many books by Croce to be produced by Giovanni Laterza, head of the new, and soon to be distinguished, publishing house that still bears his name. Laterza had just taken over the new journal,La Critica, that Croce launched with Giovanni Gentile in 1903. The initial plan for this enormously productive partnership was for...

    • 20 What Is Dead? (Croce V)
      (pp. 112-117)

      Croce thinks that Hegel was right to locate the synthesis of opposites in the philosophical concept but wrong not to see that the concept also requires the unity of distincts. The concept is more than the synthesis of opposites; it is also those mutually interdependent domains which, just because they are distinct, cannot oppose one another. Logic, ethics, aesthetics, and history, for example, are distinct domains whose relations cannot be captured empirically by classification or dialectically by opposition. It makes no sense to think of them as fitting together into a single classificatory scheme like that of family, genus, and...

    • 21 Materialism (Gentile I)
      (pp. 118-125)

      Croce’s superb essay on Hegel is his clearest public statement of the philosophical issue that did most to put him at odds with Giovanni Gentile: his theory of distinction and opposition. Much more than philosophy, of course, was involved in their famous controversy, which took decades to ripen and grew out of a relationship of patronage, partnership, and friendship. Croce, the older of the two, had made his name as a public intellectual while Gentile was still just another university student, and Croce was one of the first to spot Gentile’s stunning talent.318

      Gentile was born in 1875 – nine...

    • 22 Idealism (Gentile II)
      (pp. 126-130)

      As Gentile laboured to reject one system, Marxism, while making it clear that he valued Marx’s account of praxis, he was also at work on another system – actualism or actual idealism – that would move him closer to Hegel, Fichte, and Kant and away from Marx, that relentlessly ungrateful child of idealism. After the publication ofRosmini e Giobertiin 1898, Gentile’s work on the metaphysics and epistemology of earlier and later Italian thinkers educated him about their targets and sources: Condillac and the French sensists; Thomas Reid and the Scots Enlightenment; and, above all, Kantian and post-Kantian philosophy...

    • 23 Actualism (Gentile III)
      (pp. 131-141)

      After several years of teaching liceo and university students in Naples, though never on a secure basis, Gentile moved back to Sicily in 1906 as professor of the history of philosophy at the University of Palermo, where he stayed until 1914, participating in highly charged debates on pedagogy, public education, and religious education. Because Palermo was not a happy place for him, however, he tried for the history of philosophy chair at Naples when it came open in 1908, only to be blocked again by patrons of a competitor. Croce responded in 1909 with an open letter on ‘The Gentile...

    • 24 Manifestos (Croce and Gentile)
      (pp. 142-146)

      In 1914 the idealist Gentile succeeded the idealist Jaja at the Faculty of Letters in Pisa. Gentile was still doing the work that produced his major statements on actualism, and four years later he was called to a chair in Rome when Barzellotti died. There he made two crucial decisions: first, to start his own journal as the official organ of actualism – and competition forCritica– theGiornale critico della filosofia italiana; second, to accept appointment as the Director of Public Education for the Commune of Rome. During this period he wrote extensively on the most contentious issue...

    • 25 Common Sense and Good Sense (Gramsci I)
      (pp. 147-152)

      In 1926, the year when Amendola died of his injuries and Croce’s house was attacked, the Fascists arrested another prominent member of the Italian legislature, Antonio Gramsci, who had been general secretary of the Italian Communist Party (PCI) since 1924. By the time Gramsci was ‘conditionally’ released in 1934, his health was so bad that he could not leave the hospital, where he died in 1937 at the age of 46. He was born in Sardinia in 1891 in a middle-class family, but he had to go to work in his teens because his father got into political trouble and...

    • 26 The Religion of Liberty (Croce VI)
      (pp. 153-158)

      Croce began to study the past professionally around the time when Gramsci was born, starting at home with research on theatre in Naples. Eventually he made monumental contributions in many genres of historical writing, mainly literary, cultural, and political history, as well as autobiography. He also theorized about history in works on aesthetics, historiography, and what must be called – despite Croce’s reservations and for want of a better term – philosophy of history. The quarter-century after the First World War, when Fascism triumphed and declined in Italy, was the time of his greatest achievement in history and its theory,...

    • 27 Philosophy in Prison (Gramsci II)
      (pp. 159-162)

      By 1931, when some of Croce’sHistorywas already in print, Gramsci had been in custody for five years and his health, always precarious, had collapsed. But he had constant support from Tania Schucht, his sister-in-law, and help from others, including Piero Sraffa, a friend and a Cambridge economist. Early in 1932, Sraffa convinced Tania to ask Gramsci to write about Croce’sHistory: Sraffa’s purpose was to improve Gramsci’s health by stimulating his thinking. Gramsci first replied to Tania with two preliminary questions: from what interests of Croce’s did hisHistoryemerge; and how could his international celebrity be explained?428...

    • 28 Still a Strange History (Bobbio II)
      (pp. 163-172)

      Croce lived to the age of 86. By the time he died in 1952, the Fascist regime had been gone for nearly a decade, Italy was still recovering from another calamitous war, and Gramsci’s works had been published. Gentile was assassinated in 1944, and Mussolini met the same fate in 1945. Three years after Croce’s death, Norberto Bobbio wrote his article on the cultural politics of idealism, more than half a century after Gentile had declared idealism reborn. The ‘strange history of European thought,’ the autobiography of Italian idealism during that half-century, had been a self-deception, according to Bobbio.437What...

    • Notes to Part I
      (pp. 173-190)
  5. Part II: Translations

    • 1 Elements of Philosophy
      (pp. 193-244)
      Baron Pasquale Galluppi of Tropea

      To the Young, Lovers of True Wisdom

      Young People,

      In the last century, remarkable changes have occurred in philosophy; new elements must therefore replace the old. Despite the wonderful books that keep appearing to shed their light on the world of philosophy, to me it appears that we still have no good elements. To create them, one must follow the whole history of philosophy in an analytic spirit, paying special attention to the period of the current philosophical revolution, looking deeply at the causes that made it happen, and then reading and analysing all the classic works of the various...

    • 2 A Sketch of Modern Philosophy
      (pp. 245-263)
      Antonio Rosmini

      [I. Recent Philosophical Systems]

      1.Locke. Locke took it upon himself to solve the problem of the origin of ideas. He said that all ideas come from sensation and from reflection. By reflection he meant the operation of the faculty of the human mind on sensations. Consequently, he denied that there are innate ideas in the mind. By innate ideas are meant cognitions that a person has in himself naturally.

      2.Condillac. Locke’s philosophy was spread in France by Condillac, who modified it.² Condillac set aside Locke’s reflection and claimed that it is nothing but sensation. In this way he boasted of...

    • 3 The Moral and Political Primacy of the Italians II. THE ITALIAN PRIMACY IN REGARD TO THOUGHT: 2. ITALY IS THE LEADER IN THE PHILOSOPHICAL SCIENCES
      (pp. 264-277)
      Vincenzo Gioberti

      Italy’s supremacy in the practice of theoretical thinking has a number of causes, the result being that she alone possesses and keeps intact the protologic principle of knowledge.² Besides being common to all the parts of the encyclopedia, this principle belongs in a very special way to the teachings of reason and constitutes the first science – the foundation and entryway of all theory. And since the axiom of creation has been discarded or at least obscured and altered by the non-Catholic schools and by all those who have withdrawn from Italian influences, protology can rightly be considered a privilege...

    • 4 Introduction to the Study of Philosophy Book I, Chapter 4, ‘The Ideal Formula’
      (pp. 278-311)
      Vincenzo Gioberti

      What we call theIdeal Formulais a proposition that expresses the Idea in a clear, simple, and precise way by means of a judgment. Since a person cannot think without judging, he cannot think the Idea without making a judgment whose meaning is the Ideal Formula. This must consist of two terms joined together by a third, in keeping with the nature of every judgment, and it must not go wrong by excess or defect. It would go wrong by defect if it did not contain all the elements that constitute the Idea – if, in other words, each...

    • 5 The Renewal of the Ancestral Italian Philosophy
      (pp. 312-342)
      Count Terenzio Mamiani della Rovere

      1. Three centuries have passed since every natural science began to move wisely and successfully towards its goal. The situation is the reverse in the domain of philosophy, which today, as in the past, seems troubled by conflicting systems and utterly unsure of any of its truths. Like many before us, we too have set out to find the cause of this because we are unsatisfied with the common view – that every conflict of philosophical opinion arises from the insuperable difficulty of the subject. The upshot is that any investigation of a hard subject can always lead to one of...

    • 6 The Character and Development of Italian Philosophy from the Sixteenth Century Until Our Time Inaugural Address for Lectures on the History of Philosophy in the University of Bologna, 1860
      (pp. 343-370)
      Bertrando Spaventa

      Gentlemen, the topic of my lectures for this year is the development of Italian philosophy from the sixteenth century until our time.

      To pick up again the sacred thread of our philosophical tradition; to revive the consciousness of our free thought by studying our leading philosophers; to search in philosophies of other nations for seeds received from the forefathers of our philosophy and then given back to us in new and better organized form; to understand this circulation of Italian thought whose meaning we have mostly lost; to recognize this return of our thought to itself in the great theoretical...

    • 7 Positive Philosophy and Historical Method
      (pp. 371-400)
      Pasquale Villari

      Today there is much talk about the positive philosophy and its applications to the natural, moral, and historical sciences. If you take a look at periodicals that discuss new books or new scientific topics, you will find the issue constantly debated. There are philosophers who attack and philosophers who support the new doctrine, and it is noteworthy that the most eminent authors have been joining the argument for some time.

      In England it is Mr J.S. Mill who supports the discussion, along with many others. In France, where the positive philosophy had its origin in this century, those who have...

    • 8 The Principle of Realism
      (pp. 401-412)
      Francesco De Sanctis

      Recently I happened to see theAnnualof aPhilosophical Librarypublished in Leipzig at the end of 1868, which had already become a sizable collection of sixty-seven volumes. Looking at this series, I was struck by certain names that have been out of fashion for a while – Descartes, Bacon, Locke, and finally Condillac. I seemed to be right in the middle of the eighteenth century. I was also astonished that the study of philosophy was still pursued with such ardour in Germany, that something on so vast a scale could still be published: among us it would find...

    • 9 The Ideal
      (pp. 413-417)
      Francesco De Sanctis

      Let me start by welcoming our friends and members. We have had enough rest and relaxation. Now that the holidays are over, here we are back at our favourite club. This year let us offer you a regular series of talks, at least one a month, and also some readings and discussions on the same schedule. Not to get down to detail, let me now announce a first reading for the evening of Thursday, 22 November, to be given by our distinguished friend and companion, Professor Persico, based on his short story.² I had been intending to give you a...

    • 10 Pantheism as the Foundation of the True and the Good
      (pp. 418-421)
      Marianna Bacinetti Florenzi Waddington

      To Baron Bunsen in Cannes²

      Distinguished Baron and most cherished cousin:

      It was truly a comfort to receive your most interesting letter; it makes me very happy and does me honour. Any praise coming my way from a person like you, so wise and so fair, gives me courage and strength. I like what you say, and it gives me matter for meditating much more carefully, inasmuch as we may find ourselves somewhat at odds.

      But we agree to the extent of not accepting a personal God outside the universe. Indeed, what would that God be who contemplates the universe...

    • 11 Remarks on Pantheism: The Infinite, the Finite, God, and Man
      (pp. 422-428)
      Marianna Bacinetti Florenzi Waddington

      God is the Ideal, the infinite Ideal, the infinite Thought from which everything develops in immensity, eternity, and variety. Being infinite, God cannot create the finite because the finite of itself cannot be perceived by an infinite mind since that would be to create something contrary to its being. Also, by having to create from nothing – which seems to me absurd – God would not be able to create something that was not in conformity with his infinite being because that would be to create something not worthy of his eternal power. To create the finite, it would be...

    • 12 Letters on The New Science to the Marchesa Florenzi Waddington
      (pp. 429-446)
      Francesco Fiorentino

      Distinguished Lady and Friend:

      In our frequent talks together about the enormous value ofThe New Science, you have pointed out to me various statements that clearly foreshadow German philosophy, and you have asked why people have tried so hard to conceal these similarities and twist the teaching of the greatest Neapolitan philosopher into such strange shapes. I have answered with a few words about this, but since the question is a serious one and needs more clarification, I have decided to write about it, in confidence that this will please someone who finds philosophical debate (a rare thing in...

    • 13 Positivism and Idealism
      (pp. 447-462)
      Francesco Fiorentino

      No one used to thinking about the course of human events can help noticing the variable success enjoyed by various fields of study, no less than by any other institution or practice. It will be easy for any such person to see that some fields that were once sought after and fashionable were soon completely forgotten or taken up without enthusiasm. Usually, in fact, the eventual oblivion has been in proportion to the antecedent ardour: the greater the expectations engendered, the more distressing the consequent disillusionment. Nowadays – and it could not be otherwise – philosophy has met a similar...

    • 14 History, Philosophy of History, Sociology, and Historical Materialism
      (pp. 463-483)
      Antonio Labriola

      It perplexes us that the word ‘history’ has been used to express two different levels of ideas: the totality of things that have happened, and the totality of literary devices used to attempt an account of them.

      The Greek word actually corresponds to the second level of ideas and expresses the subjective attitude of inquiring. The literary sense of the word, then, starts with the father of history: ‘This is the account of the inquiry made by Herodotus.’ Around the middle of the nineteenth century, when the need for an organized discipline of historical inquiry began to emerge, Gervinus devised...

    • 15 History Brought Under the General Concept of Art
      (pp. 484-514)
      Benedetto Croce

      Is history a science or an art? This question has been asked many times, but the usual judgment of the educated world is that the question is trivial, one of those usually raised only out of common confusion and then badly answered. Those who have asked and are still asking it, in fact, either fail to give it a precise definition, or, if forced to offer one, limit themselves to indicating merely this question: whether history, besides being verified exactly, should be represented in a lively way and be well written in the artistic sense. And the vague sense of...

    • 16 Logic as Science of the Pure Concept
      (pp. 515-532)
      Benedetto Croce

      Just because they are formations of different kinds, pure concepts and pseudo-concepts do not constitute divisions of the general concept of concept.² Assuming that they do so would be a grave confusion of terms, not much different from Spinoza’s example of the person who divided the genus dog into the animal dog and the constellation dog, basing this on the fact that poets once said that the celestial dog also ‘barks and bites’ when the implacable sun burns the fields.³

      And since we are in the domain of logic, it does no good to make another division of the concept...

    • 17 What Is Living and What Is Dead in the Philosophy of Hegel A Critical Study Followed by an Essay on Hegelian Bibliography
      (pp. 533-641)
      Benedetto Croce

      This little volume appears together with my translation of Hegel’sEncyclopedia of Philosophical Sciencesmade for the seriesClassics of Modern Philosophy, published by the same press and edited by me and my friend, Professor Giovanni Gentile.

      According to the plan of that series, the introductions to each text are of a purely philological nature, excluding any discussion of a critical-philosophical kind. But I have been unable to resist my desire to put into writing the critical-philosophical introduction to Hegel’s work that has taken shape in my mind – my views on the merits and demerits of Hegel’s philosophy. Naturally,...

    • 18 The Philosophy of Praxis
      (pp. 642-664)
      Giovanni Gentile

      In the preface to hisCritique of Political Economy(1859), Marx remembered waiting with Engels in Brussels in 1845 to take final action on their plan to define the state of their views – especially in relation to the materialist conception of history, as Engels later noted – as against the ideological theories of classical German philosophy: to settle accounts, so to speak, with previous philosophical thinking on ‘the form of a critique of post-Hegelian philosophy.’² The result of this would be a manuscript for two large octavo volumes. Sent to a printer in Westphalia, it remained in the shop...

    • 19 The Rebirth of Idealism Inaugural Lecture for an Open Course on Theoretical Philosophy Read in the Royal University of Naples, 28 February 1903
      (pp. 665-682)
      Giovanni Gentile

      Gentlemen: No one could begin teaching theoretical philosophy in this university without thinking of the man who taught that course here, as a regular professor, for more than two decades, from 23 November 1861 until 17 February 1883, which was the last day of his life. During that period, when all our fields of study were reinvigorated and our whole intellectual culture was reformed, he was the master of philosophical learning not only in Naples but all over Italy. He attracted to his Chair the best minds that were then developing, those that felt themselves born to do philosophy. In...

    • 20 The Act of Thinking as Pure Act
      (pp. 683-694)
      Giovanni Gentile

      There is no philosophical or scientific inquiry, there is no thinking of any kind unless the thinking has faith in itself or in its own value, unless there is spontaneous and unyielding conviction of thinking the truth. The sceptic, who thinks he has cut this faith off at the root by suspending judgment – as the only reasonable alternative left to his thinking – stops with the unshaken certainty that his suspension is reasonable, and, since he continues to think, faith in this stubborn and empty thought of his is what he goes on.

      The fact of thinking, and therefore...

    • 21 The Foundations of Actual Idealism
      (pp. 695-705)
      Giovanni Gentile

      1. Historically, actualist philosophy goes back to German philosophy from Kant to Hegel, both directly and also through those Italians of the past century who followed, explained, and criticized the German thinkers of that era. But it also goes back to the Italian philosophy of the Renaissance (Telesio, Bruno, Campanella), to the great Neapolitan philosopher, Giambattista Vico, and to those who renewed Italian theoretical thinking in the age of national Resurgence: Galluppi, Rosmini, and Gioberti.

      The first writings to sketch actualist philosophy reach back to the last years of the nineteenth century. In the first decades of the current century, actualism...

    • 22 Manifesto of the Fascist Intellectuals
      (pp. 706-712)

      Fascism is a recent and an ancient movement of the Italian spirit, deeply bound up with the history of the Italian nation, though not without meaning and interest for all the other nations. Its recent origins go back to 1919 when a band of men, returned from the trenches and resolved to fight vigorously against the demo-socialist politics that then prevailed, gathered around Benito Mussolini. The ruling politicians saw only the immediate material effects of the Great War from which the Italian people had emerged victorious but exhausted. If they did not openly deny its moral value, they let it...

    • 23 A Reply by Italian Authors, Professors, and Journalists to the ‘Manifesto’ of the Fascist Intellectuals
      (pp. 713-716)

      A group of authors, professors, and journalists has decided to communicate to the press a reply to the ‘Manifesto’ of the Fascist intellectuals. This reply makes no claim to represent, much less to monopolize, the anti-Fascist intelligentsia that has not and will not call any congress to show itself off in an artificial grouping. Instead, the chief point is to react against the method that would claim to subdue the intelligentsia into functioning as aninstrumentum regni, while a concurrent aim is for some free intellectuals to protest against the version of Italian events as interpreted by the Fascist intellectuals,...

    • 24 Notebooks: 11 (1932–3), Introduction to the Study of Philosophy
      (pp. 717-752)
      Antonio Gramsci

      The notes contained here, as in the other notebooks, have been written rapidly in order to make a quick record. All of them need to be reviewed and carefully checked since they certainly contain false starts, anachronisms, and things that are imprecise. Since they were written away from the books to which they refer, it is possible that after checking they may have to be extensively corrected if the opposite of what has been written turns out to be true.

      1.Antonio Labriola. To put together a complete essay on Antonio Labriola, we need to keep in mind not only his...

    • 25 History of Europe in the Nineteenth Century: Epilogue
      (pp. 753-761)
      Benedetto Croce

      Suppose someone makes a comparison of political geography before and after the Great War and sees the German Republic replacing the Germany of the Hohenzollerns; sees the Austrian Empire taken apart and replaced by new or enlarged nation-states, with German Austria and Magyar Hungary confined to narrow frontiers; sees France reintegrated with the provinces lost in ’70; sees Italy reunited with the ‘unredeemed’ lands and extending its borders to the Brenner pass; sees Poland reconstituted and Russia no longer czarist but Soviet; sees the United States of America elevated among the major factors in European politics; and so on through...

    • 26 Letters from Prison
      (pp. 762-778)
      Antonio Gramsci

      Dearest Tania:²

      Thanks for making me a copy of the letter in which Giulia gave you more details on the state of Delio’s health. I will take the Somatose, as I wrote to you – no need to get me too worked up about it because I’m already persuaded, enough to make me take it anyhow.³

      When I’ve read the Croce book, I’ll be very happy to help you with it by writing some critical notes about it – though not a complete review, as you ask, because it would be hard to gulp it all down right away. However,...

  6. References and Abbreviations
    (pp. 779-804)
  7. Name Index
    (pp. 805-824)
  8. General Index
    (pp. 825-859)