Idealism (italian) and after

Idealism (italian) and after
Italian idealism and after Gentile, Croce and others Giacomo Rinaldi INTRODUCTION The history of twentieth-century Italian philosophy is strongly influenced both by the peculiar character of its evolution in the preceding century and by widespread tendencies of contemporary continental (especially German) thought. In nineteenth-century Italian philosophy we can distinguish four main trends: (1) St Augustine’s and Aquinas’s traditional dualistic metaphysics, which was renewed with some originality by the priest Antonio Rosmini Serbati (1797–1855), and was regarded by the Roman Catholic church as its ‘official’ philosophical doctrine; (2) methodological empiricism, which was developed since the Renaissance especially by the founder of modern mathematical physics, Galileo Galilei, and which found its most prominent exponent in the positivist thinker Roberto Ardigò (1828–1920); (3) the speculative German tradition of Kantian- Hegelian idealism, according to its interpretation as a metafisica della mente, i.e. as a philosophy of pure self-consciousness, outlined by the greatest nineteenth-century Italian thinker, Bertrando Spaventa (1817–83); and finally (4) Marx’s and Engels’s historical materialism, which was spread and fostered especially by Antonio Labriola (1843–1904), who worked out a ‘humanistic’ (anti-naturalistic) interpretation of it. The influence of ‘classical German philosophy’ from Kant to Marx on twentiethcentury Italian thought thus turns out to be strictly determined and ‘mediated’ by the peculiar character of its interpretation and appropriation in the preceding century. But other trends of German thought too are studied, interpreted and further developed by contemporary Italian philosophers, thus exerting a direct, ‘immediate’ influence on them: e.g., the German tradition of ‘speculative mysticism’ (one might recall the philosophies of the later Fichte and the later Schelling, as well as Gadamer’s ‘hermeneutics’), the ‘philosophy of immanence’ (Schuppe and Schubert-Soldern), the ‘empiriocriticism’ of Mach and Avenarius; Husserl’s ‘phenomenology’ and Heidegger’s ‘existentialism’, etc. The peculiar political-cultural context in which the above-mentioned trends of contemporary Italian thought arise and spread can be sketched as follows. The philosophy of German idealism, and especially its Hegelian version, owing both to its origin in Protestant theology and religiosity and to its insistence on the state’s ‘ethical’ essence as the supreme moral law of the individual’s practical activity, met the spiritual exigencies of those ‘liberal-national’ movements of the Italian Risorgimento which aimed at the foundation of a unitary state, and which saw their major adversary in the Catholic church’s temporal power.1 Augustine’s and Aquinas’s dualistic metaphysics, on the contrary, prevailed in the most conservative classes and political trends in Italian society, and can be safely regarded, as it were, as the Roman Catholic church’s secular arm in its intellectual and moral life. At the extreme opposite of the social-political array, Marx’s historical materialism seemed able to offer an ‘objective’, ‘scientific’ foundation to the political aspirations of those who dreamt of radically transforming Italian society’s traditional order, be it the more archaic one sanctioned by the Roman Catholic church or the more recent one of the national unitary state. Finally, positivistic empiricism became, as it were, the ‘official’ ideology of the rising Italian industrial bourgeoisie, concentrated especially in the country’s northern regions. One can easily distinguish three fundamental evolutionary phases in twentieth-century Italian philosophy. In the first (c. 1900–45) we witness an indisputable prevalence of the idealistic trends, among them especially Giovanni Gentile’s thought. This is despite the often exaggerated cultural influence of his ‘actual idealism’, which from its first ‘official’ statement (1911) was strongly opposed by other no less famous representatives of Italian idealism such as Pietro Martinetti, Benedetto Croce and Pantaleo Carabellese. In the second phase (c. 1945–80), a widespread violent reaction against idealistic philosophy in general, and ‘actual idealism’ in particular, occurred. Antonio Banfi, Nicola Abbagnano, etc. set against it not only the materialistic conception of history, but also later tendencies of German thought such as, e.g., Husserl’s phenomenology and Heidegger’s existentialism. The distinction between the first and the second phase, however, must be understood not simply as a rigid separation, but as indicating a prevalence of the idealistic orientation in the first half of the twentieth century and of the anti-idealistic one in the second. In effect, the influence of nineteenth-century positivism does not disappear in the age dominatedby Croce’s and Gentile’s thought (it suffices to think, in this regard, of the writings of sociologists such as Vilfredo Pareto (1868–1923), of economists such as Luigi Einaudi (1874–1961), and of methodologists of science such as Antonio Aliotta (1881–1964). Furthermore, many of the most prominent exponents of the reaction against idealism in the second half of the century (e.g., Antonio Gramsci, Abbagnano and Banfi) had already worked out their fundamental conceptions before 1945. On the other hand, although in weakened and often speculatively unfruitful forms, the philosophical traditions of Gentile’s ‘actual idealism’ and of Croce’s ‘absolute historicism’ have survived up to today.2 In the 1980s, the final phase, something like a widespread ‘decline of ideology’ (‘tramonto dell’ideologia’) has, as Lucio Colletti says, taken place. The most remarkable consequence of it is likely to be the perhaps definitive dissolution of the cultural influence of the materialistic conception of history, which in the second half of the century has often represented one of the most powerful and unrelenting adversaries of any idealistic speculation. Although, then, the current situation of the ‘spirit’ of Italian culture is undoubtedly pervaded with a general feeling of bewilderment and creative impotence, yet it might also disclose new horizons and real possibilities for a critical resumption and further original development of the most glorious and speculatively fruitful trend in Italian thought—i.e., the Kantian-Hegelian tradition. ‘ACTUAL IDEALISM’: GIOVANNI GENTILE Giovanni Gentile (1875–1944), who was rightly defined by Michele Federico Sciacca as ‘the greatest Italian philosopher in our century’,3 was the author of numerous philosophical and historiographical works which are to be counted among the masterpieces of Italian thought in any age and have left an indelible trace also on the development of contemporary European philosophy. Here I can confine myself to mentioning the most relevant ones: La riforma della dialettica hegeliana (The Reform of Hegelian Dialectic) (1913 [10.32]), Sommario di pedagogia come scienza filosofica (An Outline of Pedagogy as a Philosophical Science), two volumes (1913–14 [10.33]), Teoria generate dello spirito come atto puro (General Theory of Mind as Pure Act) (1916 [10.35]), I fondamenti della filosofia del diritto (The Foundations of the Philosophy of Law) (1916 [10.34]), Sistema di logica come teoria del conoscere (A System of Logic as a Theory of Knowledge), two volumes (1917–22 [10.36]), Le origini della filosofia contemporanea in Italia (The Origins of Contemporary Philosophy in Italy), three volumes (1917–23 [10.37]), Discorsi di religions (Speeches on Religion) (1920 [10.38]), La filosofia dell’arte (The Philosophy of Art) (1931 [10.42]), Introduzione alla filo-sofia (An Introduction to Philosophy) (1933 [10.43]), and finally his posthumously published book Genesi e struttura della società (Genesis and Structure of Society) (1946 [10.44]). Gentile’s works organically merge a vigorous theoretical development of his own original philosophical doctrine, ‘actual idealism’ (or ‘actualism’) with an immense, philologically very accurate, historiographical erudition, focusing especially upon the history of Italian philosophy and culture. The doctrine of ‘actual idealism’ can be safely regarded as an attempt to press to its extreme consequences Spaventa’s interpretation of Hegelian philosophy as a metaphysics of pure self-consciousness. Philosophy is the search for truth—not for this or that particular ‘abstract’ truth, but for the unique ‘absolute’ truth (and reality). And such a truth cannot possibly ‘transcend’ thought’s self-conscious act which aspires to its possession. For in such a case not only could the latter never be ‘certain’ of any truth whatsoever, but as essentially ‘other’ than (absolute) truth it could not but turn into a mere contingent phenomenon. This, however, is clearly disproved by the fact that, as Descartes had already pointed out, one can deny the ‘evidence’ of self-conscious thought only by virtue of a further, more original act of thinking. Gentile can therefore assert: ‘cogito ergo sum; sum substantia cogitans; quatenus substantia in me sum et per me concipior; hoc est mei conceptus non indiget conceptum alterius rei, a quo formari debeat’ (‘I think, therefore I am. I am a thinking substance. As a substance I am in myself and can be thought of only through myself—i.e., the concept of myself need not any concept of another thing in order to be thought of’).4 Yet according to Gentile, unlike Descartes, not only is consciousness actual but the whole of reality turns into consciousness. For any possible objectivity, in the final analysis, turns out to be absolutely enclosed in it, as its own immanent content, or rather ‘opposite’. Since the act of consciousness is one and ‘unmultiplicable’ (immoltiplicabile),5 the object’s essence, then, will be radically manifold. On the other hand, as the object is but a negative content of knowing, that of which consciousness can be actually aware is only itself. As Hegel had already maintained, the ‘truth’ of consciousness is therefore self-consciousness. ‘The Ego’s act is consciousness as self-consciousness; the Ego’s object is the Ego itself. Any conscious process is an act of self-consciousness.’6 In such an act, then, subject and object coincide. But their identity is never ‘immediate’. For self-consciousness is every truth only as the necessary consciousness of the error that essentially inheres to any ‘immediate’ (i.e. sensuous, manifold, natural, etc.) being as such. As a consequence, its ‘being’ can become actual only as the negation of a ‘not-being’ originally immanent to it—and thus is a dialectical unity of opposites. Now, as Hegel himself had shown by ‘deducing’ Becoming from the opposite ‘abstractness’ of Being and Nothing, such a unity can be consistently conceived only as ‘movement’ or ‘process’: ‘The subject that resolves the object into itself, at least when this object is a spiritual reality, is neither a being nor a state of being: it is nothing immediate, as we said, but a constructing process—a process constructing the object as a process constructing the very subject.’7 One of the deepest and most fascinating aspects of ‘actual idealism’ is certainly Gentile’s insightful distinction between his ‘transcendental’ concept of the self-conscious Ego and the ‘empirical Ego’ (the sensuous-finite individual), and consequently between the former’s peculiar processuality and the form of ‘time’. In fact, both the empirical Egos and time (which to Gentile, unlike Kant, is, like ‘space’, the essential form of nature, not of consciousness) imply a plurality of ‘facts’, or ‘points’, which exclude each other, either in the simultaneity of spatial existence or in the succession of temporal becoming. The transcendental Ego, on the contrary, as necessarily existing (cogito ergo sum), is of necessity universal, and thus unique. The mutual transcendence (exclusion) of the empirical Egos as well as of the moments of sensuous time (past, present and future), therefore, is in the final analysis negated (in the Hegelian sense of ‘negation’, i.e. as Aufhebung) in the timeless, ‘eternal’ process of the transcendental Ego—of the pensiero pensante. ‘Thought as actual, or as the universal Ego, contains, and therefore overcomes not only the spatiality of pure nature, but also the temporality of pure natural becoming. Thought is beyond time, is eternal.’8 ‘And therefore the moment [istante], the of thought, is not a moment among the moments, is not in time; it has no ‘before’, and no ‘after’; it is eternal.’9 Gentile deduces with admirable logical cogency the overall articulation of spirit’s whole life from his concept of human self-consciousness as ‘mediate’, dynamic unity of subject and object. If their unity cannot in principle be ‘immediate’, this means that they are immediately different, and even opposite. Pure (‘abstract’) subject, pure (‘abstract’) object, and their (‘concrete’) mediation (identity of subject and object)—these are the three fundamental ‘phases’ of self-conscious thought’s process, the three ‘absolute forms of spirit’.10 The form of spirit’s abstract subjectivity coincides, according to Gentile, with ‘pure feeling’ (sentimento puro), which constitutes the specific element of art.11 It is not to be mistaken for the psychological sensations of pleasure and pain, although these latter do constitute the opposite ‘poles’ of its immanent dialectic, for it is not conditioned by any alleged extramental reality,12 and thus is ‘infinite’. Although acknowledging that feeling, art, beauty, etc. are the origin, and even the ‘root’ (radice), of spirit’s whole development, Gentile emphatically denies that they constitute something more than a merely ‘abstract’, ‘inactual’ moment of it. For in the act of thinking in which they are thought of as such, they necessarily negate themselves as ‘pure’ feeling, ‘pure’ beauty, etc., and rather identify themselves with the very (concrete) objectivity of pure thought. In fact, Gentile says, ‘[k]nowing is identifying, overcoming otherness as such’.13 The very moment, then, the self-conscious subject becomes fully aware of the ‘intimacy’ (intimità) of its feelings, it cannot but objectify them, and thus transform them into a thought-content. Not unlike Hegel, Gentile therefore denies any possible autonomous development of art.14 The pure, ‘abstract’ object, we have seen, is the immanent negation of the act of thinking. Gentile can therefore proceed to set spirit’s unity, universality, necessity, activity, freedom, eternity, etc. over against the radical multiplicity, particularity, contingency, passivity, temporality, etc. of nature, which is just the object of thought as ‘immediately’ other than it. He consequently holds to a rigidly deterministic and mechanical conception of nature. For him this is immanent to spirit, but the latter is not immanent at all to it as such. To the extent that nature’s reality is (abstractly, and therefore ‘erroneously’) posited, the actuality of the spiritual subject must be negated. This is also the case with the positive (both ‘natural’ and ‘historico-social’) sciences, since they describe or explain an essentially manifold object (the ‘phenomenal’ plurality of natural ‘facts’ or of historical ‘events’), and, moreover, abstract from its essential relation to the self-conscious act of thinking as its ultimate origin and condition of possibility. Yet no less abstractly objective, and therefore in the final analysis negative and ‘erroneous’, than sensible nature and the positive sciences is the intelligible multiplicity of the concepts, principles, and logical laws that constitute the subject matter of traditional formal logic. Although the first volume of his Sistema di logica come teoria del conoscere (A System of Logic as a Theory of Knowing) is devoted to a close examination of its fundamental structures,15 such a logic, whose peculiar object he defines in terms of logo astratto (abstract thought) or of pensiero pensato (thought thought of), is radically unable adequately to express the logical essence of thought’s selfconscious process (or autoconcetto). Just as was the case with nature and the positive sciences, Gentile does recognize the necessity of the logo astratto but for no other reason than that in his dialectical conception of spirit’s becoming the negative, the ‘abstract’ is no less essential than the positive, the ‘concrete’, to its ‘self-positing’ (autoctisi). As an ‘abstractly’ objective form of spirit Gentile does not hesitate to consider religion itself, both as confessional religiosity16 and as subjective mystical experience. This is because religion generally sets against pure self-consciousness, as the creating principle of its being, an absolutely transcendent personal God, who, as such, is obviously an ‘other’ with respect to its ‘pure immanence’, and thus an ‘inactual’ abstraction. On the other hand, in mystical experience the subject does try to identify itself with the objectivity of the ‘divine’, but at the cost of annihilating itself as consciousness, and, a fortiori, as self-consciousness.17 Not unlike spirit’s artistic form, then, to Gentile religion too remains incurably ‘abstract’. The ‘concrete’ unity of subject and object, therefore, can be attained only by a higher spiritual form, in which the object is conceived as essentially immanent to the subject, and this latter not as merely ‘subjective’ feeling but as the ‘substantial’, ‘objective’ subjectivity of actual thought. And this, of course, can be explicated only by philosophy, which for Gentile coincides without residue with spirit’s ethico-political activity. For it is possible to distinguish them only by somehow opposing thought to action, theory to praxis, or, within the latter, the ‘morality’ of the individual to the ‘ethicality’ of society (or of the state). Yet for him the very intrinsic absoluteness, creativity and actuality of the autoconcetto excludes in principle the possibility that it may be conceived as mere theory, as a passive ‘reflection’ of a ‘given’ it does not itself ‘posit’. As a consequence, it does not lack that creative energy which traditional philosophy (before and after him) is rather inclined to ascribe to the will alone. On the other hand, to Gentile the only concrete effective moral life the human individual can realize is that which unfolds in the organic, ‘spiritual’ unity of social institutions, from the family up to the state.18 The very moment, then, speculative philosophy theoretically ‘constructs’ absolute truth in the ‘pure act’ of self-consciousness, it also actualizes itself in those ethico-political institutions which are the ‘kernel’, as it were, of humanity’s spiritual history. Despite the extremely summary character of this outline of Gentile’s idealism I believe that the reader can easily grasp its fundamental difference from Hegel’s, whose paternity, on the other hand (through the mediation of Spaventa’s interpretation), he openly recognizes. Whereas to Hegel there exists a dialectical movement of the logical categories and of natural reality which is not yet, as such, (explicitly) self-conscious, to Gentile the only possible dialectical process, and then concrete actuality, is that of selfconscious spirit. Whereas to Hegel an organic, ideological development of the Denken, of speculative reason, is immanent in nature (despite its being nothing more than the Absolute Idea’s self-alienation), to Gentile (not unlike, at least in this regard, Kant and the positivists old and new) it is nothing more than a dead mechanism determined by merely quantitative and causal connections. Whereas to Hegel the identity of knowing and the will in the Absolute Idea does not exclude a no less substantial ‘logical’ difference between them, which, in the Philosophy of Spirit, renders possible the further distinction between the ‘finite’ sphere of ethico-political life (‘objective’ Spirit) and the higher one of the artistic, religious and philosophical contemplation of the Absolute (Absolute Spirit), to Gentile there is no other ‘Absolute’ than spirit’s ethico-political history, nor any other ‘spirit’ than the ‘infinite’ unity of the ‘Ego=Ego’ (i.e., Absolute Spirit). To these fundamental differences two others can be added, which seem to me no less relevant, although strictly logico-methodological in character. First of all, Hegelian dialectic unfolds in a succession of categories (Denkbestimmungen and Begriffsbestimmungen) in which the preceding are (relatively) more ‘abstract’ than the subsequent ones, while the latter are (relatively) more ‘concrete’, and constitute the ‘truth’ of the former, which are both ‘negated’ and ‘preserved’ (aufgehoben) in them. To Gentile, on the contrary, the ‘concrete’, the ‘Ego=Ego’ is the beginning of the dialectical process not only in the ontological order of reality and truth, but also in the methodological one of its dialectical explication. Second, while to Hegel the speculative synthesis of opposites constitutes itself as a Stufenfolge, a hierarchical succession of categories, or ‘spiritual forms’, more and more adequate to the Absolute’s concreteness, Gentile openly denies that spirit’s development unfolds ‘in a series of typical degrees’.19 For its self-identity is equally immanent in all ‘concrete’ moments in which its evolutionary process is being articulated. In fact, if one should admit, with Hegel, a hierarchy of spiritual forms, the Absolute and the higher ones would turn out to be (at least relatively) transcendent to the most elementary and inadequate ones. And this would undermine the fundamental methodological assumption of ‘actual idealism’: i.e. the ‘absolute immanence’ of truth to self-conscious thought. This is not the place to try to strike a balance (however summary) of Gentile’s philosophy,20 still less of his ‘reform of Hegelian dialectic’. As compared with the speculative doctrine from which it stems, it might certainly be regarded as little more than a mere ‘simplification’21 of it that risks mutilating, if not even irreparably distorting, the rich, systematic complexity of Hegel’s thought. Yet in such a case one would too easily forget that that concept of ‘spirit’ as ‘pure act’, on which all of Gentile’s theoretical reflections and constructions hinge, does constitute the most living, profound and up-todate aspect of the whole Hegelian system. Moreover, while Hegel distinguishes religion from philosophy only owing to their ‘form’, and emphatically asserts the identity of their ‘content’, thus seeming to forget that according to his own logic22 they on the contrary determine each other, Gentile’s distinction between religion as the ‘abstractly objective’ form of spirit and philosophy as the fully ‘concrete’ and ‘actual’ one does bring to light a difference concerning their very content, and thus saves—against Hegel—the validity of his very principle of the mutual determination of the form and the content of thought. Finally, an undeniably original, creative development of Gentile’s thought with respect to Hegel’s is certainly to be found in his pedagogical theory. The dialectical opposites that are constitutive of the educational act, which he conceives as an essentially ‘spiritual’ activity, are the subjectivity of the ‘pupil’ and the objectivity of ‘science’, which is embodied in the person of the ‘teacher’. As long as these two terms of the educational relation remain in the ‘immediate’ form of their mutual exclusion—which constitutes, as such, the original ‘antinomy of education’23—no real spiritual progress in the pupil’s self-consciousness can take place. For it to occur, indeed, it is necessary that the latter should turn the teacher’s objectivity into his or her own self-consciousness, thus becoming, in a sense, the ‘teacher of himself or herself. In the fullness of the educational act, Gentile profoundly observes, the pupil ‘does learn, and throbs and lives in the teacher’s word, as if he heard a voice sound in it that bursts out from the inwardness of his own being’.24 Any true knowing, therefore, is never mere passive learning of dead and fragmentary notions, but rather free spiritual creation of knowledge by the pupil’s inner personality. The spirit which ‘actually’ thinks, Gentile concludes, is always, in one way or another, an ‘auto-didact’. From his deep-rooted conception of education as a ‘spiritual’ process Gentile does not fail explicitly to draw a consequence that seems to me to be still today of the utmost cultural relevance and upto-dateness. True culture and education is only that in which the human mind knows and ‘creates’ itself. Hence it is an essentially humanistic (philosophical) culture and education. Any technological cognition or ability (which as such constitutes the object of what he calls ‘realistic instruction’),25 therefore, can be legitimately ascribed some sort of meaning and value only to the extent that it constitutes a useful (although of necessity always subordinate) means for the pupil’s spiritual formation, this being in one both philosophical and ethico-political.26 ‘ABSOLUTE HISTORICISM’: BENEDETTO CROCE Both to Hegel and to Gentile ‘the Absolute is Subject’, and as such it necessarily manifests itself in humanity’s historical development. Yet this does not mean at all that for them historical reality, as a multiplicity of spiritual ‘facts’ or events, and historiography, as the subjective representation of such a reality, constitute, respectively, the unique true actuality, and the only possible ‘objective’ knowledge of which the human mind could dispose. Any historico-factual manifestation of the Absolute, as such, is incurably ‘finite’, and thus inadequate to its pure ideal self-identity, whose full concreteness is actualized only in the process of ‘absolute knowing’ (Hegel) or of the autoconcetto (Gentile), as absolute identity of knowing and the will. The ‘absolute historicism’ of Benedetto Croce (1866–1952), on the contrary, aims at resolving without residue any possible reality into historical facticity. The fundamental error of any metaphysical speculation consist in the filosofismo,27 i.e., in the illegitimate claim that the concept’s immanent development would of itself be able to offer us an adequate knowledge of objective reality. Croce appeals to Kant’s famous dictum that ‘concepts without intuitions are empty, and intuitions without concepts are blind’, in order to vindicate the element of the intuitive, individual, ‘historical’ representation as an essential condition for any possible knowing. Actual knowledge, then, is neither the pure concept (as metaphysics, and especially Hegel’s ‘panlogism’, maintains),28 nor the singular sensuous representation (as empiricism generally holds), but rather the logical activity of the ‘individual judgment’,29 in which the human mind predicates of an historico-individual ‘fact’ four fundamental ‘categories’ (the Beautiful, the True, the Useful, the Good), to which Croce ascribes universal, necessary and thus a priori validity. But is not nature’s reality itself constituted by a multiplicity of individual ‘facts’, and do not the natural ‘laws’ which the positive sciences discover in such facts imply some sort of a priori cognitive ‘forms’ (e.g., space and time) or ‘categories’ (causality, substance, etc.) either? Why, then, restrict the area of application of the ‘individual judgments’ to historical reality alone? Croce resorts to the idealistic principle of the identity of being and consciousness in order to deny in principle the actuality of any alleged natural, and then extra-mental, facts. On the other hand, he borrows from one of the most fashionable Wissenschaftstheorien (theories of science) of the early 1900s, Mach’s and Avenarius’s ‘empiriocriticism’, the idea that the concepts and laws of the positive sciences are devoid of intrinsic universality and necessity, and are rather ‘abbreviations’ of a contingent plurality of sensuous, particular representations, which are worked out only in view of their practical utility, this consisting in the ‘economy’ of mental ‘effort’ which their employment would allow to the scientists.30 Having denied the reality of the Absolute and of nature, and consequently the truth of metaphysics and the positive sciences, Croce can easily identify the whole theoretical activity of the human mind with historiography. Philosophical knowledge differs from it only as the reflective explication of the conditions for the possibility of those ‘logical a priori syntheses’ (the ‘individual judgments’) which the actual historiographical praxis mostly carries out in an unconscious way. Contrary to what all great metaphysicians had concordantly maintained, then, philosophy can no longer be regarded as an ‘autonomous’ science but as the mere ‘methodological moment of historiography’.31 Its specific subject matter would consist, in substance, in a clarification of the contents and mutual relations of those a priori categories which constitute, as we have seen, an essential moment of the ‘individual judgments’. The category of the Beautiful coincides with spirit’s artistic activity, or sense-perception, and its essential products are just those individual intuitive representations which become the subject of the judgments laid down by spirit’s logical activity.32 This latter, then, does not exhaust as such the essence of the category of the True, whose concrete content, rather, turns into the multiplicity of the individual judgments historical knowledge consists of. As to the category of the Useful, according to Croce it defines a form of spirit’s activity no less concrete and ‘autonomous’ than art, knowledge or morality. In this regard, the influence of Marx’s thought on Croce, through the mediation of its ‘humanistic’ interpretation worked out by Labriola at the end of the nineteenth century (see p. 350), is undeniable.33 Unlike Hegel and Gentile, who emphasize the fact that the economic activity of the human mind is but the ‘phenomenal’, ‘negative’, ‘abstract’ side of the only true practical activity, i.e., moral activity as social morality (Sittlichkeit, eticità) or ethico-political praxis, to Croce the world of economic processes and relations instead constitutes a fully actual and autonomous factor in human history. Of course, since Croce identifies being in general with history, and defines this latter in terms of ‘spirit’, he can acknowledge the actual reality of economy only by interpreting the latter as a human activity no less ‘spiritual’ than, e.g., aesthetic contemplation or historical knowledge. As to the category of the Good, finally, Croce decidedly rejects Hegel and Gentile’s contention that it can be concretely embodied only in social institutions. As was already the case with Kant, he confines moral activity to the private sphere of individual conscience, or, at best, to those social relations which an individual can freely join. These are the main lines of the ‘philosophy of spirit’ set forth by Croce in his four ‘systematic’ works: Estetica come scienza dell’espressione e linguistica generale (Aesthetics as the Science of Expression and General Linguistics) (1902 [10.15]), Logica come scienza del concetto puro (Logic as the Science of the Pure Concept) (1905 [10.16]), Filosofia della pratica (The Philosophy of Practice) (1908 [10.18]), and Teoria e storia della storiografia (A Theory and History of Historiography) (1917 [10.19]). In the later years of his long literary, philosophical and political career, he seemed deeply to modify such a conception, at least with respect to two fundamental issues. On the one hand, in his Storia d’Europa nel secolo decimonono (A History of Europe in the Nineteenth Century) (1932 [10.20]),34 he sees at the root of the progressive historical realization of the ethico-political ideal of ‘liberalism’ the spiritual energy of a new ‘religion’, although non-confessional in character: the so-called ‘religion of freedom’. In the systematic exposition of his ‘philosophy of spirit’, on the contrary, religion is not regarded as a peculiar form of spirit’s activity. On the other hand, in his La storia come pensiero e come azione (History as Thought and as Action) (1938 [10.22]),35 he denies that the category of the Good constitutes, as such, a ‘distinct’ and autonomous form of spirit’s life. Now morality seems to him to turn without residue into each of the three previous categories: the True, the Beautiful, and the Useful. Furthermore, in an essay collected in his last book, Indagini sullo Hegel e schiarimenti filosofici (Inquiries into Hegel and Philosophical Explanations) (1952 [10.23]),36 he stresses the spiritual form of ‘vitality’ (vitalità)—which coincides, at least prima facie, with the category of the Useful—as the unique, common origin and ‘root’ of all the ‘distinct’ forms of spirit, whose ‘autonomy’, on the contrary, he had once so emphatically vindicated. Despite the wide influence exerted by Croce’s ‘historicism’ on twentieth-century Italian and European culture, I do not believe that he was actually able to offer a speculatively relevant contribution to the development of philosophical thought in our age. Elsewhere I have pointed out those which seem to me to be the fundamental shortcomings both of his general conception of history and, in particular, of his logic.37 Here I can confine myself to remarking that Croce’s negation of the possibility of metaphysics is based upon the uncritical ontological presupposition of the actual reality of the ‘finite’ (as ‘historical fact’). As soon as its intrinsic negativity becomes evident to self-conscious reflection, the radical inconsistency of such a presupposition can easily be unmasked. Second, the empiriocriticistic and Crocean denial of the universality of the concepts and laws of the positive sciences turns out to be possible only by surreptitiously presupposing the immediate evidence of sense-perception, which in truth is no less negative and contradictory than the ‘finite’ as such. Third, Croce declares that the four ‘categories’ in which he articulates the essence of spirit’s development are a priori, i.e., ‘universal’ or absolute (and this is just the reason why, as against historical relativism, he defines his own philosophy as ‘absolute historicism’). A merely historico-inductive justification of their peculiar content and relations, then, is clearly out of place. The only possible foundation of their objective validity would obviously be their ‘deduction’ (however this may be conceived). Now, in no passage of his extensive writings does Croce appear to be able to provide us with the least ‘deduction’ of the specific categorial content of his ‘theory of the distincts’, and still less with any coherent conception of their mutual ‘dialectical’ relations. On the other hand, the groundlessness of his claim that they are a priori is proved ad oculos by his subsequent reduction of their number through the suppression of the category of the Good as an autonomous form of spirit’s life as well as by his conclusive resolution of the whole categorial order into the sensuous immediacy of the vitalità. Fourth, how is it possible meaningfully to speak of an alleged ‘religion of freedom’ while at the same time openly denying (unlike Gentile and Hegel!) that religion as such is a specific form of spirit’s dialectical development? Finally, Croce’s vindication of the a priori character of the category of the Useful and, correlatively, of the ‘spiritual’ value and meaning of man’s economic activity as such clearly implies the absurd transmogrification of a merely external and finite categorial relation such as that of ‘utility’38 into a self-contained, ‘infinite’ concept, since any authentic ‘spiritual’ category must necessarily be such. The final outcome of Croce’s critical destruction of metaphysics in general, and especially of his sometimes very virulent polemic against Hegel’s and Gentile’s thought, then, appears to be, on the one hand, the sanctification of the most immediate, arbitrary and egoistic utilitarian interests of the ‘private’ individuals, and, on the other, the replacement of the living profundity of speculative thought with the dead superficiality of the most trivial and fragmentary historical erudition. HISTORICAL RELATIVISM AND SCEPTICISM Despite his polemic against Hegel and Gentile, Croce’s historicism nevertheless holds to two fundamental assumptions of any idealistic philosophy: i.e., the identification of being with consciousness and the distinction, within the latter, between a system of universal (absolute) categories (or ‘values’) and the multiplicity of the particular, contingent representations which they somehow determine and qualify. A widespread theoretical and historiographical trend in twentieth-century Italian philosophy, represented especially by former fellows of Croce and Gentile, although holding fast to the first assumption, decidedly rejects the second. It is a ‘dogmatic’ prejudice, they acknowledge, to assert the actuality of a reality different from, and transcendent to, human consciousness—broadly speaking, of an ‘external world’ (however this may be conceived). Yet this would not imply at all that there exists something like a Universal Consciousness or an Absolute Subject, or a mere plurality of a priori concepts, unifying the multiplicity of individual consciousnesses and of their historical, temporal and subjective contents in a universally valid objective experience. The very idea of ‘truth’ as an absolute norm and principle of human knowledge is regarded as nothing more than a ‘metaphysical prejudice’. Not only do they deny the existence of a unique, universal truth, of which the manifold determinate truths would be but internal, organic manifestations, but human knowing could not even come to any intrinsic, ‘apodeictic’ certainty of the specific content of a mere plurality of finite, particular truths. Any judgments that can be actually stated, indeed, are always merely ‘problematic’. According to the problematicismo of Ugo Spirito (1896–1979), such a relativistic, and in the final analysis sceptical, conception of knowing would be the unavoidable outcome of Gentile’s dialectical logic itself. This, as we have seen, identifies the essence of spirit with its becoming. Yet as a ‘theory of spirit as pure act’ it cannot but negate itself as becoming to the very extent that it claims a priori, and thus immutable and eternal, validity for its own theoretical tenets. As a consequence, one can do justice to reality’s intimate processuality only by denying, in principle, the possibility of anything like a ‘general theory of spirit’—more generally, of metaphysics as such.39 Reality would thus turn into a ‘historical’ flux of states of consciousness, in which any alleged universal or absolute truth and reality dissolves, as a follower of Spirito puts it, into ‘an unrestrainable rhapsody of sensations’.40 Any human knowledge would consist of nothing other than mere ‘[probabilistic assertions, hypotheses and conjectures’, and these ‘are propositions which reality itself, in its daily or even hourly becoming, undertakes to compromise in their objectivity and to defeat in their claim to universality’.41 According to Raffaello Franchini (1920–90), metaphysics and (historical) becoming ‘cannot get along with each other’,42 and the former’s claim to an ‘absolute unification’ and to ‘conclusiveness’ must give place to the ‘infinity of particular researches’.43 ‘The survival…of the metaphysical conception of philosophy is very harmful to philosophy itself.’44 Although not hesitating to see in Croce’s historicism the epilogue and culmination of the whole history of western dialectic,45 Franchini declares that not even Croce ‘can avoid paying a tribute to the archaic philosophy of Being, despite his effective polemic against it’.46 Such a tribute would obviously consist in his ‘systematic’ conception of spirit’s forms as ‘distinct’ a priori categories, whereas they too would be nothing else than the product of ‘a distinguishing activity, which in the final analysis is the judgement which Croce himself did not by chance call “historical”’,47 i.e. merely contingent and relative. It is out of place to go deeply here into a more detailed exposition and critique of the ‘problematistic’ and ‘relativistic’ outcomes of Italian idealism. In this context it will suffice to point out that, first of all, there is no actual contradiction between spirit’s essential becoming and its reflective self-comprehension in a (metaphysical) ‘theory’ provided that the former is conceived (as with Gentile no less than with Hegel) not as mere temporal change but as ‘eternal process’: not as a simple negation of the eternal’s self-identity, but as a self-identity which eternally ‘returns-into-itself from its ‘selfalienation’. 48 Second, ‘problematicism’ and ‘historical relativism’, like any more or less radically sceptical sort of relativistic subjectivism, is plainly a self-refuting philosophical conception. For on the one hand it denies the metaphysical ideal of an absolute, ‘definitive’ truth; on the other, it undeniably ascribes absolute, ‘definitive’ value to its unjustified and unjustifiable, and therefore ‘dogmatic’,49 denial of truth. ‘CRITICAL ONTOLOGY’: PANTALEO CARABELLESE Not unlike Croce’s ‘historicism’ or Spirito’s ‘problematicism’, the philosophy of Pantaleo Carabellese (1877–1948) can itself be safely regarded as a critical reaction to ‘actual idealism’. Yet what he sets against Gentile’s metaphysics of the ‘pure act’ is not a subjectivistic and relativistic conception of historical becoming so much as an ‘ontology’ of the ‘pure Object’, of absolute Being. In any case, such an ontology is still based upon an idealistic conception of reality (unlike all the other trends of twentieth-century ‘metaphysics of Being’, which I shall examine below) in that Carabellese shares with Gentile and Croce the fundamental epistemological assumption that ‘being is in consciousness’.50 Hence he explicitly disallows any attempt to ‘overcome’51 consciousness and to make the latter dependent, in the manner either of naturalistic empiricism or of traditional dualistic metaphysics, on a reality radically alien to it. Any possible actuality is either an act, or an object (a content), of consciousness. The peculiar problematic of metaphysics thus comes to coincide, for Carabellese, with a ‘critical’ analysis of the immanent formal-general structures of consciousness as the only ‘concrete’ reality. He distinguishes in it two ‘transcendental conditions’ mutually connected: the ‘subject’ and the ‘object’; and three ‘determinate forms’ of its activity, which also imply one another: ‘feeling’, ‘knowledge’ and the ‘will’. In each of the latter it is possible to bring out a peculiar configuration of the subject-object relation. Carabellese’s whole polemic against Gentile is rooted in a different, and even alternative, conception of such a relation. Setting out from Kant’s famous contention that the ‘objectivity’ of a perception coincides with its intersubjective validity, i.e. with its ‘universality’, he identifies the very essence of the object as such with the most ‘universal’ concept, i.e. the indeterminate ‘idea of Being’. Yet this latter, as Rosmini (see p. 350) had already pointed out against Kant,52 is not to be regarded as the product of an act of the knowing subject. Rather, it is passively ‘given’ to it. But what about the ‘singular’ objects, e.g. ‘this’ pen ‘here’? Carabellese appeals in this regard to Berkeley’s immaterialism, and emphatically denies that consciousness can actually refer to an extended, material, bodily, etc. object.53 The only objective actuality it can become aware of is a ‘spiritual reality’, and this coincides with the universal idea of Being. The subject of the act of consciousness, on the contrary, must necessarily be merely ‘singular’: ‘one among many’, a ‘monad’54 bearing a relation of ‘mutual otherness’55 to infinite other possible singular subjects. As a consequence, contrary to what Kant, Hegel and Gentile held, the unity of conscious experience cannot be the result of a spontaneous ‘synthesis’ by the subject (for this is ‘in itself’ merely passive and manifold). It will therefore be rendered possible by the object alone, which, as universal, is also of necessity unique.56 The universal uniqueness of the object, then, unifies the singular plurality of the subjects; these latter, conversely, individuate the indeterminate universality of ideal Being. As we have already said, this takes place in three ‘determinate forms of consciousness’, to which three distinct ideal objectivities correspond: to feeling the idea of the Beautiful, to knowing the idea of the True, to willing the idea of the Good. In polemic with Gentile, who held ‘pure feeling’ to be ‘inactual’, and identified knowing with the will in the concrete actuality of the transcendental Ego (see p. 356), Carabellese vindicates, no less emphatically than Croce, the mutual autonomy of such concepts (and, of course, of the corresponding forms of consciousness). Hence it turns out to be impossible to raise any of them to the unconditioned principle of the others. Yet, unlike Croce, he not only excludes economic activity (and the corresponding category of the Useful) from his ‘table’ of the ‘determinate forms of consciousness’, but also tries to offer something like a ‘deduction’ of their specific content, which should bestow on them that necessity of which Croce’s ‘theory of the distincts’, as we have seen, is devoid. In this regard, Carabellese appeals to consciousness’s temporal form. While Kant regarded time as the mere form of ‘inner sense’, according to Carabellese it expresses rather the inmost essence of the whole life of consciousness.57 Hence he thinks it possible to ‘deduce’ from the three ‘moments’ involved in the essence of time—past, present and future—the concepts of the True, of the Beautiful, and of the Good in the following way: In the certainty of having already been, the subjects are said intellect, the object is said true, and the concrete act is said knowledge; therefore knowledge is consciousness of the being that was, is consciousness of the past. In the certainty of being now, instead, the subjects are said feeling; the object is said beautiful, and the concrete act is said intuition; this therefore is consciousness of the being that is, is consciousness of the present. Finally, in the certainty of having to be [dover essere], the subject is said the will, the object is said good, and the concrete act is said action. This therefore is consciousness of the being that will be, consciousness of the future.58 Unlike Gentile (and Hegel), Carabellese refuses to deduce from the idealistic principle of the identity of being and consciousness the further consequence that the truth of immediate consciousness is the pure act of self-consciousness. For in such an act the Ego should be the object of itself; but to Carabellese, as we know, the object is essentially distinct from the subject (although being immanent in, and inseparable from, it). I therefore can be conscious of an object different from me (i.e., the idea of Being), but cannot possibly become aware of my own conscious act. The resolution of the objectifying act of consciousness into pure self-consciousness thus appears to Carabellese to be nothing less than ‘the fundamental falsehood’ of ‘post-Kantian idealism’.59 A summary critical examination of Carabellese’s ontology suffices to show that it is certainly not preferable to Croce’s ‘historicism’ as a plausible alternative to ‘actual idealism’.60 First of all, his attempt to deduce the ‘determinate forms of consciousness’ from the essence of temporality is quite unsuccessful. His raising of temporality from a mere form of ‘inner sense’ to the constitutive structure of consciousness as such appears to be wholly arbitrary and unjustified. He does not seem to realize the intrinsic negativity (contradictoriness) of temporality, of whose ‘moments’ the past and the future, as such, are not, and the (sensuous) present is but an abstract, unreal limit between them. Moreover, if the origin of the concept of the True (and of knowing) lay in the temporal moment of the past, not only would the knowledge of the present and the future be obviously impossible, but also any logical and metaphysical knowing whatsoever (for this as such transcends the whole sphere of temporality). No less inconsistent is Carabellese’s identification of the subject’s essence with the ‘plural singularity’, and of that of the object with the unique universality of the idea of Being. As Kant himself, to whose authority Carabellese so often resorts, had already shown, I can become aware of a multiplicity (be it objective or subjective, and, in the latter case, be it the ‘manifold’ of the states of consciousness within the single subject or an ‘intersubjective’ plurality of individual subjects) only if I keep self-identical during the whole process of knowing in which I become aware of such a multiplicity. It is, then, the absolute identity of the self-conscious Ego, and not that of the object, which renders possible, in the final analysis, the ‘synthetic unity’ of concrete experience. Moreover, on what grounds can I assert that the object is ‘in itself’ unique? In effect, apart from the fact that sense-perception manifests an indefinite plurality of singular objects (‘this’ pen ‘here’, etc.), all objective concepts too, as determined, are essentially manifold. Only the indeterminate idea of Being is likely to be actually ‘unique’. Yet, just as indeterminate, it is, in truth, but a mere ‘abstraction’, an empty nothing. How, then, can it render possible the objective unity of the ‘concrete’ as consciousness? Finally, Carabellese does not realize that his denial of the possibility of self-consciousness undermines nothing less than the most original conditions for the possibility of his own idea of philosophy as a ‘critique of the concrete’. For we already know that to Carabellese the ‘concrete’ coincides with consciousness, and that his ‘critique of the concrete’ consequently turns into a reflective explication of consciousness’s formal-general structures. Such an explication is obviously an act of consciousness. But its object, unlike that of ‘immediate’ consciousness, is by no means the indeterminate idea of Being, but the very concrete actuality of knowledge, so that it clearly takes the shape of a determinate form of pure self-consciousness, whose real possibility, then, it as such proves, as it were, ad oculos. ‘MYSTICAL IDEALISM’: PIETRO MARTINETTI When outlining the historical genesis of ‘actual idealism’ I have remarked that it stems from Hegel’s idealism through the mediation of its interpretation by Spaventa in the nineteenth century. And the conceptions of thinkers such as Croce, Carabellese, Spirito, etc., can to a great extent be regarded as a mere reaction to Gentile’s philosophy. The thought of Pietro Martinetti (1872–1943), on the contrary, derives both its concrete problematic and its fundamental speculative inspiration from a direct, and very detailed, acquaintance with the German idealistic tradition from Kant61 to the neo-Kantianism of Riehl, Wundt and others. Not unlike the other exponents of Italian idealism, however, for him too the term ‘idealism’ fundamentally means an epistemological conception of the subject-object relationship according to which the latter is nothing more (nor less) than a pure immanent content of consciousness. The entire world-becoming thus turns without residue into that of consciousness. ‘[T]he reality which is given us in perception is conscious reality itself, and nothing other than it.’62 If consciousness is considered from the standpoint of its immanent multiplicity, it constitutes the object. If, conversely, it is considered from the viewpoint of its active, unifying function, it constitutes the subject or the ‘Ego’ stricto sensu. The peculiar orientation of Martinetti’s philosophical idealism with respect to that of Croce, Gentile or Carabellese is revealed, in my opinion, by two fundamental aspects of his thought. On the one hand, he seems to hold that a clear understanding of consciousness’s process can be offered us rather by a psychological analysis of our inner experience than by a purely logical deduction of its a priori forms (Fichte, Hegel). Indeed, he does not hesitate to define his own position in terms of ‘psychological idealism’,63 and to lay down a very favourable judgment about the ‘idealistic empiricism flourishing in contemporary philosophy’64—for example Schopenhauer’s theory of ‘representation’ or Schuppe’s and Schubert-Soldern’s ‘philosophy of immanence’. But, on the other hand, no less crucial than the influence of that ‘psychologism’ which held sway over German thought at the end of the nineteenth century is that of pantheistic mysticism—from the Indian philosophy of the ‘system’ Sankhya (to which he devoted his doctoral dissertation) to the metaphysics of Plotinus, Spinoza65 and the later Fichte. In substance, according to Martinetti, the analysis of psychological experience is a necessary moment of the process of knowing, but only as the groundwork for the construction of an ‘idealistic metaphysics’66 of the Absolute as an immanent Whole. The fundamental philosophical principle bestowing unity and coherence on Martinetti’s thought, in fact, has little or nothing to do, in my opinion, with psychological experience, but seems rather to coincide with the chief speculative assumption of Plotinus’s metaphysics.67 The most universal categories on the basis of which it is possible to interpret to totality of experience are Unity and Multiplicity. Contrary to what Hegel (and, before him, Plato himself at least in the Parmenides) maintained, they are, as such, mutually exclusive. This means that in an entity, experience or concrete spiritual activity, the more the moment of unity prevails, the less relevant the role played by multiplicity becomes, and conversely. The implications of such an assumption are not only ontological but also axiological and ethical in character. Unity is the principle of the intelligibility and ‘perfection’ of an entity; multiplicity, on the contrary, that of its irrationality and ‘imperfection’. As a consequence, the differences revealed by our experience of the world and the Ego are ordered in a hierarchical succession, at the lower levels of which the moment of multiplicity predominates, while unity is the peculiar feature of the higher ones. Absolute Reality, therefore, is to be identified with an absolutely ‘formal’, ‘indeterminate’ Unity, devoid of any content, properties, relations, etc., since these are all clearly unthinkable apart from the manifold. Any other form of unity, even the ‘concrete unity’ of the system of Plato’s ‘ideas’ or of Hegel’s ‘categories’, is but mere appearance. Since intelligent activity too involves a manifold content (the plurality of the concepts which it distinguishes and/or unifies), the Absolute Unity necessarily transcends intelligence itself. ‘But also this intelligible world is nothing else than a relative expression of a unity which in itself transcends intelligence.’68 This latter, Martinetti rightly points out, is but a ‘development’ (potenziamento) of ‘consciousness’. As a consequence, the Absolute Unity will transcend the totality of conscious experience as well: ‘the highest constructions of logical thought are imperfect expressions of a Reality whose absolute unity transcends any consciousness’.69 Although, then, all of our world-experience turns without residue into a dynamic, hierarchical succession of forms and states of consciousness, the ultimate aim (which to Martinetti, just as to Hegel, is at the same time the ‘absolute foundation’ of the whole cosmic becoming) of its evolution is not a possible act or content of consciousness. It should be noted, however, that Martinetti’s insistence on the absolute epistemological transcendence of Unity to consciousness does not exclude an unambiguous vindication of its substantial ontological immanence to the multiplicity of phenomenal experience. Perhaps the most intriguing aspect of Martinetti’s metaphysics seems to me to be precisely his unrelenting polemic against the traditional theistic conception of God as an absolutely transcendent, ‘otherworldly’ entity. For him, on the contrary, the absolute, ‘divine’ unity is immanent even in the most negligible details of world-becoming. And therefore, as Leibniz already saw, every single phenomenon always expresses in the unity it realizes the unity of the world to which it belongs; every most simple unity reflects, owing to the infinite multiplicity of its factors, the universal order of existences; every most trifling being encloses in the mystery of its laws the secret of the world.70 The vulgar conception of the (first) cause as external to its effects (causa transiens) is to be rejected in toto. For the a priori necessity of their connection can be accounted for only by presupposing the intrinsic identity of them as their common foundation. But the cause, in truth, is not only identical with its effects: rather, it ‘potentiates’, ‘reveals’ itself in them.71 In polemic with Aquinas and, more generally, with the whole scholastic ontology, Martinetti therefore declares: ‘The whole system of the forms in re and post rem dissolves in such a case as an unhelpful complication. The world is but the very system of the divine thoughts, of the forms ante rem, that, before the obscure power of sense, as it were breaks and is refracted in the indefinite multiplicity of sensuous appearances.’72 Martinetti’s reference to the ‘obscure power of sense’ in this passage is critical for the interpretation and evaluation of his whole philosophy. For his doctrine of sensible knowledge is perhaps that which gives rise to the greatest difficulties in his theoretical perspective. I have said that to Martinetti the manifold is a principle of unreality and imperfection, and that the more the process of consciousness approximates the Absolute Unity, the less relevant the former’s actuality becomes. ‘Sensible intuition’ is obviously the most rudimentary phase in consciousness’s development, since its content coincides with the heterogeneous, unreal multiplicity of material things and of sensuous qualities. A loose unification of the manifold is rendered possible, within the sphere of sense, by the (relatively) a priori functions73 of ‘space’ and ‘time’. The whole sphere of spatiotemporal reality, then, becomes the content of further, higher-order logical unifications by virtue of the fundamental categories of ‘causality’74 and ‘logical identity’.75 Now, not unlike Hegel, Martinetti explicitly declares that in the evolution of a lower form of spirit into a higher one the latter represents the ‘truth’, the ‘actual reality’ of the former, which with respect to it turns out to be ‘virtually negated’: ‘the logical unity is not a reality coexisting with pure sensuous multiplicity, is not a reality of the same degree, but is a qualitatively higher reality, which virtually denies sensuous reality.’76 Yet, on the other hand, he tries to differentiate his own position in this regard from Hegel’s ‘panlogism’ by asserting that the logical unification of the sensuous ‘given’ does not undermine its autonomous, independent reality: ‘An abyss subsists between the logical world of panlogism and sensuous reality.’ ‘The sensible and the logical order are two absolutely distinct orders, and their forced overlapping only succeeds in bringing out—here better than elsewhere—the absolute impossibility of making them coincide.’77 The sharp contradiction in which Martinetti’s thought here gets entangled is self-evident. In effect, in the final passage of his major work he himself somehow tries to solve it by declaring that ‘if from the logical viewpoint the distinction between logical and sensuous reality turns into the distinction between being and not-being…from the absolute viewpoint both are but two subsequent forms of one reality, which in its absolute form is neither the one nor the other’.78 Yet we know that for Martinetti the ‘absolute viewpoint’ is that of the absolutely ‘formal’ Unity, which as such radically transcends any consciousness and intelligence. How, then, can we take up such an alleged ‘absolute viewpoint’? The ‘logical’ viewpoint therefore remains the only one we can legitimately resort to (and, strictly speaking, not only ‘we’, but also a possible infinite ‘divine’ intelligence). Hence his vindication of the original autonomy of sensuous reality is clearly self-refuting, and consequently his attempt to differentiate his own position from Hegel’s ‘panlogism’ turns out to be, at least in this regard, quite unsuccessful. The other fundamental objections that Martinetti’s idealistic monism raises against Hegel’s philosophy concern the dialectical method; his doctrine of the immanent becoming of the logical Idea; his identification of the latter with the very Absolute Reality; and finally his ‘realistic’ admission of the possibility of a philosophy of ‘nature’ as the process of the Idea in a still ‘unconscious form’. Given the validity of the idealistic principle of the identity of being and consciousness, how can one still deem it possible to construct a priori a succession of natural categories that is not, at the same time, the content of a series of subjective ‘syntheses’ of consciousness? Martinetti’s reproach to Hegel’s thought, in this regard, is clearly that it is not yet sufficiently ‘idealistic’. It seems to me to be historically enlightening to point out that the gist of this Martinetti objection coincides in toto with one of the fundamental results of Gentile’s ‘reform of Hegelian dialectic’: i.e., the denial of the possibility of any dialectical process which is not the pure becoming of the pensiero pensante, i.e. of the self-conscious Ego (p. 356). As for the relation between the Hegelian Idea and Absolute Reality, it is undeniable that, if the latter really is, as Martinetti maintains, a Unity which transcends any multiplicity, and therefore the very element of consciousness and intelligence, it cannot possibly coincide with Hegel’s Absolute Idea, which is indeed the pure selfconsciousness of a systematic totality of thought-determinations. Moreover, any becoming (be it temporal or logical) is clearly possible and thinkable only as a synthesis of unity (continuity) and multiplicity (discretion, as the plurality of the successive ‘phases’ discernible in it). If, then, Absolute Reality is actually devoid of any multiplicity whatsoever, becoming must certainly be nothing more than a mere ‘phenomenon’. The Absolute Unity, therefore, is eo ipso absolutely motionless and static. Finally, according to Martinetti (who strangely seems to share, in this regard, some of the most popular tenets of contemporary logical empiricism), there are only two scientifically valid ‘logical’ methods: ‘analysis’, which is merely formal and reconstructive in character; and ‘synthesis’, or ‘induction’, which consequently is the only method actually able originally to constitute, and then to extend, our knowledge. The latter’s ‘genetic order’, he says, ‘is invariably inductive, and springs forth from a unique source which is experience’.79 As a consequence, induction is the proper method not only of the positive sciences but also of philosophy itself. As a consequence, the only real difference between them is that, while the positive sciences limit themselves to a more or less ‘relative’ unification of the multiplicity of the immediate ‘given’, philosophy on the contrary essentially aspires to a ‘total’, ‘absolute’ unification. The undeniable non-inductive character of Hegel’s dialectical method, then, would ineluctably undermine the ‘scientificity’ of his ‘panlogistic’ conception of the Absolute. In Martinetti’s critique of Hegelianism, then, (psychological) empiricism and (immanentistic) mysticism work hand in hand in a somewhat surprising way. While, indeed, his rejection of the dialectical method (like his theory of sensible intuition I have outlined above) relies on arguments of clear empiricist origin, his polemic against Hegel’s Absolute Reason has no other ground, nor any other aim (so at least I believe), than the vindication of the ontological and ethical primacy of mystical-religious experience over rational-philosophical thought. In fact, on one occasion he does not hesitate openly to define in terms of ‘mysticism’ the deepest possible form of unity between the Absolute and the human mind: ‘our knowing…is an act of mystical union with the eternal Logos which is the absolute ground of our nature.’80 The plausibility of Martinetti’s anti-Hegelian polemic thus appears to depend in toto upon two decisive speculative assumptions: (1) the epistemological validity of induction; and (2) the ontological reality of an absolute Unity absolutely devoid of any moment of difference or multiplicity. But, in truth, Aristotle and Kant had insightfully pointed out already in the antinomy of ‘complete induction’ the irremediable shortcoming of the inductive method; and Plato, in his Parmenides, had already brilliantly shown that the statement ‘The One is’ actually means the very opposite of what it purports to mean, i.e. the unreality of the One as One. For the existential predicate ‘is’ constitutes of itself an element different from it, and thus immediately posits an original manifold in the alleged pure ‘unity’ of the One itself. METAPHYSICS OF BEING The peremptory rejection of the ‘idealistic’ identification of being and consciousness and the unrelenting polemic against all the logical, metaphysical and ethical consequences drawn from it by both Croce and Gentile constitute the fundamental and historically most relevant features of a widespread tendency in twentieth-century Italian philosophy which one could generally define in terms of ‘metaphysics of Being’.81 The divergences among the spiritual traditions of (1) Thomism, (2) Augustine’s and Rosmini’s ‘spiritualism’, and (3) Kierkegaard’s mystical irrationalism—to which thinkers such as (1) Armando Carlini (1878–1959), Augusto Guzzo (1894–1986), Gustavo Bontadini (1903–90), and Michele Federico Sciacca (1908–79), (2) Francesco Olgiati (1886–1968) and (3) Luigi Pareyson (1918–91) respectively go back—turn out to be negligible as compared with the substantial affinity of both the theoretical content and the historico-cultural finalities of their philosophical activity. Being, Truth, the Absolute, God, they maintain, radically transcend the whole sphere of self-consciousness, and especially the activity of rational thought. Even those who are most willing to acknowledge the actuality and value of speculative reason, i.e. the neo-Thomists, hold nevertheless that this is a function of spirit which is in the final analysis subordinate (or rather: ‘subaltern’) to an alleged more original immediate intuition of the ‘idea of Being’—and, a fortiori, to religious revelation such as is sanctioned by the authority of the Roman Catholic church, and to mystical experience. ‘The absolute objective truth’, Sciacca declares, ‘is before its being known, and it would remain such even though no thinking subject ever knew, or sought for, it.’82 ‘[T]he ratio is a cognitive power inferior to the intellectus, on which it depends.’83 ‘What counts,’ Pareyson echoes him, ‘is not reason, but truth.’84 The vindication of the absolute epistemological transcendence of truth to human self-consciousness finds a close counterpart, at the ontological level, in their common intent to ‘restore’, as Bontadini openly says, in contemporary philosophy and culture a decidedly ‘dualistic’ conception85 of the relations between God and man, process and eternity, spirit and nature, the One and the Many, etc. ‘[Transcendence means duality, immanence means monism’, Sciacca asserts. ‘The condition of culture turns out to us still to be the dualistic conception of the reality of “this” world and of that of the “other” world, of the world of man and of the world of God.’86 ‘Hegel’s Gottin-Werden [God-in-becoming] is a nonsense, in that one uses the term “God”, but one ascribes to him a predicate that denies him, that is contrary to his nature.’87 From this dualistic ontological perspective the reality of nature, of life, of the ‘cosmos’ cannot obviously but be regarded as something quite alien to spirit, and as such even unworthy of philosophical consideration. ‘Analogy’, Guzzo maintains, ‘can be held to be the only means truly fit to dispel any temptation of identifying nature and man, either in the naturalistic sense of a reabsorption of man into nature or in the sense of an idealistic epistemology which aims at drawing back and dissolving “nature” into “spirit”’,88 In his polemic against the metaphysical reality of nature, Carlini goes as far as to accuse of cosmologismo, i.e. of naturalism, the very ‘Christian Neoplatonism with its Ens Realissimum’!89 According to Olgiati, ‘if there were no realities there would be no relations, for it is not the relations which create reality, but it is reality which gives rise to the relations’.90 In Bradley’s terminology one could say that the fundamental ontological point this neo- Thomist intends to make is that the only actual relations are the ‘external’ ones occurring among an original plurality of logically indifferent entities that are irreducible to any higher, more concrete Unity or organic Totality. No surprise, then, that in the light of such an ontological conception of reality as mere plurality the only concept of man’s personality that appears to be tenable to the upholders of the metaphysics of Being is still that of the traditional ‘soul-substance’, i.e. of a self-contained, finite and contingent entity. ‘[T]he concept of person’, a follower of Sciacca observes, ‘cannot avoid that individualistic-intimistic closure which seems to be wholly peculiar to the level of singularity.’91 Its only possibility of, and hope for, ‘immortality’, consequently, far from consisting in its absolute identity with the Totality of the cosmos and human history, will rather coincide with its alleged indefinite duration ‘after death’ in the temporal dimension of the future: i.e., as Sciacca openly declares, with its ‘ultramundane [ultraterreno] destiny’.92 If it is an indisputable merit of the upholders of the metaphysics of Being to have revived interest in the metaphysical problem in contemporary philosophy, one must also acknowledge that its statement and solution in the ambit of their philosophical perspective does appear to be wholly unsatisfying. The fundamental concept of ‘Being’ they concordantly resort to as the first and most original truth of the human ‘intellect’, indeed, is but a dead, unfruitful, unthinkable abstraction—both because it is devoid of any determinate content whatsoever and because it presupposes the actual abstraction from the concrete becoming of the ‘act of thinking’, of which, in truth, such a concept is a mere product, and which is thus necessarily presupposed by any alleged categorial negation of it. In other words, the self-conscious (‘subjective’) process of thinking cannot possibly be transcended, and consequently the object is originally and substantially identical with the subject. The dualistic conception of reality, which is on the contrary based on the original opposition of subject and object, is therefore inconsistent and untenable, and any attempt to ‘restore’ it in the spiritual life of contemporary humanity appears to be ineluctably destined to failure.93 MARXISM AND PHENOMENOLOGY While for the upholders of the metaphysics of Being the fundamental shortcoming of Croce’s and Gentile’s idealism consists in its rigorously ‘immanentistic’ and/or ‘historicistic’ orientation, most theorists of twentieth-century Italian Marxism, on the contrary, regard it as the most ‘living’ and up-to-date legacy of the idealistic-Hegelian tradition (if not even of the whole history of ‘bourgeois’ philosophy). One can distinguish three main trends in Italian Marxism just on the basis of their different relation to that tradition. According to Antonio Gramsci (1890–1937), ‘in a sense…the philosophy of praxis [i.e., Marxism] is a reform and development of Hegelianism’.94 Croce’s and Gentile’s Hegelian idealism is therefore the only twentieth-century ‘bourgeois’ philosophy which he holds to be able to furnish a helpful conceptual contribution to the theoretical elaboration of historical materialism. Not unlike Croce’s ‘absolute historicism’, indeed, ‘the philosophy of praxis has been the translation of Hegelianism into a historicistic language’.95 And not unlike ‘actualism’, it is itself a philosophy of the ‘act’—even though not of the ‘pure’, but of the ‘“impure” (impuro), real act, in the most profane and mundane sense of this word’.96 The possibility and necessity of an ‘integration’ of historical materialism with any other contemporary philosophical-cultural tendency whatsoever is emphatically rejected by Gramsci. ‘Marxist orthodoxy’, he says, consists ‘in the fundamental concept that the philosophy of praxis is “self-sufficient”, i.e. contains in itself all the fundamental concepts needed to build up a total, integral conception of the world’.97 Quite opposed to the ‘subjective’98 conception of historical materialism worked out by Gramsci is the interpretation of Marx’s thought as a ‘logic of existence’, or of ‘contingent reality’, put forward by Galvano Della Volpe (1895–1968).99 In his opinion, Marx’s methodology would bear a close resemblance to the ‘kind of critical instances from which modem experimental science originates’.100 In open polemic against Hegelianism, and, more generally, against any ‘metaphysics’ or ‘mysticism’, the school of Della Volpe (Mario Rossi,101 Lucio Colletti,102 etc.) stresses the radical difference between thought and being, vindicates the ‘positive reality’, the objectivity of the ‘instance of matter, or the manifold, or the discrete’,103 and reduces Hegel’s concept of ‘reason’ as a unity of opposites (an ‘identità tauto-eterologica’, as Della Volpe also says) to a merely logical ideal devoid of concrete actuality. The interpretation of Marxism put forward by the ‘Milan phenomenological school’ founded by Antonio Banfi (1896–1957), whose most prominent exponent was probably Enzo Paci (1911–76), shares with Gramsci’s the insistence on the ‘subjective’, ‘humanistic’ character of historical materialism, and on its consequent substantial divergence from any kind of traditional naturalistic and deterministic materialism. But the most radical, and up-to-date, understanding of human subjectivity would certainly not be the excessively ‘speculative’ and ‘metaphysical’ one worked out by Hegel’s philosophy, so much as the ‘descriptive’ and ‘intuitive’ explication of its ‘formal-general structures’ rendered possible by Husserl’s ‘phenomenological’ method. Whereas, then, for Gramsci Marxism is a ‘self-sufficient’ world-view, for Paci it needs to be ‘integrated’, and in some respects even ‘rectified’, by the most original theoretical achievements of ‘transcendental phenomenology’. The fundamental shortcomings of traditional idealistic philosophy, according to Gramsci, consist, on the one hand, in its being an ‘abstractly’ theoretical, or ‘speculative’, conception of the world which unduly ignores the essential practical, or rather ‘political’, origin and finality of any alleged ‘autonomous’ spiritual or rational activity; and, on the other, in its more or less explicit ‘solipsism’. ‘The history of philosophy’, he asserts, is nothing more than ‘the history of the attempts…to modify practical activity as a whole’.104 ‘One can believe in solipsism, and indeed any form of idealism necessarily falls into solipsism.’105 Gramsci therefore goes on to set against the idealistic (rationalistic) principle of ‘coherence’ as truth criterion the more trivially quantitative one of the wideness of the consent which a philosophy (or rather, as he says, an ‘ideology’) enjoys in the ‘masses’. The truth of a philosophy, he declares, ‘is witnessed by the fact that it is appropriated, and permanently appropriated, by the majority [gran numero], so as to become a culture’.106 ‘One can say that a philosophy’s historical value can be “calculated” by the “practical” effectiveness it has won.’107 Also Gramsci’s polemic against ‘vulgar’ materialism and positivism, which reduce in one way or another humanity’s spiritual reality to the passive and ineffective ‘superstructure’ or ‘epiphenomenon’ of its material life, is based, in the last analysis, on grounds that are strictly practical-political in character. Idealistic philosophy is right to insist on the ‘reality’ of ‘ideologies’—but not because they would express an ‘eternal’ or ‘autonomous’ being or truth so much as because the ‘cultural factor’ would constitute an essential ‘instrument of practical action’108 in view of the establishment of the ‘political domination’, of the ‘hegemony’ (egemonia),109 of one social class over another. ‘According to the philosophy of praxis, ideologies are not arbitrary at all; they are real historical facts.’110 Far more akin to traditional materialism and positivism is Della Volpe’s interpretation of historical materialism. In his opinion, Marx’s Hegel critique would have rendered possible the foundation of philosophy ‘as a scientific ontology, this being a material ontology and no longer a formal ontology or metaphysics as the traditional one from Plato and Aristotle up to Hegel’.111 It would thus allow us to replace Hegel’s ‘metaphysics of the state’ with a far more realistic ‘sociology of the state’, whose peculiar inspiration would be ‘experimental’ or ‘Galileian’.112 Its fundamental epistemological assumptions consist, according to Della Volpe, in the vindication of the original reality of the sensuous-contingent ‘facts’ (of the ‘manifold’) as well as of the objective validity of the principle of non-contradiction, of the ‘finite understanding’, of experiment, and of formal or ‘classificatory’ logic. Della Volpe decidedly denies the authentically ‘scientific’ character of Engels’s ‘laws of dialectic’,113 and against any activistic or pragmatistic interpretation of historical materialism insists on the fact that it is Marxism as a ‘science’ that grounds practical activity, and not conversely.114 In open polemic against ‘naturalistic’ materialism, and the very logico-experimental method of the positive sciences which would be but a peculiar form of the ‘alienation’ typical of ‘bourgeois’ society, Paci emphasizes no less than Gramsci the ‘subjective’, ‘historical’ character of Marx’s concept of ‘matter’. Yet, unlike Gramsci, he holds that it at least virtually finds a close counterpart in Husserl’s conception of ‘transcendental consciousness’ as ‘virtual intentional life’ (vita intenzionale fungente), or as a ‘world-oflife’ (mondo-della-vita). ‘Inert matter is in some way subjective. Materialism is not a metaphysics of a substance [sostanzialismo] alien to the subject: I am the world, I am the whole world.’115 The plausibility of an ‘idealistic’ interpretation of such a fundamental phenomenological conception is ineluctably undermined, according to Paci, by the fact that to Husserl consciousness is always originally and radically sensuous, passive, and temporal, even when it is regarded as a ‘pure’ transcendental ‘function’. ‘The error fraught with the worst consequences in the interpretation of Husserl’s phenomenology is that of those who see in [Husserl’s] Ego the consciousness or self-consciousness in the creative [creativistico] sense of idealism.’116 The phenomenological analysis of the ‘world-of-life’ would thus render it possible to ‘correct’ the erroneous ‘naturalistic’ tendencies or interpretations of historical materialism without falling once again into the alleged ‘categorial’ abstractness of the ‘idealistic’ metaphysical tradition. The phenomenological point of view, Paci maintains, ‘allows us…to stress the necessity and the conditioning of the material structure or of the structure of the needs on humanhistorical praxis, but forbids us, at the same time, to apply to history a scientific dialectic in the sense in which physics is scientific’.117 Except for the school of Della Volpe, then, Italian Marxism generally tends to emphasize the decisive role played by human subjectivity in the self-constructing process of history—and even of universal reality itself. Yet its uncritical allegiance to the assumption of the original reality and truth of sensible perception and praxis, of time and finitude, as fundamental constitutive structures of ‘history’, or even of the ‘transcendental consciousness’, does not allow either Gramsci or Banfi and Paci to realize the ‘abstractness’ (in the sense of ‘mutilated’ one-sidedness) and thus contradictoriness of a ‘subjectivity’ that is not at the same time ‘objective’ (infinite), since the ‘eternal’ reality of the Absolute is not held to be immanent in it.118 Furthermore, they do not seem to be sufficiently aware that their denial of the unconditional autonomy of logico-speculative reason (of the philosophical ‘categories’) in the final analysis undermines the ‘coherence’, and then objective validity, of any conception or interpretation (be it philosophical or scientific) of the very evolutionary process of human social history. EXISTENTIALISM AND EMPIRICISM The reaction against the speculative tradition of Italian idealism does reach a climax in the philosophical perspective of Nicola Abbagnano (1901–90) and his followers, which he defines in terms of both ‘positive existentialism’ and ‘methodological empiricism’ or ‘neo-illuminism’. His interpretation of Heidegger’s existential ontology, indeed, emphatically disallows any possible ‘metaphysical stiffening’119 of it, and reduces the method of ‘existential analysis’ to a mere empirical and contingent description ‘of those human situations which can be regarded as “fundamental” or “essential” or “decisive” or as “limit-situations” [situazioni-limite], etc.’.120 On the other hand, as the American pragmatists had already pointed out, that ‘experimental method’ which any empiricist philosophy is used to appealing to cannot and must not be conceived in a strictly ‘theoretical’ or ‘objective’ sense,121 but as ‘the structure of action par excellence, in that it is destined to modify such [human] situations’.122 This is because to Abbagnano, just as to all existentialists, the ‘being-in-the-world’ of man is a ‘relation to being’ which is originally ‘emotional’ and ‘practical’ in character (something like a series of ‘decisions’), and as such is absolutely alien and impenetrable to rational, theoretical consciousness. ‘Existence cannot be enlightened by knowledge or by reason, but can throw light on them.’123 The originally ‘irrational’ nature of ‘existence’, according to Abbagnano, excludes the possibility that it might be adequately qualified by those ontological categories which most typically express the essence of pure rationality, such as universality, necessity, infinity, ‘progress’. The only ‘really existing man’, he declares, is neither the Absolute Subject of the idealistic systems, nor the ideal of ‘humanity’, nor world-history, but nothing else than the ‘singular individuality’.124 This would be determined by a particular factual ‘situation’ which radically distinguishes it from any other human individual, and which one-sidedly conditions any possible ‘activity’—or ‘project’—of its own. Human existence, then, is by its nature ‘contingent’, ‘uncertain’, ‘risky’, and the most general ontological category needed to understand its fundamental structures is therefore that of ‘possibility’. Indeed, the essence of ‘freedom’ itself would turn into the mere possibility of ‘choosing’ among a range of ‘given’ alternatives (or ‘choices’), and therefore is not, nor can it in principle ever be, infinite or absolute. ‘Existentialism asserts that man is a finite reality, that he exists and operates at his own risk and danger.’125 According to Abbagnano, then, the only object of which philosophy and the sciences can meaningfully speak is ‘finite’ (temporal, contingent, relative, etc.) reality. The fundamental idealistic, or ‘romantic’, assumption that the finite as such is not actually real, but is rather the mere manifestation of a ‘superior Reality’126 (the Totality of the Universe, Spirit, Absolute Reason, etc.), is purely ‘mythological’ in character. But not only is a unique, infinite Reality or Totality quite inexistent, but it does not even make sense to speak of ‘absolute’ moral, or ‘spiritual’, values. Also the faith in the objectivity of such values would be but a mere ‘romantic’ prejudice, and it is just the task of ‘existential analysis’ to show its inconsistency. Romanticism always has a certain spiritualistic bent. It tends to extol the importance of inwardness, of spirituality, as well as of the values that are called ‘spiritual’, at the cost of what is earthly, material, mundane, etc. Existentialism shamelessly recognizes the importance and value for man of externality, of materiality, and of ‘mundanity’ in general, and thus of the conditions of human reality that are included under these terms: the needs, the use and production of things, sex, etc.127 [F]rom the empirical standpoint, the moral problem cannot obviously be coped with by resorting to an apology for morals, or by claiming to be able to establish hierarchies of ‘absolute’ values, which ought to provide us with necessary criteria for evaluation.128 The fundamental philosophical error that undermines the ‘positive existentialism’ of Abbagnano and his followers throughout is the absurd claim that the human subject may become ‘immediately’ aware of its own ‘existence’ as a ‘structure’ originally ‘other’ than rational self-conscious thought. In truth, any reliance on the ‘evidence’ of ‘immediate’, sensible, ‘pre-logical’ perception, intuition, praxis, etc. is purely illusory, since it does not account for the intrinsically ‘mediate’ character of any subject-object relation, and, furthermore, for the fact that any ‘mediation’, connection or ‘relation’, in the last analysis, is nothing more (as Kant had already stressed) than a product of the ‘synthetic’ activity of the pure self-conscious Ego. And even the most elementary act by which this ‘posits itself necessarily involves (as the ‘dialectical’ development of its pure immanent content could easily show) the objective validity of those very categories of ‘necessity’, ‘universality’, ‘infinity’, etc., which Abbagnano’s ‘positive existentialism’ dogmatically denies, or rather is simply unable to account for. In face of the luminous ‘self-evidence’ of the thinking concept’s immanent self-explication, then, all the too often banal, trivial, and worn-out arguments of his polemic against ‘romanticism’ and ‘idealism’ cannot but ‘dissolve as fog in the sun’. CONCLUSION If now, having come to the conclusion of this brief outline of twentieth-century Italian philosophy, we take a fleeting retrospective glance at its most significant vicissitudes and achievements, we can first of all remark that the debate between the upholders and the adversaries of idealist-speculative thought does constitute the crux of its whole development. It is undeniable that in the second half of the twentieth century the anti- idealistic trends—empiricism, existentialism, phenomenology, Marxism, dualistic metaphysics, etc.—have somehow prevailed. Yet this does not mean at all that their contributions to the progress of Italian philosophical culture have eo ipso turned out to be more convincing, valuable, or lasting. On the contrary, our summary analysis of their fundamental assumptions outlined above seems to have clearly brought out their indisputable theoretical inferiority with respect to both the content and the method of the idealistic perspective. As far as the latter is concerned, then, we have witnessed the polemic between the rigorously dialectical, monistic, and ‘speculative’ development of the philosophical principle of idealism carried out by Gentile’s ‘actualism’ and other antidialectical, pluralistic or historicistic forms of idealism such as Martinetti’s mystical monism, Carabellese’s ‘critical ontology’, and Croce’s ‘absolute historicism’. Despite the sharp critiques to Gentile’s thought put forward by the latter, none of their speculative constructions can bear comparison—as to coherence, lucidity and intimate force of persuasion—with the theoretical perspective of ‘actual idealism’. Hence this is and remains up to the present the essential reference point for any further development and progress of philosophical research in Italy. This, however, is not tantamount at all to saying that a fair evaluation of the actual speculative achievements of Gentile’s thought cannot and must not bring to light in it more than one fundamental limit.129 In this context I can confine myself to remarking that the actual result of his ‘reform of Hegelian dialectic’ appears to consist, in more than one respect, rather in a one-sided formalistic ‘simplification’ of the very complex totality of Hegel’s Absolute Idea than in the positive explication of a speculative truth which in the Hegelian system would still be merely implicit. After all, Bosanquet’s famous objection to Gentile’s philosophy—that it would be a sort of ‘narrow humanism’ which, unlike the Hegelian one, does no justice to the intrinsic ‘dialectical’ nature both of the logical categories and of the processes of natural reality—is likely to be sound and tenable. The speculative task which the critical reflection on the theoretical limits of ‘actual idealism’ proposes to contemporary philosophy thus seems to be the integration of the brightest and most fruitful idea of Gentile’s thought—i.e., that Absolute Reality is the totality-in-becoming of self-conscious, active ‘spirit’—with a ‘holistic’ and ‘systematic’ interpretation of the fundamental achievements of scientific and methodological research in our century such as is being developed, for example, by the latest and most significant trends of the philosophical tradition of Anglo-Saxon Hegelianism.130 NOTES 1 Cf. H.Marcuse, Reason and Revolution: Hegel and the Rise of Social Theory, 2nd edn, New York: The Humanities Press, 1954, pp. 402–9. 2 For a detailed, although somewhat uncritical, reconstruction of the ‘external’ events of the development of twentieth-century Italian philosophical culture, see E.Garin [10.31] A summary overview of the fundamental trends of Italian thought from 1945 up to 1980 is offered by the collection of essays, ed. E. Garin [10.53]. 3 M.F.Sciacca [10.86], vol. 3, p. 214. 4 G.Gentile, ‘L’atto del pensare come atto puro’, 1911; in Gentile, La riforma della dialettica hegeliana [10.32], 193. 5 G.Gentile, Teoria generale dello spirito come atto puro [10.35]; in Gentile [10.45], p. 491. 6 ‘L’atto del pensare come atto puro’ [10.32], 194. 7 Teoria generale dello spirito come atto puro [10.35], 475. 8 ‘L’atto del pensare come atto puro’ [10.32], 190. 9 Ibid., p. 191. 10 G.Gentile, Il modernismo e i rapporti tra religions e filosofia, 1909, ch. 10: ‘Le forme assolute dello spirito’, in Gentile, La religione, [10.38], pp. 259–65. 11 Cf. G.Gentile, La filosofia dell’arte [10.42], 144–70. See also Gentile, Introduzione alla filosofia [10.43], 34–60. 12 Cf. La filosofia dell’arte [10.42], 150–2. 13 Cf. Teoria générale dello spirito come atto puro [10.35], 470. 14 Cf. La filosofia dell’arte [10.42], 117ff. 15 Cf. G.Gentile, Sistema di logica come teoria del conoscere [10.36], vol. 1. 16 The most developed and accomplished form of which remains, in his opinion, Catholicism: cf. G.Gentile, ‘La mia religione’ [10.40], 405–26. 17 Cf., e.g., G.Gentile, Discorsi di religione [10.38], 382: ‘The most deeply religious (= mystical) element of religion is not the affirmation of the abstract object so much as the negation of the subject’ (my italics). 18 In Gentile’s terminology: in the ‘societas in interiore homine’. Cf. Gentile, I fondamenti della filosofia del diritto [10.34], 75–6; and Genesi e struttura della società [10.44], ch. 4, pp. 33–43. 19 Cf. G.Gentile, Sommario di pedagogia come scienza filosofica [10.33], vol. 1, p. 25. 20 For a more detailed critical examination of his fundamental logical and epistemological doctrines, see my paper [10.83] and my book [10.82], part 3, ch. 2, no. 51. 21 H.S.Harris [10.52], 274. A careful outline of Gentile’s philosophy is offered by the same author in his essay [10.51]. Nothing more than a somewhat grotesque distortion of Gentile’s thought in a relativistic-materialistic sense is the ‘interpretation’ put forward by A.Negri in his book [10.64] and by V.A. Bellezza in his papers [10.7] and [10.8]. 22 Cf., e.g., Hegel, Enzyklopädie der philosophischen Wissenschaften, Frankfurt: Suhrkamp, 1970, vol. I, no. 133, Zusatz. 23 G.Gentile, La riforma dell’educazione [10.41], 32–47, 24 Sommario di pedagogia [10.33], 127. 25 Ibid., p. 253. 26 La riforma dell’educazione [10.41], 176. 27 Cf. B.Croce, Logica come scienza del concetto puro [10.16], 249–54. 28 Cf. B.Croce, Saggio sullo Hegel seguito da altri scritti di storia delta filosofia, [10.17], 126ff. 29 Cf. Logica [10.16], 91ff. 30 Cf. ibid., pp. 323–5. 31 Cf. Teoria e storia della storiografia [10.19], 140. 32 In an essay of 1936, however, Croce, explicitly contradicting a fundamental assumption of the aesthetic theory outlined by him in 1902, asserts that one of the essential features of ‘poetry’ is the ‘cosmicità’, i.e. its ‘universality’ (cf. B.Croce, La poesia [10.21], 11–14). 33 Croce’s critical discussion and (partial) appropriation of the theory of Marx’s historical materialism is documented especially by his book Materialismo storico ed economia marxistica [10.14]. 34 Cf. B.Croce, Storia d’Europa nel secolo decimonono [10.20], 7–21. 35 Cf. B.Croce, La storia come pensiero e come azione [10.22], 44. 36 B.Croce, Indagini sullo Hegel e schiarimenti filosofici [10.23], 29–55. 37 Cf. my paper [10.81], and my book [10.82], part 3, ch. 2, no. 52. 38 Cf. ibid., part 2, ch. 4, note 19, p. 280. 39 Cf. U.Spirito [10.89]. For an outline of the development of Spirito’s thought see A.Negri [10.64], vol. 2, pp. 65–73. 40 A.Negri [10.65], 58. 41 Ibid., p. 57. 42 R.Franchini [10.30], 167. 43 Ibid., p. 57. 44 Ibid., p. 172. 45 R.Franchini [10.29], 347. 46 R.Franchini [10.30], 167. 47 Ibid. 48 ‘Relativistic historicism’ is also the final outcome of the spiritual itinerary of one of the major Italian historians of philosophy, Guido de Ruggiero (1888–1948). See especially [10.25]. For a critique of his misguided polemic against Hegel’s absolute idealism, which he accuses of ‘theologism’ and even of ‘fetishism’, cf. G.Rinaldi [10.82], part 3, ch. 2, note 87. The denial of the constitutive immanence of the logical universal in individual consciousness led Julius Evola (1898–1974) to identify the essence of the human subject with Nietzsche’s ‘will to power’: cf. J.Evola, Teoria dell’Individuo Assoluto [10.27]. 49 In fact, Franchini (not unlike, in this regard, the contemporary empiricists) denies the epistemological value of any possible logical ‘foundation’ or ‘demonstration’, as merely ‘tautological’ (cf. [10.30], 171). His very denial of the possibility of metaphysics, then, is to be held to be ungrounded—more the expression of individual subjective impotence than the ascertainment of human reason’s objective, insuperable ‘limits’. 50 P.Carabellese, Critica del concreto [10.11], 23. The second edition of this work considerably differs from the first, and can be legitimately regarded as the definitive version of Carabellese’s ‘critical ontology’. 51 Ibid., pp. 101, 184. 52 And, after him, Bernardino Varisco (1850–1933), a spiritualistic and theistic Italian thinker who has remarkably influenced the development of Carabellese’s thought. 53 In Carabellese’s ontological perspective the very concept of ‘nature’ turns out to be simply nonsensical. As a consequence, he cannot but deny in toto the theoretical value of the positive sciences. Cf., e.g., Critica del concrete [10.11], 189. 54 Ibid., p. 109. 55 Ibid., p. 199. 56 In more than one context Carabellese does not even hesitate to identify the objective unity of the idea of Being with God himself (cf., e.g. ibid., p. 7, note). In any case, since such an idea, as we know, is but an abstract ‘transcendental condition’ of knowing, radically different from the subject which is its other essential condition, he is bound to conclude, somewhat absurdly, that God as such does not exist actually, nor is he ‘subject’, ‘person’, ‘self-consciousness’, ‘spirit’ (cf. ibid., pp. 151–2, 171, 194). 57 Cf. ibid., pp. 113–15 and 181. Note the analogy of this Carabellese doctrine with Husserl’s and Heidegger’s more known ‘phenomenological’ conceptions of ‘temporality’. 58 Ibid., p. 24. 59 Cf. ibid., pp. 126–39. 60 Garin rightly stresses the ‘obscurity’ and ‘haziness of expression’ of Carabellese’s thought (cf. [10.31], vol. 2, pp. 357, note 16, and 455). And R.Donnici suitably observes that ‘as compared with Gentile and Croce’s idealism, his most immediate polemical targets, Carabellese’s critical ontology appears to be very frail’ (R.Donnici [10.26], 7). In my opinion, this holds good more for his critique of Gentile than for that of Croce. 61 His book Kant [10.61] is devoted to a decidedly ‘spiritualistic’ interpretation of Kant’s whole ‘critical philosophy’. 62 P.Martinetti, Introduzione alla metafisica [10.55], 45. 63 Ibid., p. 40. 64 Ibid., p. 259. 65 To Spinoza’s thought, which Martinetti interprets and criticizes from a substantially neo- Platonic point of view, he devoted numerous insightful essays. Cf. P.Martinetti, ‘La dottrina della conoscenza e del metodo nella filosofia di Spinoza’ [10.56], 289–324; ‘La dottrina della libertà in Benedetto Spinoza’ [10.57], (reprinted in his book La libertà [10.59]); ‘Modi primitivi e derivati, infiniti e finiti’ [10.58]; ‘Problemi religiosi nella filosofia di B.Spinoza’ [10.60]. For a general critical evaluation of Martinetti’s Spinoza interpretation see my ‘Introduction’ to my Italian translation of E.E.Harris’s book Salvezza dalla disperazione. Rivalutazione della filosofia di Spinoza, Milano: Guerini, 1991, pp. 29–31. 66 Introduzione alla metafisica [10.55], 261. 67 Cf., e.g., Plotinus, Enneads VI, 9. 68 Introduzione alla metafisica [10.55], 471. 69 Ibid., p. 476. 70 Ibid., p. 478. 71 Cf. ibid., pp. 435–43. 72 Ibid., p. 273. 73 I say ‘relatively’, because for Martinetti their ultimate psychological origin is itself merely empirical. They are a priori only with respect to experience’s sensible qualities, which they unify in a ‘unique’, ‘absolute’ order. Cf. ibid., pp. 423ff. 74 Cf. ibid., pp. 434–43. 75 Cf. ibid., pp. 443–55. 76 Ibid., p. 468. 77 Ibid., p. 403. Such a vindication of the autonomy of sensible intuition seems to find a close counterpart in Martinetti’s critique of Kant’s doctrine that the ‘manifold’ of sensuous impressions is merely subjective, and the objective unity is introduced in it only by the understanding’s ‘synthetic’ activity. In his opinion, on the contrary, sense-perception is an inseparable unity of subject and object before, and independently of, its subsequent unification in the logical forms of thought (cf. ibid., pp. 241–2). 78 Ibid., p. 472. 79 Ibid., p. 18. 80 Ibid., p. 433. 81 Among the numerous, although often speculatively mediocre, writings of today’s upholders of the metaphysics of Being, I confine myself to mentioning: F.Olgiati [10.66]; A.Carlini [10.12]; A.Guzzo [10.49]; V.La Via [10.54]; C. Mazzantini [10.63]; F.Olgiati [10.67]; V.A.Padovani [10.73]; M.F.Sciacca [10.87]; L.Stefanini [10.90]; F.Olgiati [10.68]; V.Mathieu [10.62]; M.F. Sciacca [10.88]; P.Prini [10.77]; G.Bontadini [10.10]; C.Arata [10.4]; C. Arata [10.5]; M.Gentile [10.46]; D.Pesce [10.76]; C.Fabro [10.28]; A.Guzzo [10.50]; L.Pareyson [10.74]. Guzzo’s broad essay [10.48] is devoted to an excellent exposition of Spinoza’s thought and to a lucid critique of it from a still ‘actualistic’ (and by no means ‘spiritualistic’ or ‘neo-Thomistic’) point of view. The reductive ‘irrationalistic’ interpretation of Fichte’s thought put forward by L.Pareyson [10.75] is, on the contrary, wholly questionable. 82 M.F.Sciacca [10.88], 36. 83 Ibid., p. 163. 84 L.Pareyson [10.74], 147. 85 Cf. G.Bontadini [10.10], 4. 86 M.F.Sciacca [10.88], 241. 87 Ibid., p. 206. 88 A.Guzzo [10.50], 77. 89 A.Carlini [10.12], 192. 90 F.Olgiati [10.68], 27. 91 C.Arata [10.5], 18. 92 M.F.Sciacca [10.88], 66–7. 93 A lucid, thoroughgoing critique of Thomism from the standpoint of Gentile’s ‘actual idealism’ is carried out by Giuseppe Saitta (1881–1965) in his admirable essay [10.85]. 94 A.Gramsci [10.47], 115. 95 Ibid., p. 244 (my italics). 96 Ibid., p. 54. 97 Ibid., p. 195. 98 Ibid., p 238. 99 G.Della Volpe [10.24], 36. 100 Ibid., p. 123. 101 Cf. especially M.Rossi [10.84]. 102 Cf. especially L.Colletti [10.13]. 103 G.Della Volpe [10.24], 103. 104 A.Gramsci [10.47], 26. 105 Ibid., p. 27. 106 Ibid. 107 Ibid., p. 28. 108 Ibid., p. 52. 109 Ibid., p. 219. 110 Ibid., p. 292. For a critique of Gramsci’s Hegel interpretation see my book [10.79], vol.1, pp. 14f., 24f., 136f., 201f. 111 G.Della Volpe [10.24], 169. 112 Ibid., p. 121. 113 Ibid., p. 201. 114 Ibid., p. 184. 115 E.Paci [10.71], 222. 116 E.Paci [10.69], 3. For his critique of Gentile’s idealism see especially Paci [10.72]), 62–6. Husserl’s theory of consciousness’s ‘original temporality’ is developed by Paci especially in his essay [10.70]. 117 [10.71], 226. 118 Banfi’s open denial of the original truth and reality of the Absolute is unambiguously witnessed, for example, by the following passage: ‘in general one must say that according to phenomenological thought an absolute reality is as absurd as a round quadrilateral, for there is nothing absolute but the ideal moment of pure immanence’ (A.Banfi [10.6], 94–5). For a more detailed exposition and critique at Banfi’s and Paci’s ‘phenomenological Marxism’ see my book [10.78], Appendices, pp. 214–31. SELECT BIBLIOGRAPHY Primary texts and criticism 10.1 Abbagnano, N. Storia della filosofia, 3 vols, 1946; 3rd edn, Torino: UTET, 1974. 10.2 Abbagnano, N. Possibilità e libertà, Torino: Taylor, 1956. 10.3 Abbagnano, N. Introduzione all’esistenzialismo, 1965; 4th edn, Milano: Il Saggiatore, 1972. 10.4 Arata, C. Lineamenti di un ontologismo personalistico, Milano: Marzorati 1955. 10.5 Arata, C. Principi di un’interpretazione trascendentalistica e personalistica della metafisica classica, Milano, 1955. 10.6 Banfi, A. Filosofi contemporanei, ed. R.Cantoni, Milano: Parenti, 1961. 10.7 Bellezza, V.A. ‘La riforma spaventiano-gentiliana della dialettica hegeliana’, in Incidenza di Hegel, ed. F.Tessitore, Napoli: Morano, 1970, pp. 5–74. 10.8 Bellezza, V.A. ‘La razionalità del reale: Hegel, Marx, Gentile’, in Enciclopedia ’76– ’77: Il pensiero di Giovanni Gentile, Roma, 1977, pp. 59–75. 10.9 Bellezza, V.A. La problematica gentiliana della storia, Roma: Bulzoni, 1983. 10.10 Bontadini, G. ‘L’attualità della metafisica classica’, Rivista di filosofia neoscolastica, 45:1 (1953):1–18. 10.11 Carabellese, P. Critica del concreto, 1921; 2nd edn, Roma: A.Signorelli, 1940. 10.12 Carlini, A. ‘Lineamenti di una concezione realistica dello spirito umano’, in Filosofi italiani contemporanei, ed. M.F.Sciacca, Como: Marzorati, 1944, pp. 189–97. 10.13 Colletti, L. Il marxismo e Hegel, 2 vols, Bari: Laterza, 1976. 10.14 Croce, B. Materialismo storico ed economia marxistica, 1900; 3rd edn, Bari: Laterza, 1978. 10.15 Croce, B. Estetica come scienza dell’espressione e linguistica generale, 1902; 11th 119 N.Abbagnano [10.2], 157. 120 Ibid., p. 156. 121 Cf. Abbagnano [10.3], 45–9. 122 [10.2], 156. 123 [10.3], 48. 124 Ibid., p. 47. 125 [10.2], 26f. 126 Ibid. p. 26. 127 Ibid., p. 27. The stiff opposition between the philosophical-cultural perspectives of ‘Illuminism’ (or ‘existentialism’) and of ‘Romanticism’ (or ‘idealism’) constitutes the fundamental historiographical criterion by which Abbagnano interprets and judges the whole development of contemporary philosophy. Cf., e.g., Abbagnano [10.1], vol. 3, parts VI and VII. 128 [10.2], 157. 129 Cf. above, note 20. 130 Errol Harris’s epistemological researches appear especially interesting in this regard. For a summary exposition and interpretation of his philosophy see my books [10.80] and [10.82], part 3, ch. 3 no. 61. edn, Bari: Laterza, 1965. 10.16 Croce, B. Logica come scienza del concetto puro, 1905; 2nd edn, Bari: Laterza, 1971. 10.17 Croce, B. Saggio sullo Hegel seguito da altri scritti di storia della filosofia, 1906; 5th edn, Bari: Laterza, 1967. 10.18 Croce, B. Filosofia della pratica, 1908; 9th edn, Bari: Laterza, 1973. 10.19 Croce, B. 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Le origini delta dialettica, Napoli: Giannini, 1961. 10.30 Franchini, R. ‘Che cos’è la metafisica’, Criteria, 7 (1990):165–73. 10.31 Garin, E. Cronache di filosofia italiana 1900/1943. Quindici anni dopo. 1945/ 1960, 2 vols, Bari: Laterza, 1966. 10.32 Gentile, G. La riforma delta dialettica hegeliana, 1913; 4th edn, Firenze: Sansoni, 1975. 10.33 Gentile, G. Sommario di pedagogia come scienza filosofica, 2 vols, 1913–14; 4th edn, Firenze: Sansoni, 1959. 10.34 Gentile, G. I fondamenti della filosofia del diritto, Pisa: Mariotti, 1916. 10.35 Gentile, G. Teoria generate dello spirito come atto puro, 1916; 6th edn, Firenze: Sansoni, 1959. 10.36 Gentile, G. Sistema di logica come teoria del conoscere, 2 vols, 1917–1922; Bari: Laterza, 1922. 10.37 Gentile, G. Le origini della filosofia contemporanea in Italia, 3 vols, Messina: Principato, 1917–23. 10.38 Gentile, G. Discorsi di religione, 1920; in Gentile, La religione, Firenze: Sansoni, 1965, pp. 281–389. 10.39 Gentile, G. Il modernismo e i rapporti tra religione e filosofia, in Gentile, La religione [10.38], 1–275. 10.40 Gentile, G. ‘La mia religione’, in Gentile, La religione [10.38], 405–26. 10.41 Gentile, G. La riforma dell’educazione, 1920; 6th edn, Firenze: Sansoni, 1975. 10.42 Gentile, G. La filosofia dell’arte, 1931; 3rd edn, Firenze: Sansoni, 1975. 10.43 Gentile, G. Introduzione alla filosofia, 1933; 2nd edn, Firenze: Sansoni, 1981. 10.44 Gentile, G. Genesi e struttura della società, 1946; 2nd edn, Firenze: Sansoni, 1975. 10.45 Gentile, G. Opere filosofiche, ed. E.Garin, Milano: Garzanti, 1991. 10.46 Gentile, M. Come si pone il problema metafisico, Padova, 1955. 10.47 Gramsci, A. Il materialismo storico e la filosofia di Benedetto Croce, 1929–35, Roma: Editori Riuniti, 1977. 10.48 Guzzo, A. Il pensiero di Spinoza, Firenze: Vallecchi, 1924. 10.49 Guzzo, A. ‘L’Uomo’, in Filosofi italiani contemporanei [10.12], 243–53. 10.50 Guzzo, A. ‘Idealismo 1963’, Filosofia, 14 (1963):25–84. 10.51 Harris, H.S. The Social Philosophy of Giovanni Gentile, Urbana & London: University of Illinois Press, 1966. 10.52 Harris, H.S. ‘Gentile’s Reform of Hegel’s Dialectic’, in Enciclopedia 76–77: Il pensiero di Giovanni Gentile, Roma, 1977. 10.53 La filosofia italiana dal dopoguerra ad oggi, ed. E.Garin, Bari: Laterza, 1985. 10.54 La Via, V. ‘La restituzione del realismo’, in Filosofi italiani contemporanei [10.12], 255–72. 10.55 Martinetti, P. Introduzione alla metafisica, 1st edn, Torino, 1904; 2nd edn, Milano: Libreria Editrice Lombarda, 1929; 3rd edn, Milano, 1987. 10.56 Martinetti, P. ‘La dottrina della conoscenza e del metodo nella filosofia di Spinoza’, Rivista di filosofia 8:3 (1916):289–324. 10.57 Martinetti, P. ‘La dottrina della libertà in Benedetto Spinoza’, Chronicon Spinozanum, 4 (1926):58–67. 10.58 Martinetti, P. ‘Modi primitivi e derivati, infiniti e finiti’, Rivista di filosofia, 18:3 (1927):248–61. 10.59 Martinetti, P. La libertà, Milano: Libreria Editrice Lombarda, 1928. 10.60 Martinetti, P. ‘Problemi religiosi nella filosofia di B.Spinoza’, Rivista di filosofia, 30:4 (1939):289–311. 10.61 Martinetti, P. Kant, posthumously published in 1946; 2nd edn, Milano: Feltrinelli, 1974. 10.62 Mathieu, V. Limitazione qualitativa della conoscenza umana, Torino, 1949. 10.63 Mazzantini, C. ‘Linee di metafisica spiritualistica come filosofia della virtualità ontologica’, in Filosofi italiani contemporanei [10.12]. 10.64 Negri, A. Giovanni Gentile, 2 vols, Firenze: La Nuova Italia, 1975. 10.65 Negri, A. ‘Modernity as Crisis and Permanent Criticism’, Idealistic Studies, 21:1 (1991):48–65. 10.66 Olgiati, F. ‘Come si pone oggi il problema della metafisica’, Rivista di filosofia neoscolastica, 14 (1922):14–28. 10.67 Olgiati, F. ‘La filosofia cristiana e i suoi indirizzi storiografici’, in Filosofi italiani contemporanei [10.12], 183–197. 10.68 Olgiati, F. Il concetto di metafisica, Milano, 1945. 10.69 Paci, E. ‘Coscienza fenomenologica e coscienza idealistica’ Il Verri, 4 (1960): 3– 15. 10.70 Paci, E. Tempo e verità nella fenomenologia di Husserl, Bari: Laterza, 1961. 10.71 Paci, E. Funzione delle scienze e significato dell’uomo, 1963; 4th edn, Milano: Il Saggiatore, 1970. 10.72 Paci, E. La filosofia contemporanea, Milano: Garzanti, 1974. 10.73 Padovani, V.A. ‘Filosofia e religione’, in Filosofi italiani contemporanei [10.12], 319–31. 10.74 Pareyson, L. Verità e interpretazione, 1971; 3rd edn, Milano: Mursia, 1982. 10.75 Pareyson, L. Fichte: Il sistema della libertà, Milano: Mursia, 1976. 10.76 Pesce, D. Saggio sulla metafisica, Firenze, 1957. 10.77 Prini, P. Itinerari del platonismo perenne, Torino, 1950. 10.78 Rinaldi, G. Critica della gnoseologia fenomenologica, Napoli: Giannini, 1979. 10.79 Rinaldi, G. Dalla dialettica della materia alla dialettica dell’Idea. Critica del materialismo storico, vol. 1, Napoli: SEN, 1981. 10.80 Rinaldi, G. Saggio sulla metafisica di Harris, Bologna: Li Causi, 1984. 10.81 Rinaldi, G. ‘A Few Critical Remarks on Croce’s Historicism’, Idealistic Studies, 17:1 (1987):52–69. 10.82 Rinaldi, G. A History and Interpretation of the Logic of Hegel, Lewiston: The Edwin Mellen Press, 1992. 10.83 Rinaldi, G. ‘Attualità di Hegel: Autocoscienza, concretezza, e processo in Gentile e in Christensen’, Studi filosofici, 12–13 (1989–90):63–104. 10.84 Rossi, M. Marx e la dialettica hegeliana, 4 vols, Roma: Editori Riuniti, 1960–3. 10.85 Saitta, G. Il carattere delta filosofia tomistica, Firenze: Sansoni, 1934. 10.86 Sciacca, M.F. La filosofia nel suo sviluppo storico, 3 vols, 1940; 12th edn, Roma: Cremonese, 1976. 10.87 Sciacca, M.F. ‘Spiritualismo cristiano’, in Filosofi italiani contemporanei [10.12], 365–74. 10.88 Sciacca, M.F. Filosofia e metafisica, Brescia: Morcelliana, 1950. 10.89 Spirito, U. ‘Finito e infinite’, in Filosofi italiani contemporanei [10.12], 375–83. 10.90 Stefanini, L. ‘Spiritualismo cristiano’, in Filosofi italiani contemporanei [10.12], 385–93. Translations See also 10.51 above. 10.91 Croce, B. What is Living and What is Dead in the Philosophy of Hegel, trans. D.Ainslie, London, 1915. 10.92 Croce, B. My Philosophy and Other Essays on the Moral and Political Problem of our Time, selected by R.Klibansky, trans. E.F.Carritt, London: Allen & Unwin, 1951. 10.93 Croce, B. History—As the Story of Liberty, trans. S.Sprigge, London: Allen & Unwin, 1951. 10.94 Gentile, G. The Theory of Mind as Pure Act, trans. from the third edition with an introduction by H.W.Carr, London: Macmillan, 1922. 10.95 Gentile, G. The Reform of Education, trans. D.Bigongiari, with an introduction by B.Croce, New York: Harcourt, Brace, 1922. 10.96 Gentile, G. Fragments From La filosofia dell’arte, trans. E.F.Carritt, Oxford, 1931. 10.97 Gentile, G. Genesis and Structure of Society, trans. H.S.Harris, Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1960. 10.98 Gentile, G. The Philosophy of Art, trans. and with an introduction by G. Gullace, Ithaca and London: Cornell University Press, 1972.

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