Benedetto Croce: The Philosophy of History and the Duty of Freedom

Professor Ernesto Paolozzi is the new addition for the Ovi Team and the first chapter of his book “Benedetto Croce: The Philosophy of History and the Duty of Freedom” is his first contribution. 

ovicover_25_02_13“A good method to understand a philosopher, as Croce suggests, is to ask with whom he engaged in polemics and what problems he attempted to solve. In other words, he must be historicized, understood in the concrete existence of a man steeped in life, in the history of his times. There are those who will say that in so doing one invites relativism and, consequently, skepticism. To be sure, this is a risk that one must take. But to do the opposite would entail deducing from the living work of an author a series of dead and abstract formulas, to be fitted into a mosaic with other abstruse and incomprehensible theories that would make up a history of philosophy that to many students (but also to many scholars who do not dare admit it) seems a series of oddities from Plato’s Hyper Uranium to Popper’s third world, from Leibniz’s monads to Kant’s transcendentalism, and so on.

The interpreter’s difficulties consist in comprehending what is universal in the particular, that is, what is still living, interesting for us in the work of the philosopher we want to understand. To historicize Croce, in our case, means reconstructing his problems and his reasons by trying to catch those aspects of his thought that can lead us in the right direction by confronting our problems, and in strengthening our reasons. This means making Croce our contemporary, freeing him from the antiquarian history of Nietzschean memory in which we have tried, in the last few years (after a long period of harsh and prejudiced polemic) to imprison him.”

You can find the rest in the pages of Ovi magazine.

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One response to “Benedetto Croce: The Philosophy of History and the Duty of Freedom

  1. Pingback: The Tenth Dimension | Reason & Existenz

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