Dialettica e metodo storico nel pensiero di Benedetto Croce

This entry is part 21 of 38 in the series Vol 4-2019

Abstract: The main purpose of this essay is to show how Benedetto Croce’s historical method is founded on his conception of dialectics. The so-called “reform” of Hegelian dialectics essentially lies in Croce’s interpretation of the “Phenomenology of the Spirit.” In this paper, I show how Croce’s construction of the historical method is in close relationship with the construction of his philosophical system, namely a “dialectic of the distinct activities of the human spirit.” The Italian philosopher divides mental activity first into the theoretical and the practical, and then into 4 further divisions: Aesthetic (driven by beauty), Logic (subject to truth), Economics (concerned with what is useful), and Ethics (bound to the good). Following the studies of some significant interpreters (Eugenio Garin, Gennaro Sasso, Fulvio Tessitore and Giuseppe Galasso), I conclude that Croce’s dialectics is an essential element to understand his philosophical system and his historical method, which are closely connected. I think that historiography is always (and should be) necessarily connected to a specific philosophical vision.

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