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.
Abstract: Hegel’s conception of dialectics is much more complex and differentiated than normally supposed. The article considers the basic conditions of the Hegelian dialectics, the becoming and the determined being, and the different forms of dialectics which are present in the Science of Logic. In particular, it focuses on the difference between a negative and a positive conception of dialectics in which the antithetical moment is overcome by means of sublation. This allows the transition to the affirmative dialectic of the concept, which is inquired about its capacity to produce an articulated and self-relating structure and to feature through its logical development the political organization of the state.