Abstract: Étienne Gilson and Augusto Del Noce are two of the most important christian philosophers of the Twentieth century. Their common interests mainly concern the status of Christian philosophy, the gnoseological realism and the metaphysics of being. Starting from their correspondence, affinities and divergences come forth on important theoretical plexuses and an attempt is made to trace a common interpretation of Modernity. Del Noce’s ambivalent judgment on Descartes, the father of philosophical modernity, is the most problematic issue that distances itself from the perspective of the French philosopher. Indeed, Gilson considers Descartes the initiator of the rationalist and idealistic line of Modernity. This line cannot find any synthesis with the metaphysics of being, which has a realistic dimension. For Del Noce, on the other hand, beside this direction, there is a process that is not closed to the transcendence, marking in fact the experience of a different modernity. Representatives of such currents are identified in Malebranche, Vico, Rosmini. In this line, it is not hard to include Gilson’s philosophy as a significant alternative to idealism and above all to the philosophy of Giovanni Gentile, considered the culminating point of rationalism. The presentation, in fact, of an existential Thomism, operated thanks to the studies of the French philosopher – beyond his intentions – can open significant connections between the metaphysics of being and the orientation of religious existentialism. Alongside more purely philosophical nodes in this framework, more contingent knots also emerge: the dialogue between Catholics and communists, the understanding of the phenomenon of atheism and the judgment on the anti-metaphysical perspective of the years following the Second Vatican Council.
Abstract: The paper indicates a close theoretical connection between the political totalitarianism and the philosophical mindset of idealism. According to the Hegelian model, idealism tends to an intellectual comprehension of totality (das Ganze); in a similar way to idealism, the twentieth century totalitarianism meant not only knowing but dominating the whole, even with violence. Thus, the paper underlines the idealistic origin of the totalitarian political project. Following the historiographical investigations of Ernst Nolte and the anthropological research of René Girard, this paper analyzes the dialectical relationship that there was between Bolshevism and Nazism: Nazism developed as a response to Bolshevism and was its mimetic copy. However, it is an “interrupted dialectic,” a dialectic without synthesis (Aufhebung): from the ashes of twentieth century totalitarianism Western society has developed an openly democratic, liberal and anti-totalitarian “way of life.”