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Antimetaphysics as analytical method in Croce's conception of history. /

Swansea University Author: Paci, Luca

Abstract

To the best of my knowledge, this is the first full-length study to consider how Croce's antimetaphysical method shaped his approach to history. Crocean criticism has traditionally tended to focus on the Filosofia dello Spirito as the main source of Croce's ideas. In reality, Croce's...

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Published: 2004
Institution: Swansea University
Degree level: Doctoral
Degree name: Ph.D
URI: https://cronfa.swan.ac.uk/Record/cronfa42480
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Abstract: To the best of my knowledge, this is the first full-length study to consider how Croce's antimetaphysical method shaped his approach to history. Crocean criticism has traditionally tended to focus on the Filosofia dello Spirito as the main source of Croce's ideas. In reality, Croce's thought is dispersed in a myriad of articles and marginalia. Without neglecting Croce's major works on historiography, I have made use of rarely used material: his Epistolario and his Taccuini di lavoro, both published in a limited edition by the Istituto italiano per gli studi storici in Naples. Moreover, I have used La Critica, Croce's bimonthly journal which ran for some forty years. All this material helped me to reinforce the idea that Croce's philosophy should be read as a series of reflections on historical narrative and literary criticism instead of as an all- encompassing idealistic system. Narrative, objectivity and method are the main issues discussed by the Italian philosopher. Each chapter opens with a brief historical account of the context within which Croce's ideas were developed. The introductory chapter provides an overview of the reasons for Croce's demise in the aftermath of World War Two. Chapter two explores the origins of Croce's antimetaphysical method from the outset of his long intellectual career. Chapter three analyzes the philosopher's epistemology of history and its nonreductionist purpose. The consequences of Croce's method and its further developments in history and historiography are explored in chapter four, whereas chapter five analyzes the links between history and action and the concept of the contemporaneity of all historiographical explorations. The last section of the chapter is devoted to the potential impact of Croce today within a postmodern climate. After highlighting similarities between some contemporary thinkers (Gadamer in particular) and Croce, I argue that the Italian philosopher still represents a very useful interlocutor for those engaged in the discussion of the nature of history and its present status in the contemporary debate.
Keywords: Italian literature.;Metaphysics.
College: College of Arts and Humanities