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Publication Detail
Hegelians on the Slopes of Vesuvius: A Transnational Study in the Intellectual History of Naples, 1799-1861
  • Publication Type:
  • Authors:
    De Arcangelis A
  • Date awarded:
  • Pagination:
    1, 308
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  • Awarding institution:
  • Language:
  • Date Submitted:
This thesis examines the reception, circulation and revision of Hegel’s thought, most notably his philosophy of history, in Neapolitan intellectual history during the Risorgimento, approached from a transnational perspective. In particular, attention will focus on five inter-related themes: (i) the complex set of intellectual exchanges and encounters enabling the penetration and popularisation of Hegel’s philosophy in Naples; (ii) the ongoing revision, taking place during the early decades of the nineteenth century, of Giambattista Vico’s historicism via debates that ultimately deployed an image of the Neapolitan thinker as a theorist of historical time, on the one hand, and the proponent of an idealist account of it, on the other; (iii) the amalgamation of a Hegelian notion of absolute historical development and Vichian historicism taking place in the southern capital’s private schools of philosophy, enabling historians to view Neapolitan Hegelianism as the result of a broad transnational encounter, yet closely rooted in local contexts and debates; (iv) the ways in which, in response to ongoing experiences of political change, most notably the 1848 Revolution and the emancipation of the Italian peninsula, Neapolitan Hegelianism was systematically deployed in support of – and in opposition to – different strands of Risorgimento political thought: it came to support, in fact, a form of democratic constitutionalism reminiscent of the Jacobin ideas informing the Neapolitan Revolution of 1799, in direct opposition to moderate Piedmontese liberalism; and (v) the shaping of a transnational cosmopolitan sensitivity among Neapolitan Hegelians, ultimately merging the political ambitions connected with the emancipation and unification of Italy with the negotiation of a vantage point for the country in the intellectual and philosophical lives of modern European nations.
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