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Bertrando Spaventa



Bertrando Spaventa

Bomba (Chieti) 1817 - Napoli 1883


Exile in Turin after 1848, he first obtained the chair in the philosophy of law at the University of Modena (1858) and then that of the history of philosophy in Bologna (1860) and, the following year, that of philosophy in Naples. He is considered the main exponent of the so-called "Neapolitan Hegelism". Giovanni Gentile referred to him as the precursor of actualism.

Main works: Prolusione e introduzione alle lezioni di filosofia nella Università di Napoli, 23 novembre - 23 decembre 1861 (Napoli 1862); La filosofia di Gioberti (Napoli 1863); Saggi di critica filosofica, politica e religiosa (Napoli 1867); Esperienza e metafisica (Torino 1888); Opere (Firenze 1972).

Bibliography: G. Oldrini, La cultura filosofica napoletana dell’Ottocento, Roma-Bari, Laterza 1973; Gli hegeliani di Napoli e la costruzione dello Stato unitario, Roma, Istituto poligrafico e zecca dello Stato 1989; E. Garin, Bertrando Spaventa, Napoli, Bibliopolis 2007; A. Savorelli, Spaventa, Bertrando, in Il Contributo italiano alla storia del Pensiero. Filosofia, Roma, Istituto della Enciclopedia Italiana 2012.



Biblioteca "A. Mai" di Bergamo, fondo Spaventa

At the death of Silvio Spaventa, his library (which included the library of his brother as well) was donated according to his will, together with his archives, to the A. Mai Library of Bergamo, city of which he was representative in the last years of his life. Shelved as a special collection (thousands of volumes), there is still the original inventory, where, however, the owner of each book is not indicated. Besides external clues (for example the glosses in some volumes) and the date of publication, the topic is the main criterion for identifying the two collections: the works on law, history and public law most probably belonged to Silvio. For the intellectual vicissitudes of the two brothers, and for their interest in philosophical and political thought, especially German, the library of the Spaventa brothers is one of the richest and most important special collections of 19th century Italy, particularly as regards the collection of foreign works and journals and of texts about the history of the Hegelian school of thought.

Studies on the library: N. Siciliani de Cumis, Herbart e herbartiani alla scuola di Bertrando Spaventa, in Studi su Labriola, Urbino, Argalìa 1976, pp. 89-161; S. Ricci, La biblioteca di Silvio Spaventa. Cultura e vita civile, in Silvio Spaventa politico e statista dell’Italia unita nei documenti della Biblioteca Civica "A. Mai", Bergamo 1990, pp. 473-523.


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last modify: 2015-12-15 16:54:04