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Croce on History

Aesthetic Defiguring

Massimo Verdicchio

The book is the first critical reading of all the major writings on history by Benedetto Croce. The study is not a summary but a critical assessment based on the relevance of Croce’s aesthetics for his concept of history. This account differs from previous studies which are characterized by the excluding or by minimizing the aesthetic, a process the author calls “defiguring.” Within this framework Croce’s concept of history is not a total philosophy but only an allegory of history: a narrative of the impossibility of history. In other words, Croce’s history is not unlike his definition of Hegel’s Phenomenology or his system as fiction. It is also not unlike Vico’s New Science, the other major influence on Croce’s concept of history, as an imaginative science. This study realigns Croce’s concept of history with Hegel’s and Vico’s to redefine, thanks to Croce, how we understand history.
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List of Abbreviations


AI Paul de Man, Aesthetic Ideology

AR Paul de Man, Allegories of Reading

CFM Benedetto Croce, Il carattere della filosofia moderna

CPR Immanuel Kant, Critique of Pure Reason

DVF Benedetto Croce, Discorsi di varia Filosofia

E Benedetto Croce, Estetica

Enc. G. W. F. Hegel, Encyclopedia of the Philosophical Sciences

FGBV Benedetto Croce, Filosofia di G. B. Vico

FS Benedetto Croce, Filosofia e Storiografia

IH Benedetto Croce, Indagini su Hegel

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