Leopardi und der italienische Weg in die Moderne

Translated title of the contribution: [Autom. eng. transl.] Leopardi and the Italian way to modernity

Stefano Biancu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


[Autom. eng. transl.] Leopardi's work can be read as an alternative project to the current radical-rationalist interpretations of modernism: it stands for the attempt to symbolically overcome the paradigm of abstraction and its profound implications for man. To underline this thesis, this article would like to refer to the thoughts of an important interpreter of Leopardi: the philosopher Giuseppe Capograssi. For Capograssi, Leopardi embodied a fruitful "heterodoxy" in the philosophical traces of a Rosmini or Vico. But as much as Leopardi's work was rooted in this philosophical tradition, Leopardi differs from Vico and Rosmini in dealing with modernity. While Vico and Rosmini fundamentally reject the starting point of a modern philosophy - Descartes' cogito as a paradigm of thinking based on subjectivity - Leopardi deserves the merit of having exposed the destructive consequences and contradictions of modern abstraction from within. According to Capograssi, what connects Vico, Leopardi and Rosmini is the (typically Italian) demand for a philosophy in the center of which is the concrete, the finite, the individual. Capograssi even went so far as to give Leopardi a leading role in the context of modernity. As its interpreter and representative, Leopardi - along with Kant, who perhaps surpasses him in this respect - captured the essence of modernism ("la formola"). His work embodies the pinnacle of European poetry ("la più tragica poesia lirica che abbia may avuto l'Europa").
Translated title of the contribution[Autom. eng. transl.] Leopardi and the Italian way to modernity
Original languageGerman
Pages (from-to)21-38
Number of pages18
Publication statusPublished - 2008


  • Italian Philosophy
  • Leopardi Giacomo


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