Benedetto Croce Biography
Benedetto Croce (February 25, 1866 – November 20, 1952) philosopher, historian, and literary critic. He was born in Pescasseroli, Italy. He stood out in liberalism. He grew up in a wealthy and liberal family. He was educated under the Catholic precepts in a school attended by the children of Neapolitan high society. But, at the age of 18, he declared himself an atheist. He lost his family after an earthquake that hit the town of Casamicciola, on the island of Ischia.
Croce was trapped in the rubble. After the accident, he inherited all the family fortune, which allowed him to live without thinking about producing money and devoting himself to philosophy. He moved to Rome, he was fascinated by the cultural environment. He was interested in the philosophy of Giambattista Vico. In addition, by the influence of Labriola, he wrote Materialisme Historique et e conomie marxiste. For several years he developed a philosophical system, managed the idealist orientation in four areas: aesthetics, logic, economics, and ethics were published between 1902 and 1909.
He was the founder of the magazine La crítica. Before Mussolini took power he was a senator, but with this situation he left all public office, becoming the moral guide of antifascism. The previous thing generated many conflicts and the end of his friendship with Gentile. At the time that fascism fell and the Second World War ended, he returned to political life, working on the reconstruction of the liberal party.
The idealism of Benedetto Croce is presented as a reform of the Hegelian dialectic. Basically, his philosophy resides in that spiritual activity constitutes the absolute reality. Man is the possessor of the inherent experience of his spirit. The former is part of subjective consciousness, the mind adopts two forms: an intellectual and a practical one. The first is divided into intuition (art) and abstraction (philosophy); while the other in economics and ethics.
Croce’s system differs from that of Hegel because neither nature nor religion appears, and logic is part of the philosophy of the spirit. Croce did not recognize the autonomy of religion: he considered it a set of poetic, philosophical and moral motives. For the philosopher life and reality are history and nothing but history, this is part of the formula of absolute historicism. In philosophy, aesthetics had great resonance. For him, it is part of the autonomy of art.
As for the story for Croce, the human spirit is the object of history for its manifestations aspects such as economics and ethics, art and philosophy. In addition, history constitutes the fullest development of the search for truth by man, while it is identified with philosophy so, historical knowledge will be the only knowledge covered with theoretical validity.
We should mention that Croce’s literary criticism influenced the Italian culture of the time. His literary activity is seen as a contradiction between his own general theoretical positions and his classicist orientation. At this point, he overestimated authors such as Giosue Carducci and to reject various literary expressions of the twentieth century.