Gramsci and the History of Dialectical Thought by Maurice A. Finocchiaro

By Maurice A. Finocchiaro

This can be an interpretative and evaluative research of the idea of Antonio Gramsci, the founder of the Italian Communist occasion who died in 1937 after ten years of imprisonment in Fascist jails. It proceeds via a rigorous textual research of his criminal Notebooks, the scattered notes he wrote in the course of his incarceration. Professor Finocchiaro explores the character of Gramsci's dialectical pondering, so that it will convey in what methods Gramsci was once and was once now not a Marxist, in addition to to demonstrate correspondences with the paintings of Hegel, Croce, and Bukharin. The publication presents a serious reappraisal of Gramsci as a philosopher and of the dialectical technique as a style of inquiry.

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This superior critical awareness shows itself in his criticism of philosophies no less than in his other varieties of criticism. The quantity or extent of Croce's criticism is impressive enough even to the naked eye. 13 If the eye sought the aid of the various tables of contents, it might quite possibly be overwhelmed. 19 The aided eye would thus see about a dozen books of criticism more than the twenty-five seen by the naked eye. Besides aiding the eye one could easily train it according to the following principle: What is ordinarily called history, that is, social and/or political history, can be regarded - and was so regarded by Croce - as criticism of past human actions, that is, as the critical examination of their effectiveness (and morality).

No problem results, however, as long as they are kept distinct. An example is the novelist, who in individualizing a certain character makes all sorts of comparisons and abstractions of feelings, emotions, problems, times, and places. Moreover, even critical understanding may have to be used in the course of individualization. To be more exact, even what abstractly considered has to be regarded as critical understanding, may have to be used in individualization. For unless that so-called critical understanding is separated or abstracted from the context, one would see it only as an element in distinguishing an individual thing from the rest.

That is, in order to distinguish something from the rest, one may have to distinguish and separate or abstract other things from the rest and/or may have to distinguish and compare other things with the rest. But this abstraction and this comparison are not operating on the thing being individualized. Those operations not only may be used in the course of individualization but 37 Gramsci and the history of dialectical thought normally must be used. No problem results, however, as long as they are kept distinct.

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