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N.1/2021 Gaudeamus Igitur!

Antonio Genovesi and the Making of Modern Heroism

Miriam Muccione
Published in June, 2021

Antonio Genovesi and the Making of Modern Heroism



The student of Giambattista Vico and father of the Neapolitan Enlightenment Antonio Genovesi (1713-1769) invested his academic life in educating the Neapolitan youth on the principles of public happiness. Like Eugenio Garin stated, Genovesi’s adopts the Vichian humanistic dialectic between metaphysics and experience, by making the study of the past the starting point to act upon the present in preparation to a better future. In this respect, Genovesi endorses an ideal of human growth that never occurs as a neat rupture with the past, but rather as a karstic process of progressive education and reforms. By focusing on Genovesi’s reflections on heroism that as a file rouge traverses his work, this essay advances the idea that part of Genovesi’s reformist agenda lays in educating «young philosophers» to a new ideal of civil philosophy and nobility, in which both intellectuals and upper classes are called to help those in need.


Heroism, Humanism, Giambattista Vico, Antonio Genovesi, Imperialism



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