Nicola Abbagnano


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Abbagnano, Nicola

 

Born July 15, 1901. Italian idealist philosopher.

A professor at the University of Turin, Abbagnano is the founder of so-called positive existentialism, which attempts to combine existentialist ideas with elements of neopositivism. On this basis and also with the aid of the “universal” formula of the “possibility of the possible,” Abbagnano tried to create an optimistic version of existentialism. In his opinion, the individual can always choose from various possibilities one which would be the basis of a “healthy and stable existence.” Eclecticism and ethical formalism have doomed Abbagnano’s attempt. In recent years, Abbagnano has moved further away from the problems of existentialism, concentrating on such areas as the theory of knowledge and sociology.

WORKS

La struttura dell’esistenza. Turin, 1939.
Introduzione all’esistenzialismo. Turin, 1947.
Filosofia, religione, scienza. Turin, 1947.
L’esistenzialismo positivo. Turin, 1948.
Possibilita e liberta. Turin, 1956.
Problemi di sociología. Turin, 1959.
Scritti scelti. Turin, 1967.

REFERENCES

Efirov, S. A. Ital’ianskii “pozitivnyi ekzistentsializm.” In Sovremennyi ekzistentsializm. Moscow, 1966.
Efirov, S. A. Ital’ianskaia burzhuaznaia filosofiia XX v. Moscow, 1968.
Giannini, G. L’esistenzialismo positivo di N. Abbagnano. Brescia, 1956.
Santucci, A. Esistenzialismo e filosofiia italiana, 2nd ed. Bologna, 1967.

S. A. EFIROV

References in periodicals archive ?
Nicola Abbagnano (1901-1990), the leading representative of secular or humanistic Italian Existentialism; Enrico Castelli (1900-1977), a prominent Catholic existentialist and cultural promoter; Eugenio Garin (1909-2004), Italy's leading historian of Italian Renaissance and twentieth-century philosophy; and Ernesto Grassi (1902-1991), a onetime student of Heidegger and international spokesperson for the studia humanitatis, were all to some degree existentialists, Vichians, historians of philosophy, and invested in the philosophical merits of the Italian Renaissance--Quattrocento Humanism in particular.
In 1943, Nicola Abbagnano squared off with the hardened remnants of old-school philosophizing in Italy: the Idealism of Giovanni Gentile, Spaventa's self-declared heir, and a roster of his most loyal followers.
From Italian existentialist Nicola Abbagnano to Spanish Christian ontologist Xavier Zubiri, the entries discuss the thought systems of important individual philosophers from around the world, as well as important topics, ranging from aesthetic experience to Zoroastrianism.
The two books under discussion here--one a translation by Nino Langiulli and Bruno Martini, with an accompanying commentary, of a late work by the Italian philosopher Nicola Abbagnano, and the other a study of the relation between philosophy and history by Gabriel Ricci--exhibit shared features.
The analysis of the novel's twofold structure works through notions of existence theorized by Karl Jaspers, and explores the meanings of being, reason, time, and spirituality in relation to existentialist ideas advanced by such philosophers as Soren Kierkegaard and Nicola Abbagnano.
95--Unlike his frequently provocative review essays for interpretation, Nino Langiulli's study of the Italian philosopher and historian of philosophy Nicola Abbagnano is more celebratory than critical.