Benedetto Croce  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

Benedetto Croce (February 25, 1866 - November 20, 1952) was an Italian critic, idealist philosopher, and politician. He wrote on numerous topics, including philosophy of history and aesthetics, and was a prominent liberal, although he opposed laissez-faire free trade. His influence on Antonio Gramsci is quite notable.

Croce on Vico

Croce also held great esteem for Vico, and shared his view that history should be written by philosophers. Croce's On History sets forth the view of history as "philosophy in motion", that there is no greater "cosmic design" or ultimate plan in history, and that the "science of history" was a farce. This led him to scorn theorists like Marx and Hegel who attempted to reduce history to a few guiding principles. He largely agrees with Rousseau, saying that history is a series of lies, where we must choose the one that seems closest to the truth.

Selected bibliography

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