Giuseppe Ferrari  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Giuseppe Ferrari (7 March 1812 - 2 July 1876) was an Italian philosopher, historian and politician.

He was born at Milan, studied law at Pavia, and took the degree of doctor in 1831. A follower of Romagnosi and Giovan Battista Vico, his first works were an article in the Biblioteca Italiana entitled "Mente di Gian Domenico Romagnosi" (1835), and a complete edition of the works of Vico, prefaced by an appreciation (1865).

Finding Italy uncongenial to his ideas, he went to France and, in 1839, produced in Paris his Vico ci l'Italie, followed by La Nouvelle Religion de Campanella and La Théorie de l'erreur. On account of these works he was made Docteur-ès‑lettres of the Sorbonne and professor of philosophy at Rochefort (1840). His views, however, provoked antagonism, and in 1842 he was appointed to the chair of philosophy at Strasbourg. After fresh trouble with the clergy, he returned to Paris and published a defence of his theories in a work entitled Idées sur la politique de Platon et d'Aristote. After a short connection with the college at Bourges, he devoted himself from 1849 to 1858 exclusively to writing. The works of this period are Les Philosophes Salariés, Machiavel juge des revolutions de notre temps (1849), La Federazione repubblicana (1851), La Filosofia della rivoluzione (1851), L' Italia dopo il colpo di Stato (1852), Histoire des révolutions, ou Guelfes et Gibelins (1858).

In 1859 he returned to Italy, where he opposed Cavour, and upheld federalism against the policy of a single Italian monarchy. In spite of this opposition, he held chairs of philosophy at Turin, Milan and Rome in succession, and during several administrations represented the college of Gavirate in the chamber. He was a member of the council of education and was made senator on 15 May 1876; but he died just six weeks later.

Amongst other works may be mentioned Histoire de la Raison d'État, Corso di storia degli scrittori politici italiani, and La China e l'Europa. In the last mentioned work, Ferrari anticipated the emergence of superpowers, arguing that their emergence would destroy European dominance in favor of Russia, America, and, eventually, China. A skeptic in philosophy and a revolutionist in politics, rejoicing in controversy of all kinds, he was admired as a man, as an orator, and as a writer.

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Giuseppe Ferrari" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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