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Title: Tra inattualità e connessione spirituale. Nota sull'apolitia di Jacob Buckhardt
Authors: Menon, Marco
Keywords: Jacob Burckhardthistoryapolitiamodernitybarbarismcivilization
Issue Date: 2019
Publisher: EUT Edizioni Università di Trieste
Source: Marco Menon, "Tra inattualità e connessione spirituale. Nota sull'apolitia di Jacob Buckhardt" in: "Etica & Politica / Ethics & Politics (2019) XXI/3", EUT Edizioni Università di Trieste, Trieste, 2019, pp. 35-57
Journal: Etica & Politica / Ethics & Politics 
This paper discusses the nature of Burckhardt's apolitia, and raises the question as to the real
meaning of his detachment from political things. The first part presents some major interpretations
of Burckhardt alleged "Greek" unpolitical attitude (Ernst Cassirer, Karl Löwith, Albert Salomon,
Benedetto Croce), and shows how these authors understood Burckhardt's contemplative
stance almost as a philosophical one. The second part offers a brief historical reconstruction
of Burckhardt process of detachment, mostly drawing on his correspondence. The third
part analyses the meaning of Burckhardt's transcendence of the present in the past, namely, the
way in which the historian wins a critical perspective on the present by concentrating on history.
This process of detachment from the present is interpreted in its "political" aspects; as shown in
the fourth part, Burckhardt's apolitia amounts to a critical movement aimed at the recovery of
the spiritual connection with the past. In this way, the paper maintains that his apolitia is, in
truth, in service of a higher ideal of humanity, namely, a specific idea of civilization which must
be understood in contradistinction to barbarism. The essence of barbarism is the absence of
historic consciousness; it is only the awareness of a fundamental continuity in the flowing of
human things that allows the flourishing of man's spiritual life.
Type: Article
ISSN: 1825-5167
DOI: 10.13137/1825-5167/29497
Rights: Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 Internazionale
Appears in Collections:Etica & Politica / Ethics & Politics (2019) XXI/3

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