'Gramsci and Ancient Philosophy: Prelude to a Study' (Please contact me for proofs)

In Emilio Zucchetti & Anna Maria Cimino (eds.), Antonio Gramsci and the Classics. pp. 86-100 (2021)
  Copy   BIBTEX


This chapter investigates the precise ways in which Antonio Gramsci engaged with ancient philosophy. A brief examination of the longest discussion in the Prison Notebooks of any ancient philosopher or text, Plato’s Republic (Q8, §22), raises many questions about Gramsci’s approach to ancient philosophy. These questions motivate an investigation into Gramsci’s surprisingly minimal discussion of ancient philosophy and philosophers, which is best explained in the light of his theoretical commitments to his distinctive species of historical materialism. Rather than responding to specific critical insights advanced about politics or human nature by ancient philosophers, such as Plato and Aristotle, Gramsci is shown to appropriate ancient philosophy into a broad-spectrum project of the history of philosophy, which interrogates the specific conditions under which historical epochs and the philosophical ideas that characterise them emerge. Tracking the conditions and characteristic ideas is revealed to be the project of the ‘specialist philosopher’, who must grasp both general methodological principles and particular historical examples. Gramsci’s treatment of ancient philosophy reveals more about his universal theories of history, and his engagement with the ideas of his contemporaries (including Benedetto Croce), than a special concern with ancient philosophy itself.



External links

  • This entry has no external links. Add one.
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

From the Return to Labriola to the Anti-Croce.Alessandro Olsaretti - 2016 - Historical Materialism 24 (4):193-220.
An introduction to Antonio Gramsci: his life, thought and legacy.George Hoare - 2015 - New York, NY: Bloomsbury Academic, an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing, Plc. Edited by Nathan Sperber.
Gramsci and the History of Dialectical Thought.Maurice A. Finocchiaro - 1988 - New York: Cambridge University Press.
Gramsci’s ‘Non-contemporaneity’.Fabio Frosini - 2014 - Historical Materialism 22 (2):117-134.
A Double Reading of Gramsci: Beyond the Logic of Contingency.Adam David Morton - 2005 - Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy 8 (4):439-453.


Added to PP

366 (#59,847)

6 months
135 (#36,398)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

Phillip Sidney Horky
Durham University

Citations of this work

No citations found.

Add more citations

References found in this work

The Open Society and Its Enemies.K. R. Popper - 1946 - Philosophy 21 (80):271-276.
Quaderni del cárcere.Antonio Gramsci - 1975 - Trans/Form/Ação 2:198-202.
Quaderni del carcere.Antonio Gramsci - 2014 - G. Einaudi. Edited by Gerratana, Valentino & Istituto Gramsci.
Gramsci and the History of Dialectical Thought.Maurice A. Finocchiaro - 1988 - New York: Cambridge University Press.
Gramsci and the History of Dialectical Thought.MAURICE A. FINOCCHIARO - 1988 - Philosophy and Rhetoric 26 (1):80-85.

View all 9 references / Add more references