Della Volpe, Galvano


Della Volpe, Galvano
(1895–1968)
   A powerful Marxist thinker, Galvano Della Volpe was born in Imola, near Bologna, to an aristocratic family and studied philosophy at Bologna University. After an early career in which he was not immune to the aesthetic appeal of Fascism, Della Volpe passed to communism. He was a member of the Partito Comunista Italiano/Italian Communist Party (PCI) from 1944 until his death, although he was often in bad odor with the party hierarchy for the unorthodoxy of his Marxism, his outspoken atheism, and his willingness to criticize officially sanctioned thinkers. Della Volpe, who was professor of philosophy at Messina in Sicily for almost all of his career, published a large number of dense, difficult books on aesthetics, G. W. F. Hegel, and the philosophy of science. It is as a political philosopher that he is chiefly remembered: The key texts are his Liberta Comunista(Communist Freedom, 1946) and Rousseau e Marx(1957). Liberta Comunista was a deliberate attempt—unfortunately written in impenetrable prose—to combat the idea, dear to liberal thinkers like Carlo Rosselli and Guido Calogero, that socialism and liberalism could be integrated into a single synthesis.
   Della Volpe exercised a significant influence on the thinkers of the British and American “New Left” in the 1960s and also nurtured a large number of influential pupils. He died in Rome in 1968.

Historical Dictionary of Modern Italy. . 2007.

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