Bobbio, Norberto

(1909–2004)
   Born and raised in Turin, Norberto Bobbio was a professor of political and legal philosophy at the University of Turin from 1948 to 1979 and was made a life senator in 1985. Bobbio was born into an upper-class, pro-Fascist family, and it was only when he reached university that he began to make the acquaintance of a formidable group of intellectuals and critics of the regime. His friends included such luminaries as Cesare Pavese, Carlo Levi, the future publisher Giulio Einaudi, and the journalist Vittorio Foa. Bobbio had a somewhat ambiguous relationship with Fascism. As he very honestly admitted in his 1997 autobiography, he was willing to write servile letters to the minister for the universities protesting his commitment to the Fascist cause; on the other hand, he and his closest friends were strong critics of the theory and practice of the Fascist state and were identified as troublemakers by the police. Bobbio’s life was changed by the war and by the resistancemovement to Fascism. He was a member of the Partito d’Azione/Action Party (PdA) and took part in clandestine activities in Turin during the war. Bobbio believed that the resistance was a moral turning point for Italy, and he was always passionately committed to the democracy that emerged in 1948. He was scathing about the student revolutionaries of the 1960s, who claimed that postwar Italy had constructed an oppressive antidemocratic regime, although he did sympathize with many of their criticisms of the Italian university system. Bobbio’s early academic work was in the philosophy of law, and he holds an important place among contemporary scholars of this field. He was also an expert interpreter of Thomas Hobbes and edited De Cive for an Italian audience in 1948. The nature of the political conflict in Italy, however, meant that he was forced to debate concrete political questions with communist thinkers. Asecular democrat and a liberal, he persisted in defining dialogue as a corrective to the limitless nature of human folly and exaggeration. In his view, dialogue is the only route to democracy. Two famous books, Politica e cultura (Politics and Culture, 1950) and Quale socialismo? (Which Socialism? 1976) were the result of Bobbio’s attempts to keep open dialogue with the Partito Comunista Italiano/Italian Communist Party (PCI).
   By the beginning of the 1970s, he had become a supporter of the Partito Socialista Italiano/Italian Socialist Party (PSI), regarding it as a force that had moved away from the orthodox Marxism of the PCI and toward cooperation with the left of the Democrazia Cristiana/ Christian Democracy (DC) in pursuit of a new progressivism. Yet he was never a PSI “loyalist.” He was one of the few socialists who openly criticized Bettino Craxi in the 1980s. Bobbio wrote a number of important works of political philosophy while in “retirement.” His thoughts on the future of democracy, on just war theory, and on human rights were all translated into English (as well as numerous other European languages). His book Destra e sinistra (Left and Right, 1996) was actually a best-seller in Italy and elsewhere in Europe—an unusual fate for an academic book in any field, let alone in one as challenging as political philosophy. In 1992, Bobbio was spoken of as a potential candidate for president of the Republic; to his relief, the proposal came to nothing. When this heir to the liberal-socialist tradition of Piero Gobetti, Gaetano Salvemini, and Carlo Rossellidied in January 2004, he enjoyed growing international fame as one of the key European political thinkers and intellectuals of the postwar period.

Historical Dictionary of Modern Italy. . 2007.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Bobbio, Norberto — ► (1909 2004) Filosófo italiano. Sus trabajos se han basado en la filosofía del derecho como ciencia jurídica dentro del ámbito de la filosofía analítica. Su producción es tan amplia como diversa, con títulos como Política e cultura (1955), Quale …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Bobbio, Norberto — (Torino 1909 Torino 2004) filosofo, protagonista del dibattito politico culturale del Novecento …   Dizionario biografico elementare del Novecento letterario italiano

  • Bobbio — Bobbio, Norberto …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Norberto Bobbio — Full name Norberto Bobbio Born 18 October 1909 Torino, Italy Died 9 January 2004(2004 01 09) (aged 94) Torino, Italy …   Wikipedia

  • Norberto Bobbio — Nacimiento 18 de octubre de 1909  Ital …   Wikipedia Español

  • Norberto Bobbio — (* 18. Oktober 1909 in Turin; † 9. Januar 2004 ebenda) war ein italienischer Rechtsphilosoph und Publizist. Inhaltsverzeichnis 1 Leben 2 Politische Position 3 Ehrungen …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Norberto Bobbio — Norberto Bobbio, né le 18 octobre 1909 à Turin en Italie et décédé dans la même ville le 9 janvier 2004, est un philosophe spécialiste de la philosophie politique et de la philosophie du droit. Il s est notamment attaché à… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Norberto — may refer to: Norberto Alonso (born 1953), a former Argentine football midfielder Norberto Araujo (born 1978), an Argentine football central defender Norberto Aroldi (1932–1978), an Argentine film actor and screenwriter Norberto Barba (born 1963) …   Wikipedia

  • BOBBIO (N.) — Norberto BOBBIO (1909 ) Né à Turin le 18 octobre 1909 dans une famille de la bonne bourgeoisie piémontaise, Bobbio, après une licence en droit, obtient, en 1933, un doctorat en philosophie avec une thèse sur la phénoménologie de Husserl. En 1935 …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Norberto Bobbio — (Turín, Italia, el 18 de octubre 1909 9 de enero 2004), filósofo y hombre de leyes y cientista político italiano. Tras graduarse en la universidad de su ciudad natal fue profesor de Filosofía del Derecho en la Universidad de Camerino desde 1935… …   Enciclopedia Universal

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