Calogero, Guido

   A prominent philosopher who took an active political role, Calogero was born in Rome, where he took his degree in 1925 with a thesis on Aristotle’s logic. Calogero became one of the leading Italian interpreters of the philosophy of the ancients, especially Aristotle, of his time. His first maestro was the Fascist philosopher Giovanni Gentile, and Calogero contributed many articles to Gentile’s ambitious Encyclopaedia. Calogero obtained a university lectureship in 1927, when he was just 23 years old, and taught at the Universities of Rome and Florence before becoming professor of philosophy at Pisa in 1935. Unlike his mentor Gentile, Calogero was a convinced antifascist from the late 1920s onward. In the late 1930s, together with a Tuscan intellectual, Aldo Capitini, Calogero developed liberal-socialist ideas and, on his own account, published a famous collection of lectures called La scuola dell’uomo(The School of Man). Such writings made Calogero an influential figure among the antifascist thinkers of Tuscany and were a key influence on the evolution of the ideas of the Partito d’Azione/Action Party (PdA). Calogero subsequently became a prominent member of the PdA, from 1943 to its dissolution in 1948. However, his antifascist activities led to his being arrested, deprived of his university chair, and condemned to two spells of imprisonment during the war. After the war, Calogero had a varied political and journalistic career on the political left. He was one of the founders of the Partito Radicale/Radical Party (PR) in 1955; in the 1960s, he supported, together with Norberto Bobbio, the creation of the Partito Socialista Unificato/Unified Socialist Party (PSU). He remained an important figure in academic philosophy in both Italy and abroad. His teachings and political writings won him many disciples, the most prominent being Carlo Azeglio Ciampi. Bobbio called Calogero “the youngest of my masters” in an article written in 2001. Calogero died in Rome in 1986.

Historical Dictionary of Modern Italy. . 2007.

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