The study of philosophy in school: the Italian case and its historical importance


  • Massimo Lapponi Pontificio Ateneo di Sant’Anselmo, Roma



Starting from the recent tendency to limit, or even eliminate, the teaching of philosophy in Italian universities and high schools, the article illustrates the crisis of the traditional school teaching of philosophy in Italy — as it had been consolidated starting from the Gentile Reform (1923 ) — and the parallel manifestation, especially after 1968, of a serious lowering of the level in the content of school texts. At the origin of this crisis, in the complexity of the Italian social and political situation, the role of Gramsci's thought is highlighted, among other aspects, whose close dependence on Italian neo-idealism is underlined, following Augusto Del Noce. and above all by Gentile.

The alliance of Gramscism with bourgeois neo-enlightenment and the involuntary but real contribution that it derives to the prevalence of practical, technical and scientific disciplines and of the human sciences over philosophical and humanistic disciplines are presented as the necessary outcome of the contradiction, typical of hegelism from the beginning and also inherited by Gramsci through Italian Marxism and neo-ideliasm, between religious inspiration, by its nature aimed at a unity that gives meaning to the whole, and absolute prejudicial immanentism.

The humanistic-religious inspiration, present in Gramsci but contradicted by his a priori rejection of transcendence, is compared with Newman's thought, which Gramsci esteemed but which he knew too partially. From this comparison we deduce the possibility of carrying out Gramscian humanism, freed from its basic prejudices, in opposition to the anti-humanistic tendencies of the Italian experience, which appears almost a model of what is also emerging in the destiny of other nations.