Gianvincenzo Gravina and the theme of virtue

Gaetano Antonio Gualtieri

Abstract


This article takes into consideration virtue, a crucial point in Gianvincenzo Gravina’s thought; in fact, it is no accident that this theme is dealt with by the most meaningful works written by the Calabrian author. According to Gravina, virtue not only does it regard religious themes, which would be natural, but also matters that at first could seem to be distant from his field of action, such as for example, poetry and literature. In conformity with the concept of verisimilitude, Gravina emphasizes the fact that a good poet is not expected to represent virtue based on an abstract ideal of perfection, but virtue in keeping with reality. An example of such a view is in the work the Tragedie cinque written by Gravina, in which characters from the Greek and Roman world represent on the stage the four cardinal virtues. By pointing out this theme, this article aims, inevitably, at some meaningful comparisons, like the one between Gravina and Montesquieu, and, above all, the one between Gravina and Vico who, relatively to this subject, can be taken as emblematic authors of the Southern Italian culture of the first Eighteenth Century.

Keywords


virtue; justice; equity; Montesquieu; Vico

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DOI: 10.6092/issn.2421-4124/10404

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