Work and freedom in the speculations of Gianvincenzo Gravina, Giambattista Vico and Francesco Longano
Keywords:Gianvincenzo Gravina, Giambattista Vico, Francesco Longano, Freedom, Work
This essay takes into consideration the themes of work and freedom in the philosophy of three important exponents of Southern Italian modern culture: Gianvincenzo Gravina, Giambattista Vico and Francesco Longano. Work and freedom interlace in the speculations of these three thinkers, even though the issues they emphasize about them are different. Gravina deals with intellectual work: the wise man, according to the philosopher’s point of view, is the only one who can bridle both the impetuousness of people and the rulers’ authoritarianism. As a consequence, it is only by the work of the intellectual that it is possible to reach and conquer freedom. Vico presents work in its historical development, focusing on the conflict between «heroes» and «famoli», first, and «patricians» and «plebeians», then. In Vico’s opinion, work makes little by little the weakest classes aware of their unhappy condition and lays the foundations for a change of society towards democracy. Finally, Longano faces up to the problem of slavery, still very diffused in the second half of the Eighteenth century, by proposing a “communist” society in the utopian city of Filopoli, in which both freedom and equality in work are guaranteed.
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