Gaetano Antonio Gualtieri


Francesco Longano was an important exponent of the school of Antonio Genovesi and, more in general, of the Italian Enlightenment. This essay emphasizes Longano’s interest in a new conception about man, developed through one of the most meaningful issues of modern philosophy: body and soul. The relationship between body and soul, as represented by Longano, brought to revalue those human components like fantasy, passions, the psychological dimension that had been almost neglected by the rigidly rationalistic conception prevailing at that time. By analyzing man in all his totality, Longano could also face the themes of freedom and equality without any exceptions, taking inspiration from thinkers like Rousseau, Montesquieu, Helvétius. The deep study of these issues together with the interest in economic themes led Longano even to propose a plan of reforms to carry out in Southern Italy. As regards these reforms, Longano hoped for the outgrowing of the old feudal and baronial structures through a new distribution of territories and fields, which included the strengthening of small landowners, too. Yet, the difficulty of carrying out such a program, brought Longano to take refuge in a utopia particularly expressed in the second version of his book, Viaggio per lo contado di Molise, he condensed his reforming plan in a city called «Filopoli».


Francesco Longano; Antonio Genovesi; Freedom; Equality; Reformism; Utopism

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DOI: 10.6092/issn.2421-4124/6678


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