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Pure Experience and Historical Reality

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In this, Gentile's inaugural lecture delivered at the University of Pisa in 1914, he describes his approach to and conception of history. The opening sections of the lecture display a more personal and relaxed, at times effusive side to Gentile's writing as he praises his former teachers, offering readers some insight into his influences and his view of his own philosophical project. In the later sections, he turns to the technical question of how we, as concrete subjects living, thinking and acting in the eternal present, can make sense of the past, which is, by definition, outside the compass of our actual, present thinking. Despite the difficulty of the problem Gentile addresses--a difficulty increased, one suspects, by his habit of expressing questions and answers in his own specialist vocabulary--the lecture form enables him to relax his usual abstruse style, showing us something of himself as a teacher as well as a philosopher.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 2014

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