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Cattaneo, Carlo (1801–69)

DOI: 10.4324/9780415249126-DC012-1
Version: v1,  Published online: 1998
Retrieved May 11, 2021, from

Article Summary

The figurehead of the Italian democratic movement prior to the unification of Italy, Carlo Cattaneo developed a theory of federalism as a practice of self-government, envisaging a United States of Italy. He identified the bourgeoisie as the most dynamic force in contemporary history and regarded scientific culture as the engine of progress. Often dubbed the first Italian positivist, he perceived empirical philosophy as a kind of synthesis of all the sciences, but also stressed its anthropological and psychological dimensions and above all its character as a methodology of knowledge; his objective was to study human thought. The great themes of Cattaneo’s philosophy are nature, the individual and society; particularly the last.

Citing this article:
Frigessi, Delia. Cattaneo, Carlo (1801–69), 1998, doi:10.4324/9780415249126-DC012-1. Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Taylor and Francis,
Copyright © 1998-2021 Routledge.

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