Carlo Borghero

Texts and Legends: Viano Interpreter of Locke

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Carlo A. Viano’s book on Locke (Torino, Einaudi, 1960) marked a significant turning point in the studies both of the English philosopher and of empiricism. This essay aims to show: 1) that direct knowledge of Locke’s published and unpublished texts allowed Viano to give a unified reading of the work of the English philosopher, undermining old certainties on which lasting legends have been built, both in Italy and abroad; 2) that after a quarter of a century the same author departed from the interpretive schemes which were close to the perspective of the ‘nuovo illuminismo’, typical of his book of 1960, attenuating the rigidity of the opposition between Locke and Aristotle, now weakened by the recognition of significant Aristotelian notions in Locke’s texts; 3) that this historiographical revision pertaining to Locke is part of a broader reflection by Viano on how to understand and practice the philosophy and the history of philosophy, which presents original and innovative features in the contemporary panorama.


  • Locke
  • Empiricism
  • Origin of Liberalism
  • Philosophical Historiography


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