Marco Sgarbi

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Marco Sgarbi (14 August 1982) is an Italian philosopher and an intellectual historian. He is associate professor of history of philosophy and Vice Provost of Communication and Development at the Ca' Foscari University of Venice.


Marco Sgarbi was born in 1982 in Mantua, Italy, and received his Ph.D. from the Università di Verona. He taught history of philosophy, history of concepts and computational linguistics for philosophical texts at the Università di Verona from 2010 to 2012.

He was Frances A. Yates Short-Term Research fellow at the Warburg Institute, research fellow at the Università di Verona, Fritz Thyssen fellow at Herzog August Bibliothek, Wolfenbüttel, research fellow at the Accademia dei LinceiBritish Academy, and Jean-François Malle-Harvard I Tatti Fellow at Villa I Tatti, The Harvard University Center for Italian Renaissance Studies.

He is the editor of Philosophical Readings, a four-monthly on-line journal, and of Studies and Sources in the History of Philosophy Series by Aemme Edizioni. He is also member of the editorial board of Lo Sguardo, Estudios Kantianos, philosophy@lisbon.

He is the Principal investigator of the ERC Starting Grant 2013 - Aristotle in the Italian Vernacular: Rethinking Renaissance and Early-Modern Intellectual History (c. 1400–c. 1650).

He is the editor of the series Bloomsbury Studies in the Aristotelian Tradition.


His work has focused on Kant, Aristotelianism, Renaissance philosophy and intellectual history. In his "Logica e metafisica nel Kant-precritico" and "La Kritik der reinen Vernunft nel contesto della tradizione logica aristotelica", Sgarbi follows Giorgio Tonelli's investigations and he examines the intellectual situation of Königsberg in the years of the formation of the Kantian philosophy, assuming that Königsberg with its university are the framework from which Kant actually took fundamental ideas and problems. In particular he focuses on the Aristotelian tradition, on Schulphilosophie, and on the Eclectic movement, which dominated Königsberg up to the advent of Kant’s critical philosophy.[1] In "La logica dell'irrazionale", which is also translated in Spanish, Sgarbi shows that the third Critique is neither a book on aesthetics nor on teleology, but on an hermeneutical not-conceptual logic.[2] "Kant on Spontaneity" is the first full-length study of the problem of spontaneity in Kant. He demonstrates that spontaneity is a crucial concept in relation to every aspect of Kant's thought. He begins by reconstructing the history of the concept of spontaneity in the German Enlightenment prior to Kant and goes on to define knowing, thinking, acting and feeling as spontaneous activities of the mind that in turn determine Kant's logic, ethics and aesthetics. He shows that the notion of spontaneity is key to understanding both Kant's theoretical and practical philosophy.

In intellectual history, he proposes an original methodology based on the history of problems, in competition with the methodology of the history of ideas and Begriffsgeschichte. In his view, history of problem is 1) based on original elements of human experience; 2) always new, because the experience of problems and their solutions are always new; 3) rich, because to one problem refers to multiple ideas and conceptualities; 4) infinite, because the solutions and approaches to the problems are infinite; 5) interdisciplinary, because different sciences can solve the same problem from different points of view; 6) intercultural, because problems are common elements of the various civilizations; 7) able to open new ways to find new solutions.[3]

In March 2014 at the Renaissance Society of America Annual Meeting in New York, Sgarbi presented his conception of Renaissance, called "Liquid Renaissance" and based on reflexive historiography. He employs “liquid” in the same way of contemporary historians and sociologist to characterize “liquid democracy” or “liquid society”, that is when one or more parts of the whole constitute dynamically, voluntarily or involuntarily, the whole itself that circularly and continuously redefines the parts. He emphasizes that we cannot help seeing the past from the point of view of the present, but we should do it in a correct way, otherwise, certain aspects of the past may be overlooked or misunderstood. Renaissance should be carefully historically qualified according to time and place and should be constantly redefined according to the progress of scholarship, since what the Renaissance was or is shifts almost kaleidoscopically, establishing the existence of many Renaissances.


He is also the editor of:

  • Translatio studiorum. Ancient, Medieval and Modern Bearers of Intellectual History (Leiden: Brill, 2012).
  • with Piero Giordanetti and Riccardo Pozzo: Kant’s Philosophy of Unconscious (Berlin-New York: Walter De Gruyter, 2012).
  • with Seung-Kee Lee, Riccardo Pozzo and Dagmar von Wille, Philosophical Academic Programs of the German Enlightenment: A Literary Genre Recontextualized (Stuttgart-Bad Cannstatt: Frommann-Holzboog, 2012).
  • Bruno Nardi, Naturalismo e Alessandrismo nel Rinascimento (Brescia: Torri d’Ercole, 2012).
  • with Valerio Rocco Lozano: Diritto e storia in Kant e Hegel (Trento: Verifiche, 2011).
  • with Riccardo Pozzo: Begriffs-, Ideen- und Problemgeschichte im 21. Jahrhundert (Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz, 2011).
  • Thomas Hobbes, Logica, (Pisa: ETS [Parva philosophica. Le perle 28], 2011).
  • with Leonel Ribeiro dos Santos, Ubirajara Rancan de Azevedo Marques, Gregorio Piaia, and Riccardo Pozzo: Was ist der Mensch/Que è o homem? Antropologia, Estética e Teleologia em Kant (Lisboa: Centro de Filosofia da Universidade de Lisboa, 2010).
  • Marino Gentile, La dottrina delle idee numeri e Aristotele, with an introduction by Enrico Berti (Verona: Aemme Edizioni, 2010).
  • The Kant-Weymann Controversy. Two Polemical Writings on Optimism (Verona: Aemme Edizioni, 2010).
  • Francisco Suárez and his Legacy. The Impact of Suárezian Metaphysics and Epistemology on Modern Philosophy (Milano: Vita e pensiero, 2010).
  • Pietro Pomponazzi. Tradizione e dissenso (Firenze: Olschki, 2010).
  • Jacopo Zabarella, Opera physica (Verona: Aemme Edizioni, 2009).
  • with Riccardo Pozzo: Eine Typologie der Formen der Begriffsgeschichte (Hamburg: Meiner, 2010).
  • with Riccardo Pozzo: Kant e Hegel tra Europa e America (Torino: Rosenberg & Sellier, 2009).
  • with Riccardo Pozzo: Kant and the Philosophical Tradition, special issue of Kant e-Prints, Campinas N.S. 3 (2008): 89-373.
  • with Riccardo Pozzo: I filosofi e l’Europa (Milano: Mimesis, 2009).

Articles in English:

  • “Ralph Lever’s Art of Reason, Rightly Termed Witcraft (1573),” Bruniana & Campanelliana, 19 (2013): 149–164.
  • “Hume’s Source of the “Impression-Idea” Distinction,” Anales del Seminario de Historia de la Filosofía, 2 (2012): 561–576.
  • “Towards a Reassessment of British Aristotelianism,” Vivarium. An International Journal for the Philosophy and Intellectual Life of the Middle Ages and Renaissance, 50 (2012): 85-109.
  • “Metaphysics in Königsberg prior to Kant (1703-1770),” /Trans/Form/Ação/, 33 (2010): 31-64.
  • “The Historical Genesis of Kantian Concept of Transcendental,” Archiv für Begriffsgeschichte, 53 (2011): 97-117.
  • “Abraham Calov and Immanuel Kant. Aristotelian and Scholastic Traces in Kantian Philosophy,” Historia Philosophica, 5 (2010): 55-62.
  • “At the Origin of the Connection between Logic and Ontology. The Impact of Suárez’s Metaphysics in Königsberg,” Anales Valentinos, 71 (2010): 145-159.
  • “Kant’s Concept of Spontaneity within the Tradition of Aristotelian Ethics,” Studia Kantiana, 8 (2009): 121-139.
  • “The Spontaneity of Mind in Kant’s Transcendental Logic,” Fenomenologia e società, 2 (2009): 28-19.
  • “Kant’s Ethics as a part of Metaphysics: The Role of Spontaneity,” Kant e-prints, 3 (2008): 265-278.
  • "Concepts vs. Ideas vs. Problems. Historiographical Strategies in Writing History of Philosophy," in Riccardo Pozzo e Marco Sgarbi (eds.), Begriffs-, Ideen- und Problemgeschichte im 21. Jahrhundert, (Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz, 2011), 69-80.
  • "Kant, Aristotle and the Rise of Facultative Logic," in Ennio De Bellis (ed.), Aristotle and the Aristotelian Tradition (Soveria Mannelli: Rubbettino 2008), 405-416.
  • "Theory of the History of Problems. A Re-contextualization," in Gürcan Koçan (ed.), Transnational Concepts, Transfers and the Challenge of Peripheries, Istanbul Teknik Universitesi Press, Istanbul 2008, 107-125.
  • "Spontaneity from Leibniz to Kant. Sources and Studies," in Herbert Berger, Jürgen Herbst, and Sven Erdner (eds.), Einheit in der Vielheit: XII. Internationaler Leibniz-Kongress (Hannover: Leibniz Gesellschaft 2006), 989-996.

External links[edit]


  1. ^ Riccardo Pozzo, Kant: «Bentornato Aristotele!», Il Sole-24 Ore, 11-7-2010, 35
  2. ^ Jocelyn Benoist, Che cos'è un'esperienza kantiana, Il Sole-24 Ore, 28-11-2010, 50
  3. ^ "Theory of the History of Problems. A Re-contextualization," in Gürcan Koçan (ed.), Transnational Concepts, Transfers and the Challenge of Peripheries (Istanbul Teknik Universitesi Press: Istanbul 2008), 125.