World Library  
Flag as Inappropriate
Email this Article

Antonio Labriola

Antonio Labriola
Born (1843-07-02)2 July 1843
Cassino, Papal States
Died February 12, 1904(1904-02-12) (aged 60)
Rome, Kingdom of Italy
Era 19th-century philosophy
Region Italian philosophy
School Marxism

Antonio Labriola (Italian pronunciation: ; July 2, 1843 – February 12, 1904) was an Italian Marxist theoretician. Although an academic philosopher and never an active member of any Marxist political party, his thought exerted influence on many political theorists in Italy during the early 20th century, including the founder of the Italian Liberal Party, Benedetto Croce and the leaders of the Italian Communist Party, Antonio Gramsci and Amadeo Bordiga.


Labriola was born in Cassino (then in the Papal States), the son a schoolteacher. In 1861, he entered the University of Naples. Upon graduating, he remained in Naples and became a schoolteacher. During this period, he pursued an interest in philosophy, history and ethnography. The early 1870s saw Labriola take up journalism and his writings from this time express liberal and anticlerical views.

In 1874, Labriola was appointed as a professor in Rome, where he was to spend the rest of his life teaching, writing and debating. Although he had been critical of liberalism since 1873, his move towards Marxism was gradual, and he did not explicitly express a socialist viewpoint until 1889. He died in Rome on 2 February 1904.[1]


Heavily influenced by Johann Friedrich Herbart, Labriola's approach to Marxist theory was more open-ended than the orthodoxy of theorists such as Karl Kautsky. He saw Marxism not as a final, self-sufficient schematisation of history, but rather as a collection of pointers to the understanding of human affairs.

These pointers needed to be somewhat imprecise if Marxism was to take into account the complicated social processes and variety of forces at work in history. Marxism was to be understood as a "critical theory", in the sense that it sees no truths as everlasting, and was ready to drop its own ideas if experience should so dictate. His description of Marxism as a "philosophy of praxis" would appear again in Gramsci's Prison Notebooks.

See also


  1. ^ "Antonio Labriola e la sua Università". 

External links

This article was sourced from Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License; additional terms may apply. World Heritage Encyclopedia content is assembled from numerous content providers, Open Access Publishing, and in compliance with The Fair Access to Science and Technology Research Act (FASTR), Wikimedia Foundation, Inc., Public Library of Science, The Encyclopedia of Life, Open Book Publishers (OBP), PubMed, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health (NIH), U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, and, which sources content from all federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial government publication portals (.gov, .mil, .edu). Funding for and content contributors is made possible from the U.S. Congress, E-Government Act of 2002.
Crowd sourced content that is contributed to World Heritage Encyclopedia is peer reviewed and edited by our editorial staff to ensure quality scholarly research articles.
By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. World Heritage Encyclopedia™ is a registered trademark of the World Public Library Association, a non-profit organization.

Copyright © World Library Foundation. All rights reserved. eBooks from World eBook Library are sponsored by the World Library Foundation,
a 501c(4) Member's Support Non-Profit Organization, and is NOT affiliated with any governmental agency or department.