Norberto Bobbio

Norberto Bobbio
Norberto Bobbio
Full name Norberto Bobbio
Born 18 October 1909
Torino, Italy
Died 9 January 2004(2004-01-09) (aged 94)
Torino, Italy
Main interests Politics · Law

Norberto Bobbio (October 18, 1909 – January 9, 2004) was an Italian philosopher of law and political sciences and a historian of political thought. He also wrote regularly for the Turin-based daily La Stampa. Bobbio was a liberal socialist in the tradition of Piero Gobetti, Carlo Rosselli, Guido Calogero, and Aldo Capitini. He was also strongly influenced by Hans Kelsen and Vilfredo Pareto.


Life and views

Bobbio was born into what his Guardian obituary described as "...a relatively wealthy, middle-class Turin family" whose sympathies Bobbio would later characterize as "philo-fascist, regarding fascism as a necessary evil against the supposedly greater danger of Bolshevism".[1] In high school he met Vittorio Foa, Leone Ginzburg and Cesare Pavese, and at university he became a friend of Alessandro Galante Garrone.

In 1942, under the Fascist regime of Benito Mussolini and during World War II, Bobbio joined the then illegal radical liberal party Partito d'Azione ("Party of Action") and was briefly imprisoned in 1943 and 1944. He ran unsuccessfully in the 1946 Constituent Assembly of Italy elections. With the party's failure in a post-war Italy dominated by the Christian Democrats, Bobbio left electoral politics and focused back in academia.

A strong advocate of the rule of law, the separation of powers, and the limitation of powers, he was a socialist, but opposed to what he perceived as the anti-democratic, authoritarian elements in most of Marxism. He was a strong partisan of the "Historic Compromise" between the Italian Communist Party and the Christian Democrats, and a fierce critic of Silvio Berlusconi. Bobbio died in Turin, the same city in which he was born and lived most of his life.

Academic career and honors

Bobbio studied Philosophy of Law with Gioele Solari; he later taught this curriculum in Camerino, Siena, Padua, and ultimately back in Turin as Solari's successor in 1948; from 1972 to 1984, he had a chair in the newly created faculty of political science in Turin.

He was a National Associate of the Lincean Academy and longtime director (together with Nicola Abbagnano) of the Rivista di Filosofia. He became a Corresponding Associate of the British Academy in 1966; in 1979 he was nominated as Senator-for-life by Italian President Sandro Pertini. Bobbio received, among others, the Balzan Prize in 1994 (for Law and Political Science: governments and democracy) and diplomas honoris causa from the Universities of Paris (Nanterre), Madrid (Complutense), Bologna, Chambéry, Madrid (Carlos III), Sassari, Camerino, Madrid (Autónoma), and Buenos Aires.

To celebrate the Centenary of Norberto Bobbio's birth, it was established a committee, constituted by more than a hundred Italian and international public institutions and intellectual figures, which formulated a wide-ranging programme of activities to promote dialogue and reflection on the thought and figure of Bobbio, and on the future of democracy, culture and civilisation.[2] Celebrations were officially opened on January 10, 2009, at the University of Turin.

Major works

  • L'indirizzo fenomenologico nella filosofia sociale e giuridica (Phenomenological Turn in Social and Legal Philosophy, 1934)
  • Scienza e tecnica del diritto (The Science and Technical Aspects of Law, 1934)
  • L'analogia nella logica del diritto (The Use of Analogy in Legal Logic, 1938)
  • La consuetudine come fatto normativo (Custom as a Normative Fact, 1942)
  • La filosofia del decadentismo (The Philosophy of Decadence, 1945)
  • Teoria della scienza giuridica (Theory of Legal Science, 1950)
  • Politica e cultura (Politics and Culture, 1955)
  • Studi sulla teoria generale del diritto (Essays in the General Theory of Law, 1955)
  • Teoria della norma giuridica (A Theory of Judicial Norms, 1958)
  • Teoria dell'ordinamento giuridico (A Theory of Legal Order, 1960)
  • Profilo ideologico del Novecento italiano (An Ideological Profile of Twentieth Century Italy, 1960)
  • Il positivismo giuridico (Legal Positivism, 1961)
  • Locke e il diritto naturale (Locke and Natural Law, 1963)
  • Italia civile (Civil Italy, 1964)
  • Giusnaturalismo e positivismo giuridico (Natural Law and Legal Positivism, 1965)
  • Da Hobbes a Marx (From Hobbes to Marx, 1965)
  • Saggi sulla scienza politica in Italia (Tests of Political Science in Italy, 1969)
  • Diritto e Stato nel pensiero di E. Kant (Law and State in the Thought of Immanuel Kant, 1969)
  • Ideological Profile of Italy In The Twentieth Century (1969)
  • Una filosofia militante: studi su Carlo Cattaneo (A Militant Philosopher: Essays on Carlo Cattaneo, 1971)
  • Quale socialismo (Which Socialism, 1977)
  • I problemi della guerra e le vie della pace (The Problem of War and the Roads to Peace, 1979)
  • Studi hegeliani (Hegelian Essays, 1981)
  • Il futuro della democrazia (The Future of Democracy: A Defence Of The Rules Of The Game, 1984)
  • Maestri e compagni (Teachers and Companions, 1984)
  • “The Future of Democracy”. TELOS 61 (Fall 1984). New York: Telos Press
  • Liberalismo e democrazia (Liberalism and democracy, 1985)
  • State, Government And Society (English-language publication, 1985)
  • Il terzo assente, (The Absent Third, 1988)
  • Thomas Hobbes (1989)
  • L'età dei diritti (The Rule of Law, 1989)
  • The Age of Rights (English-language publication, 1990)
  • A Just War? (1991), a defense of the Gulf War, about which he later changed his mind. ¹
  • Destra e sinistra (Right and Left), Roma, 1994
  • In Praise of Meekness (1994)
  • De senectute (Of Old Age; the Latin title is an allusion to Cicero's Cato Maior de Senectute, 1996)
  • Autobiografia (Autobiography, 1999)
  • Teoria Generale della Politica (General Theory of Politics, 1999)
  • Dialogo intorno alla repubblica (Dialogue about the Republic, 2001)
  • Etica e politica: Scritti di impegno civile, ed. Marco Revelli. Milano: Mondadori, 2009.


  1. ^ Obituary Norberto Bobbio, The Guardian, 13 January 2004
  2. ^ Anticipated from the Bobbio Centenary website
  • Giuseppe Leone, "Destra e Sinistra, una distinzione che non c'è più? - Un saggio appassionato per dire se l'uomo conti ancora", su "Ricorditi di me..." in "Lecco 2000", Lecco 1999.
  • This article began as a translation of the corresponding article in the Italian-language Wikipedia, retrieved January 31, 2005.

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Norberto Bobbio — Nacimiento 18 de octubre de 1909  Ital …   Wikipedia Español

  • Norberto Bobbio — (* 18. Oktober 1909 in Turin; † 9. Januar 2004 ebenda) war ein italienischer Rechtsphilosoph und Publizist. Inhaltsverzeichnis 1 Leben 2 Politische Position 3 Ehrungen …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Norberto Bobbio — Norberto Bobbio, né le 18 octobre 1909 à Turin en Italie et décédé dans la même ville le 9 janvier 2004, est un philosophe spécialiste de la philosophie politique et de la philosophie du droit. Il s est notamment attaché à… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Norberto Bobbio — (Turín, Italia, el 18 de octubre 1909 9 de enero 2004), filósofo y hombre de leyes y cientista político italiano. Tras graduarse en la universidad de su ciudad natal fue profesor de Filosofía del Derecho en la Universidad de Camerino desde 1935… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Norberto — may refer to: Norberto Alonso (born 1953), a former Argentine football midfielder Norberto Araujo (born 1978), an Argentine football central defender Norberto Aroldi (1932–1978), an Argentine film actor and screenwriter Norberto Barba (born 1963) …   Wikipedia

  • BOBBIO (N.) — Norberto BOBBIO (1909 ) Né à Turin le 18 octobre 1909 dans une famille de la bonne bourgeoisie piémontaise, Bobbio, après une licence en droit, obtient, en 1933, un doctorat en philosophie avec une thèse sur la phénoménologie de Husserl. En 1935 …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • Bobbio, Norberto — (1909–2004)    Born and raised in Turin, Norberto Bobbio was a professor of political and legal philosophy at the University of Turin from 1948 to 1979 and was made a life senator in 1985. Bobbio was born into an upper class, pro Fascist family,… …   Historical Dictionary of modern Italy

  • Bobbio — Bobbio, Norberto …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Bobbio, Norberto — ► (1909 2004) Filosófo italiano. Sus trabajos se han basado en la filosofía del derecho como ciencia jurídica dentro del ámbito de la filosofía analítica. Su producción es tan amplia como diversa, con títulos como Política e cultura (1955), Quale …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • Bobbio, Norberto — (Torino 1909 Torino 2004) filosofo, protagonista del dibattito politico culturale del Novecento …   Dizionario biografico elementare del Novecento letterario italiano

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