Old Age and Other Essays by Norberto Bobbio

By Norberto Bobbio

This booklet through certainly one of Italy's oldest and wisest intellectuals is a philosophical and private meditation on ageing. The query of previous age has preoccupied writers from Cicero to Amery, yet during this quantity Norberto Bobbio produces an account that's particular to our occasions. Born in 1909, Bobbio has lived during the significant occasions of the earlier century, and his studies of Fascism, Communism and the chilly struggle lend his reflections a depression that distinguishes them from prior eulogies on outdated age and dying. Bobbio's conclusions are usually sobering, but his research into reminiscence and mortality is written with either humour and emotion. within the establishing bankruptcy, Bobbio reassesses the concept of development from the point of view of an outdated guy. Arguing for an knowing of old swap because the move among generations, Bobbio explains how the aged are more and more marginalized in modern society. touching on the conventional thought of outdated age because the 'age of wisdom', Bobbio argues that our ever-accelerating technological growth has dramatically shifted the facility of data from outdated to younger. This dialogue of previous age as a social challenge is followed by means of a mirrored image on outdated age as a private obstacle. In his stylish and lucid prose, Bobbio confronts the proof of decrepitude and loss of life. In taking inventory of his existence, he argues once more for the significance of democracy and human rights. this can be a superbly written e-book that might be of serious curiosity to the educational and normal reader alike. Its highbrow content material renders it of specific price to scholars within the fields of philosophy, politics and the social sciences.

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Although a collection of legal writings appeared as 2 late as 1 977, 5 this was largely due to the insistence of my oId Intellectual autobiography 57 friend Treves, who founded a new publication i n 1 974 called Sociologia del diritto. Apart from one other decisive intervention by Lady Luck, I �ave no intention of dragging out this story any further. I taught a course on war and peace in the 1 964-5 academic year, and so during the period j ust before the whirlwind of 1 968, Alberto Carocci asked me to write an essay on atomic warfare and the balance of terror for Nuovi argomenti, a magazine that I had contributed to long beforehand at the time of the debate on politics and culture .

Perhaps neither of them is, because there is little sense in asking questions to which it is impossible to give a reply. Pessimism as a mood, on the other hand, can have infinite justifications. I will give a few examples but I could give others with the same persuasive force. Here is Salvemini's To myself 43 maxim based on experience and free from theoretical pre­ tensions : 'The art of being a prophet is dangerous and you should steer well clear. However, if you want to be a prophet, then it is more prudent to be a pessimist than an optimist, because the affairs of this world always end in disaster.

Stalin was one of the victors of the Second World War. In October 1 946, the communist parties of various countries, including Italy, founded the Cominform . In distant China, Mao had victoriously completed his Long March, defeating the national army in successive battles, and in October 1 949 the Chinese People's Republic was born. It used to be said that a sixth of the world was communist. In Italy the Communist Party, which had made the largest contribution to the war of liberation, was much more than a sixth.

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