Saisir l’histoire : conception de l’histoire et périodisation chez Antonio Gramsci

Abstract : This dissertation examines Antonio Gramsci’s conception of history, especially as developed in The Prison Notebooks, and focuses on the issue of periodisation – how to make out relevant parting lines in the course of events, what to make of radical breaks like revolutions? We show here that Gramsci steers clear of a dogmatic philosophy of history, whether materialist or idealist. His historicism is borne up by a deep attention to the complexity of things and practices, of historical situations and agents – which he is very far from homogenising, despite Althusser’s claims to the contrary. Yet, unlike Italian neo-idealist philosophy and the theories of Croce and Gentile against which Gramsci develops his own, his conception of history never dissolves the unity and consistency of the historical process into a multiplicity of isolated, contingent cases. He is able to grasp historical periods as relatively consistent wholes, intrinsically distinct from each other, and to make sense of their succession. To that extent, his reflections provide us with invaluable tools to work against the “repression” of history which characterises much post-modern thinking, especially the post-Marxism of Laclau and Mouffe. Gramsci offers instead an open-ended philosophy of history, with decisive practical implications. To highlight this, we look at the key historico-political concepts he develops in his writings (power relations, historical bloc, hegemony, passive revolution, crisis), and at his analysis of specific periods and historical situations, such as the Renaissance, the Protestant Reformation, the French Revolution, the Italian Risorgimento, Fascim, or Americanism and Fordism.
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Yohann Douet. Saisir l’histoire : conception de l’histoire et périodisation chez Antonio Gramsci. Philosophie. Université de Nanterre - Paris X, 2018. Français. ⟨NNT : 2018PA100123⟩. ⟨tel-02183944⟩

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