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Gianmarco Gaspari *
(*) Autore principale:
Gianmarco Gaspari |


The first half of the 18th century, in a way, is a period of preparation, ending with two facts that will soon acquire a considerable symbolic significance: the death of Ludovico Antonio Muratori and the Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle. In Milan, Muratori’s legacy mainly lies in the historical studies, but it can also be seen in the project of an increasingly strong interaction between culture and society. The new intellectual generation, gathering around the periodical “Il Caffè”, adds to what Muratori had taught the explosive mixture of novelties from the transalpine countries, first of all, Diderot and d’Alembert’s Encyclopédie, and the revolutionary place it gives to ‘practice’ within the hierarchy of knowledge. “Il Caffè”, and works such as On Crimes and Punishments, Meditations on Happiness, and Observations on Torture, but even Parini’s civil poetry, hand down to the following century a multifarious reflection on justice, social coexistence, and improvement of mankind, which will become deeply rooted in the collective consciousness, thus reducing the 17th-century gap between Italy and Europe regarding science.

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