The Aesthetics of War in the Thought of Giovanni Gentile and Carl Schmitt
This research note is a preliminary sketch of my doctoral research. The aim of the project is to establish a dialogue between Giovanni Gentile (1875 - 1944) and Carl Schmitt (1888 -1985). The conversation I wish to present, draws on several commonalities between the two thinkers, both biographical and intellectual. Both Schmitt and Gentile were involved with the Nazi and Fascist regimes, Schmitt as a jurist and Gentile as a reformer and Minister of Education. Intellectually, they share a number of features: theoretical allegiances and interests, as well as critiquing similar approaches and traditions. Both thinkers place an emphasis on concreteness, as well as an interest in conceptual history. Although for different reasons, Schmitt and Gentile were highly critical of positivism, liberalism, mechanisms, any theory that adopts an intellectualistic (transcendental) approach to politics and law (Schmitt), and philosophy (Gentile). The conversation leads to a comparison of their treatments of war, which I analyse through a framework offered by aesthetics.