Italian Catholic Social Thought from the Mid-19th Century to the Early 20th Century and the Debate on Solidarity and Subsidiarity
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Between the 19th and 20th centuries, the growing social question prompted Italian Catholic circles to reflect on capitalism, its results, and the correction of its dysfunctions. A crucial step came with the rise of neo-Thomism and the work of Luigi Taparelli d’Azeglio, who saw subsidiarity as a fundamental principle in shaping state intervention. Two approaches then arose: one linked to Curci that was more historically and theoretically based, and the other, with Liberatore among its main exponents, more focused on an analysis from the viewpoint of natural law. While Curci was aware of the difficulties of a solidaristic solution to the distributive disparities among the social classes, Liberatore interpreted solidarity in terms of charity. This latter approach prevailed, also influencing the formulation of Rerum Novarum. A decisive input came from Toniolo, who presented a more articulated vision of the solidarity principle and contributed to the organic formulation of the subsidiarity principle.
keywordsCatholic Social Thought, Italian Economic Thought, Solidarity, Subsidiarity, State
Authors biographyStefano Figuera, Andrea Pacella, Universita` di Catania, Dipartimento di Giurisprudenza. Email Figuera: firstname.lastname@example.org. Email Pacella: email@example.com.
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