Ferrari, Giuseppe [key], 1812–76, Italian philosopher and politician. A thorough skeptic in metaphysics, he devoted himself to the more active aspects of social, political, and historical philosophy. From his self-imposed exile in France (1837–59), he exerted influence on the Risorgimento. His development of a philosophy of revolution in La filosofia della rivoluzione (1851) and Histoire des révolutions (1858) encouraged the radical and liberal elements in Italy to act. Returning to Italy in 1859 he strove for a federalized state, described in his La federazione repubblicana (1851), opposing the unitarian, monarchical plan of Cavour.
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