From Magical Pragmatism to Apocatastasis. A Philosophical Journey by Giovanni Papini

Variant title

Dal pragmatismo magico all’apocatastasi. Un percorso filosofico di Giovanni Papini


In 1903, Giovanni Papini founded, together with Giuseppe Prezzolini, the literary magazine Leonardo, which published contributions promoting the philosophy of pragmatism in Italy. By writing essays and novels, Papini proposed his own version of pragmatism, described as “magical” or “mystical,” and focused on the concept of Man-God. Irreligious, fascinated by the figure of the Devil, and confident in the oc-cult sciences, the young Florentine philosopher was convinced that he could gain supernatural powers and himself become a divine being. This article outlines the meaning of the concept of Man-God and presents the practical failure of Papini’s project as one of the reasons behind his conversion to Catholicism. This work also aims to show that, even after his conversion, Papini maintained his autonomy of judgment in theological matters. Indeed, he proposed a reform of the Christian doc-trine of the Last Judgment, by defending the idea of apocatastasis.

Article history

Received 01 July 2020. Revised 28 August 2020. Accepted 08 October 2020. Published online 20 December 2020




Italian (it)


Riccardo CampaJagiellonian University in Krakow


Orbis Idearum Volume 8, Issue 2 (2020), pp. 83-111
Regular Issue