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Aloysius Taparelli

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(D'AZEGLIO, christened PROSPERO)

Philosopher and writer on sociological subjects, born at Turin, 24 Nov., 1793; died at Rome, 20 Sept., 1862; interred near the altar of St. Aloysius in the Church of St. Ignatius.

His father, Cesare, was at one time ambassador of Victor Emmanuel I of Sardinia to the Holy See, and his brother, Massimo, was one of the Italian ministers of State. He was educated under the Calasanctians at Senis and in the Atheneo of Turin. He attended the military school of St-Cyr at Paris for some months, but he was not destined to be a soldier. He entered the Society of Jesus at Rome, 12 Nov., 1814. In his youth he displayed a bent for mechanics, painting, and music, and later invented a musical instrument which he called the violicembolo (highly praised by Liszt and afterwards at his suggestion named the symphonium ), and which was exhibited at the London Exhibition. He was the first rector of the Roman College after its restoration to the Jesuits by Leo XII. He taught philosophy for sixteen years at Palermo, and for many years afterwards was attached to the editorial staff of the "Civiltà Cattolica". His chief work, "Saggio teoretico di diritto naturale appogiato sul fatto", i.e. "A Theoretical Essay on Natural Right from an Historical Standpoint" (2 vols., 7th ed., Rome, 1883), was in a way the beginning of modern sociology. It was translated into German (Ratisbon, 1845) and twice into French (Tournai, 1851; Paris, 1896). Herein was developed the position, at once widely accepted in conservative circles on the Continent, that the normal origin of civil government was by extension of paternal power through the patriarchal head of a group of families. This essay was later abridged into "An Elementary Course in Natural Right" (6th ed., Naples, 1860; also in French, Tournai, 1864; and in Spanish Paris, 1875), which was in use as a text-book in the University of Modena. Next in importance is his "Esame critico degli ordini rappresentativi nella società moderna", i.e. "Critical Examination of Representative Government in Modern Society" (2 vols., Rome, 1854; in Spanish Madrid, 1867). Besides his striking monographs on "Nationality" (Rome, 1847), "Sovereignty of the People" (Palermo, 1848; Florence, 1849), and "The Grounds of War" (Genoa, 1847) he left a long list of articles in the "Civiltà Cattolica" chiefly on subjects in political economy and social right, as well as an equally long list of book reviews on kindred topics, which were acute and penetrating essays.

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