8. On the Nature of Gramsci's “Conceptions of the World”

  1. Ekers Michael,
  2. Hart Gillian,
  3. Kipfer Stefan and
  4. Loftus Alex
  1. Joel Wainwright

Published Online: 16 OCT 2012

DOI: 10.1002/9781118295588.ch8

Gramsci: Space, Nature, Politics

Gramsci: Space, Nature, Politics

How to Cite

Michael, E., Gillian, H., Stefan, K. and Alex, L. (2012) On the Nature of Gramsci's “Conceptions of the World”, in Gramsci: Space, Nature, Politics, John Wiley & Sons Ltd, Oxford, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781118295588.ch8

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 16 OCT 2012
  2. Published Print: 17 DEC 2012

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9781444339710

Online ISBN: 9781118295588



  • conceptions of the world;
  • Gramsci;
  • Marxist philosophy


This chapter contends that Antonio Gramsci could be described as a Marxist philosopher who investigated “conceptions of the world” (concezione del mondo). This expression, which Gramsci used sparingly before 1930 and more frequently after, is woven like a red thread through his Prison Notebooks. This chapter argues that “conceptions of the world” represents one of the most creative and radical elements of Gramsci's thought. It suggests that Gramsci uses this concept to refer to practical, relational approaches to being-in-the-world. Gramsci equates Marxist criticism with the formation of a coherent conception of the world. This, he contends, is the essence of Marxist philosophy: the critical historicizing of one's conception of the world. “Conceptions of the world” functions in the Prison Notebooks as both an analytical/descriptive and a moral/political concept. To conclude, the chapter considers how Gramsci's conception of the world is related to his Marx-inspired approach to nature.