This article intends to focus on the difficulty encountered by Werner Sombart’s works in gaining a hearing in various Italian intellectual circuits. As is well known, Sombart belonged to the German Historical School of economics, sharing with other scholars of that school the same problems in getting his work known in Italy. Our aim is to explain the reason for this hostile reception. First of all, we will analyze the factors which generally hindered the spread of the German Historical School in Italy, recognizing in economists like Francesco Ferrara, Idealists like Benedetto Croce and Marxists like Antonio Labriola some of its strongest opponents. We will dwell on the cases of Gustav Schmoller and Max Weber, in order to give two representative examples of the slow and complicated Italian reception of methodological approaches and analytical perspectives which characterized the scientific experience of the German Historical School. Secondly, we will try to show why Sombart was even less appreciated than other German social scientists, giving the reasons that attracted severe criticism from economists, economic historians and sociologists towards his interdisciplinary approach in the analysis of modern capitalism. Finally, we will show the reasons of the contemporary rediscovery of Sombart and of his works.
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