Emilio Betti

Emilio Betti (Camerino, August 20, 1890 – Camorciano di Camerino, August 11, 1968) was an Italian jurist, Roman Law scholar, philosopher and theologian. He is best known for his contributions to hermeneutics, part of a broad interest in interpretation. As a legal theorist, Betti is close to interpretivism.

Betti's intellectual support of fascism between the end of World War I and the beginning of the 1920s led him to be arrested in 1944, in Camerino. Betti remained in prison for about a month, as decided by the Comitato di Liberazione Nazionale. In August 1945, Betti was presented to court and absolved of every accusation.

His political choices, anyway, have not diminished the value and importance of his work. Between many other things, Betti was one of the members of the drafting commission for the Italian civil code of 1942.

Betti is perhaps best known for his work in hermeneutics. He took issue with the hermeneutic views of Hans Georg Gadamer and argued that interpreters should attempt to reconstruct the author's intentions. His work influenced the work of E. D. Hirsch, the chief English-language spokesman for authorial intention. However, his influence in English has been limited by the lack of translations of his hermeneutic work.

Major works

Betti was a prolific writer. This is just a small part of his works:

References and further reading

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