According to a common interpretation, Enriques’ efforts to make widespread a model of philosophy open to dialogue with science were hampered by Croce, who supported an obsolete form of humanism tending to deny the epistemological value of science and, as a consequence, to reject all collaboration or even any communication between science and philosophy. However, this reconstruction of the polemical argument between the two thinkers in the two-year period 1911-1912 is incorrect. This is because Croce’s doctrine of the economic-practical value of science was in line with the prevailing trends within the international epistemological debate at that time, trends that Croce knew very well and appreciated. He opposed Enriques’ project not out of an indiscriminate aversion to scientific culture, but due to the fact that, though mistakenly, he saw Enriques’ quite anti-conventionalist and anti-pragmatist realism as a recovery of the old form of positivism.
Keywords: Epistemology, positivism, idealism, realism, conventionalism, pragmatism