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An essay on the important book by Massimo Cacciari and Raphael Egbi, "Umanisti italiani. Pensiero e destino" (Torino, Einaudi, 2016). Did Italian Humanism have a philosophy? Or was it just an artistic and generically cultural stance? A certain historiographic tradition (Burckhardt, Burdach, Kristeller, Croce; in the field of history of science: Koyré or Cassirer) has denied the philosophical relevance of the movement. In agreement with Massimo Cacciari, I identify instead a substantially uniform theoretical matrix. Already present in Francesco Petrarca, it was particularly related to the rediscovery of Plato and his dialectics in the 15th century Florence.