Giovanni Gentile (jōvän´nē jāntē´lā), 1875–1944, Italian philosopher and educator. He taught philosophy in several Italian universities and for many years contributed to the magazine of Benedetto Croce. In 1920 he founded the Giornale critico della filosofia italiana. An early supporter of the Fascist movement, he has been called the philosopher of Fascism. In 1922 he was made a senator and until 1924 was minister of public instruction. While in this office he reformed the structure of public education. He also directed the work of the new Enciclopedia italiana. Gentile's philosophy, called actual idealism, is a form of neo-Hegelian idealism and was developed in Teoria generale dello spirito come atto puro (1916, tr. The Theory of Mind as Pure Act, 1922).
See studies by H. S. Harris (2d ed. 1966), M. E. Brown (1966), and W. A. Smith (1970).