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Norberto Bobbio, philosopher, at 94

TURIN, Italy -- Norberto Bobbio, an Italian liberal philosopher, essayist, and senator for life, died Friday. He was 94.

Mr. Bobbio had been hospitalized since late last month at Molinette Hospital with a respiratory condition.

Mr. Bobbio, a highly respected figure in Italy, was made senator for life in 1984. About a decade ago, he was considered a candidate for the country's presidency, a position of little political power but great moral authority.

Mr. Bobbio was born in this northern industrial city. He obtained university degrees in law and philosophy in the 1930s. During those years, he was arrested for opposing the Fascist regime.

He later became a professor at the University of Turin and a contributor to several newspapers and magazines, including Corriere della Sera, the country's leading daily.

Over the course of his career, Mr. Bobbio wrote hundreds of books, essays, and newspaper articles. One of his most important books is the 1955 "Politica e Cultura" ("Politics and Culture"). A 1994 essay called "Destra e Sinistra" ("Left and Right") proved one of his best-selling works.

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