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Vico’s Ring


mature Vico are recognizable, to quote M. Lollini: «In questa ri-

cerca di una dimensione umana universale nella

Scienza nuova


co non abbandona completamente le origini metafisiche del suo

pensiero e la distinzione tra la creazione divina e la creazione

umana del mondo che era al centro del

De antiquissima

(In this

inquiry into a universal human dimension in

Scienza nuova

, Vico

does not completely give up the metaphysical origins of his

thought and the distinction at the center of

De antiquissima


tween the divine creation and the human creation of the



. It is therefore with respect to the structure – rather

than the subject itself – of his epistemology with which our pre-

sent inquiry concern itself. More specifically, it revolves around

the functorial trichotomous framework that we have posited for

Scienza nuova.

In the earlier essay, a trichotomous epistemology was attribut-

ed to

De antiquissima


, consisting of (1) “metaphysics”, (2)

mathematics, and (3) “physics”. Furthermore, the relationships

among these three “realms” or spheres were portrayed in catego-

ry-theoretic/ functorial terms


. Our thesis is therefore that on

this structural level, a certain correspondence can be established

between the two works, as summarized in the following table:

De antiquissima

Scienza nuova

“Metaphysical points”,






Human world

Such imputed “correspondence” needs to be understood,

clearly, in a most general sense; it would, for example, not do to

go a step further and imply that “philology” has the same logic


properties as mathematics


. The principal insight gathered from

such juxtaposition is Vico’s adherence to a complex, but never-

theless coherent, view of the epistemic enterprise throughout his

life, initially devised to solve and resolve the incongruities that he

(and others) found in influential early modern theories of