Table of Contents Table of Contents
Previous Page  119 / 298 Next Page
Show Menu
Previous Page 119 / 298 Next Page
Page Background

Vico’s Ring


mately eliminating them from consideration in favor of the three he settled on

in particular. He provided an example of such engagement, in fact, in support

of the place of religion in § 334, in interaction with Peter Bayle who had

claimed that there were human societies without any religion (



p. 55). If

an (anachronistic) side glance may be permitted here, other investigators have

proposed very different primeval origins of civilization, such as

cities, music



on the one hand, and

money, religion, empire

, on the other hand. (For the

first triple, see D. D. Lowery,

Toward a Poetics of Genesis 1-11: Reading Genesis

4:17-22 in Its Ancient Near Eastern Background

, Winona Lake, Indiana, Ei-

senbrauns, 2013; for the second triple, Y. N. Harari,

Sapiens: A Brief History of


, trans. by the author with help of J. Purcell and H. Watzman, New

York, HarperCollins, 2015; first published in Hebrew by Kinneret, Zmora-

Bitan, Dvir, Israel, 2011).


G. Mazzotta commented: «The “principles” are in fact origins, begin-

nings, foundations, causes, or true criteria of the historical science, as Vico’s

self-reflection make clear» (Id.,

Universal History: The New Science between Anti-

quarians and Ethnographers,


Reason and Its Others: Italy, Spain, and the New World


ed. by D. Castillo and M. Lollini, Nashville, Vanderbilt University Press, 2006,

pp. 316-330, p. 316).


Our view has certain affinities with G. Bedani,

Vico Revisited: Orthodoxy,

Naturalism and Science in the Scienza nuova

, Oxford-Hamburg-Munich, Berg,

1989, who highlights Vico’s “naturalism” (


, pp. 255-259).


«Providence» plays a key role in Vico’s account. In Vico studies, two

main “schools of thought” on Vico’s meaning are to be noted, the “transcen-

dentalist” and “immanentist” understanding; see E. L. Paparella,

The Paradox

of Transcendence and Immanence in Vico’s Concept of Providence,

in «Metanexus





), February 18, 2008; Id.,

Hermeneutics in the Philosophy

of Giambattista Vico

, San Francisco, Mellen Research University

Press/EMText, 1993, pp. 153-159. For instance, the transcendentalist view is

ascribed to Vico in Galeazzi,

Hermeneutica e storia in Vico,

cit., pp. 35-37; on the

other hand, taking a historical/historicist position, P. J. FitzPatrick contends:

«[…] Vico spoke within a tradition of thought for which some kind of theodi-

cy was inevitable» (Id.,

Vieni, Vedi, Vico,

in «Journal for Eigtheenth-Century

Studies», 7, 1984, 1, pp. 77-85, p. 79). See also the discussion in V. Hösle,


, cit., pp. CXXIV-CXXX, including the observation: «Vico ist zu

recht von der Überzeugung durchdrungen, dass eine Kenntnis der Inten-

tionen der handelnden Subjekte nicht ausreichend ist, um den Lauf der Ges-

chichte zu verstehen (Vico, rightly, is deeply convinced that knowledge of the

intentions of the acting subjects is not sufficient in order to understand the

course of history)» (p. CXXV). A survey of the debate can be found in E.