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Horst Steinke


peramento e definitivo annullamento della lingua appartenente alle epoche

precedenti ([…] it is being expressly stated that this does not constitute over-

coming and definitive termination of the language belonging to the preceding

eras)». Similarly, Botturi: «Ora, per Vico, il passaggio all’età della ragione rifles-

sa non significa l’abbandono delle sorgenti mitiche della “


” (socialità

e cultura) […] (Now, for Vico, the passage to the age of reflective reason does

not mean the abandonment of the mythical currents of “humanity” (social life

and culture) […])» (Id.,

Ermeneutica del mito ed esperienza etica in Giambattista Vico,


p. 292). Outside of Vico studies, the concurrent existence of a spectrum

of mentalities in ancient Greece is explored in P. Veyne,

Did the Greeks Believe

in Their Myths? An Essay on the Constitutive Imagination

, trans. by P. Wissing, Chi-

cago, University of Chicago Press, 1988.


As stated by M. Donzelli: «Dunque, ogni epoca storica contiene i carat-

teri di tutte le altre, ma, d’altra parte, ogni epoca storica ha i suoi caratteri pre-

dominanti chi gli conferiscono un’identità complessa e costantemente

in fieri

(Thus, every historical era contains features of all the others, but, on the other

hand, every historical era possesses its predominant characeristics which con-

fer on it a complex identity that is constanctly


)» (Id.,

Razionalità e ricerca

della phronesis nella Scienza nuova di G. B. Vico

, in

Razionalità e modernità in Vico


cit., pp. 97-108, p. 108; italics original).


«L’elemento “poetico” però rimane sempre contenuto nelle forme di

linguaggio successive, sebbene in misura minore rispetto alle prime fasi

dell’evoluzione della lingua. È vero che la poesia è una fase provvisoria, ma

non scompare senza lasciare tracce di sé (The “poetic” element, however, al-

ways is retained in the successive forms of language, although to a lesser extent

compared to the first phases of language evolution. It is true that poetic language

is a provisional phase, but it does not disappear without leaving traces of itself)»

(R. M. Zagarella,

Le tre “spezie”

di lingue nella Scienza nuova di Vico

, cit., p. 35).

Hösle even cites Vico’s (philosophical) language itself as a throwback to

“poetic” rhetoric: «Doch auch in Vicos Zeit gibt es einen Denker, dessen Phi-

losophie in poetischer Sprache abgefasst ist – ich meine natürlich Vico selbst.

Sollte sich Vico dessen nicht bewusst gewesen sein? (But in Vico’s time, too,

there exists a thinker whose philosophy is expressed in poetic language – I am

referring, of course, to Vico himself. Would Vico not have been aware of this

fact?)» (Id.,


, cit., p. CXCIV). Vico’s decision to write

Scienza nuova


Italian rather than Latin is indicative, also, of his endeavor to express “poetic

wisdom” in “poetic language” even at the surface level.


For a more detailed discussion, see my article

Hintikka and Vico: An

Update on Contemporary Logic

, in «NVS», III, 1985, pp. 147-155. That this pro-

cess leads to anything but trivial consequences is indicated by C. Muscelli: «Un