Table of Contents Table of Contents
Previous Page  21 / 298 Next Page
Show Menu
Previous Page 21 / 298 Next Page
Page Background

Vico’s Ring


This figure serves also the purpose of illustrating the narrative

approach that will mainly be taken in the discussion to follow;

rather than proceeding thematically, or sequentially, “horizontal-

ly,” so to speak, that is, segment by segment as they follow each

other, the segments connected by concentric arrows will be con-

sidered together, especially their relation to each other


Notes to Chapter 1


H. Steinke,

Vico’s Liber metaphysicus: An Inquiry into its Literary Structure,


«Laboratorio dell’ISPF


XI, 2014, pp. 1-58, online at <>


This essay includes a general description and discussion of ring structure (chi-

asmus, concentric structure, circularity), which will therefore not be re-

presented in the current paper, except in the form of brief observations.


The establishment of relationships of “circularity” between conceptual

domains in Vico’s thought was already noted by B. Croce, as indicated by a

comment on

Liber metaphysicus

: «Vico seems to be involved in a kind of circle

between geometry and metaphysics, of which the former, according to him,

owes its truth to the latter, and after receiving it gives back again to metaphys-

ics, thus in turn supporting the human science by the divine» (Id.,

The Philoso-

phy of Giambattista Vico

, trans. by R. G. Collingwood, New York, Macmillan

Company, 1913, pp. 12-13; the Italian original can be found at

La Filosofia di

Giambattista Vico,

Bari, Laterza, 6


edition, 1962, p. 12). Vico scholars regular-

ly use the term “circular” with respect to relationships that Vico depicts as

intertwined in some sense. The following are just few examples about various

works of Vico: A. Battistini: «Vico’s axioms, definitions, and postulates […]

are not part of a rectilinear deductive chain. Rather, their intermittent appear-

ance is controlled by the circular conception of time» (Id.,

On the Encyclopedic

Structure of the New Science

, cit., p. 22); M. Sanna: «Il

De antiquissima

mostra senza

maschere una circolarità non occasionale nella scelta dei temi proposti (

De an-


openly displays a circularity that is not an incidental byproduct of the

choice of subjects put forward)» (Id.,


, in

De Antiquissima Italorum



con traduzione italiana a fronte

, ed. by M. Sanna, Rome, Edizioni di

storia e letteratura, 2005, pp. XVII-XXXV, p. XXXII); J. D. Schaeffer: «The

De constantia

, like the

De uno

, concludes with the image of the circle:

The Divine

Circle of the Law: From God and to God»


Vico’s Il diritto universale and Roman


, in «NVS


19, 2001, pp. 45-60, p. 59); P. Girard: «La

Scienza nuova


stituye pues una especie de círculo, una ida y vuelta en la que la investigacíon