Notes to Chapter 2
Flint described this initial reaction: «The “Scienza Nuova” […] is a work
which is exceedingly difficult to analyse; for its main argument is complicated
with innumerable details, and it is not always easy to trace the guiding thread
which leads through the windings of its accessory ideas» (Id.,
, cit., p.
The First New Science
, ed. and trans. by L. Pompa, Cambridge,
Cambridge University Press, 2002.
, ch. V-X of Book V, pp. 238-270.
The Tables are identical in both works, see G. Vico,
La Scienza nuova. Le
, pp. 400-407, 816-823.
The opposite view is taken by Hösle who ascribed circular structure
(“Kreisstruktur”) to Vico’s earlier work
denied it to
of 1730 (Id.,
, cit., p. LXXIX, footnote 102).
By extension this assessment would apply also to the 1744 edition which
Hösle observes is equivalent to the 1730 edition in terms of structure (
LXXXV). Hösle also commented: «Erstens ist darauf hinzuweisen, dass für
Vico als objectiven Idealisten die Kreisstruktur begründungstheoretisch aus-
gezeichnet ist (First of all it needs to be pointed out that for Vico as objective
idealist, circularity is crucial to his epistemology)» (
, p. CCXXIV).
The literature is vast, and no attempt will be made here to supply even a
selective cross-section of scholarship, beyond the commentaries referred to
already in footnote 20.
The New Map of the World
, cit., p. 210.
This summary statement, in this condensed form for the sake of the ar-
gument developed here, should be understand in the light of the more fine-
grained commentary in Hösle,
, cit., pp. CCLIII-CCLVII, where
“feudalism” is portrayed as a certain type of social, economic, political organi-
zation, not just or primarily as a legal system, although the legal system incor-
porated the societal structure, and thus serves as its proxy. See also D. R. Kel-
Vico’s Road: From Philology to Jurisprudence and Back
ence of Humanity
, cit., pp. 15-29, p. 25.
With respect to the importance of Roman history, Hösle attributed it to
Vico’s conviction that the “storia ideale eterna” had been realized in it para-
, cit., p. CCXXXIX). Similarly also J. D. Schaeffer,
A Translation from Latin into English of Giambattista Vico’s Il Diritto
, trans. by J. D. Schaeffer, with Introduction and
Notes by J. D. Schaeffer, Foreward and Translation of Vico’s
Ph. Verene, 2 volumes, New York, Edwin Mellen Press, Lewiston, 2011,
Book 1, p. XII: «Vico believed the Roman experience was paradigmatic be-