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While these notes attempted to be inspired and guided by the

postulated overall structure of the work, that is, its “concentric”

arrangement, the aspects dealt with were highly selective and re-

stricted, and thus

ipso facto

fall short of reflecting the breadth and

depth of the result(s) of Vico’s decades-long reflections. Our

choice of topics also may serve to give the impression of univo-

cality in Vico’s thought when this could not be further from the

actual state of affairs which is a rich, “baroque”, body of thought

moving along complex directions and dimensions. It is however

true that Vico is motivated, and energized, by the notion of the

possibility of discovering the origins of civilization and human

societies (


the Hebrews); and it is also the case that the

principal means at his disposal is the study of relics and artefacts

of the past in the form of language


in all its forms. Our notes

gravitated to aspects of Vico’s views and uses of language, and

thus share certain commonality; this does not mean, however,

that Vico’s work can be reduced to the same “core” concerns.

Perhaps the greatest difference between Vico’s exposition(s) in

Scienza nuova

and ours lies in the fact that Vico does not make

any explicit mention of Spinoza or polemically engage with Spi-

nozan philosophy, that is, in the direct and discursive manner in

which he engages with Grotius, Selden, Pufendorf, and Bodin



Our procedure of juxtaposing Vico and Spinoza was mainly an

expository tool, a means of profiling Vico’s stated and unstated

views by way of comparisons and contrasts with Spinoza, in in-

teraction with other assessments, both




any affini-

ties, in both Vico and Spinoza studies. As matters stand, the re-

sults obtained consistently seem to point to fairly sharp differ-

ences between the two thinkers. These disagreements seem to

come to the fore already from the beginning of

Scienza nuova,

namely, in relation to their reception of Euclid, considered met-