geniously fits all particular instances to the demands of typically speculative
, p. 206). Vico, too, eschews such simplistic “inductive”
procedure, and instead has a truly “theoretic” way of mining the data (of Ro-
man history), as described by S. Mazzarino: «Il Sistema generale della storia
Romana secondo Vico deriva da un’applicazione coerente e rigida di questo
presupposto evolutivo. Come già in parte abbiamo visto, esso pone, al centro,
la storia della plebità (The general framework of Roman history according to
Vico is the result of a coherent and rigid application of this evolutionary pre-
supposition. As we already have seen in part, it places the history of the plebe-
ians at the center)» (Id.,
Vico, l’annalistica e il diritto
, Naples, Alfredo Guida,
1971, p. 72). The term «plebeians» itself is theory-laden. Mazzarino’s work has
a wealth of information on Roman history as it relates to Vico’s own account.
, da quando cominciano le
La Scienza nuova
Le tre edizioni
, cit., p. 891; italics original). The term
«doctrine» conveys well the explanatory intent of “philology”, rather than
compilation of data and sources. Walsh commented on the epistemological
status of Vico’s «ideal eternal history», as follows: «Was Vico justified in dis-
playing such confidence in the ideal eternal history? As was pointed out at the
beginning, his approach to the explanation of social phenomena is a highly
theoretical one» (Id.,
The Logical Status of Vico’s Ideal Eternal History
, cit., p. 149).
Walsh also addresses the question of its historical validity by proposing that
Vico intended it to be accurate only under assumed «ideal conditions», and
thus not necessarily be falsified under divergent, contingent circumstances
, pp. 147-149).
The issue of anachronism, beyond the obviously fairly trivial termino-
logical case, in discourse about early modernity will be acknowledged and tak-
en up in Part II, however briefly. Without such clarification, certain theses
proposed here might be problematic from a methodological standpoint.
o sia la
Dottrina di tutte le cose
za nuova. Le tre edizioni
, cit., p. 789.
For example, Vico entitled Chapter 5 of
as «Which Meta-
physical Doctrines of Plato Should Be Accepted?».
In other words, «[a] conception of human nature is being used to regu-
late the range of historical interpretations» (B. A. Haddock,
Vico and the Meth-
odology of the History of Ideas,
Vico: Past and Present
, cit., pp. 227-239, p. 229).
As already quoted above, § 140 is more specific in identifying lan-
guages, deeds of peoples, customs and laws, wars, peaces, alliances, travels,
commerce, in other words, the whole gamut of human civilization realized