Table of Contents Table of Contents
Previous Page  84 / 298 Next Page
Show Menu
Previous Page 84 / 298 Next Page
Page Background

Horst Steinke




R. Miner who stated: «“Things” [in the real historical world] for

Vico are ultimately epiphenomena, the effects of divine mind and its human

participation» (Id.,

Vico: Genealogist of Modernity

, Notre Dame, University of

Notre Dame Press, 2002, p. 90).


Interestingly, Cristofolini also sees a threefold structure in Vico’s

methodology: «Al principio di tutto vi è il nesso non duplice (tra idee e cose),

ma triplice, tra cose, idee e parole, e l’idea di una filologia, già dichiarata nel



, come scienza delle parole che è scienza di idea e dunque di cose»

(At the very beginning there is not a twofold (between ideas and institutions)

but threefold nexus, between institutions (


), ideas, and language (



and the concept of a philology, already made clear in

De Constantia

, as the sci-

ence of language which is a science of the ideas and thus of institutions (




Scienza nuova

di Vico

, cit., p. 81). Since the thesis about the relationship

among the triple has not yet been developed, we will here not comment fur-

ther on Cristofolini’s exposition, except noting possible agreement on the cor-

respondence of

institutions/socio-political world



”, and



On the threefold complex of “ideas”, “words”, and “things”,

see also V. Hösle,


, cit., p. CXV, footnote 148; S. Caianiello,


ed epoca in Vico

, cit., p. 150, footnote 35, commented: «si ha l’impressione che

si stabilisca tra i tre ordini un rapporto transitivo di sincronia (it gives the im-

pression that a transitive, synchronous relationship is established between the

three orders)».

It should be added that the translation above of «


» by «institutions», for

the sake of brevity, is less than satisfactory; the Vichian term entails what E.

Nuzzo called «la totalità dei fenomeni que vanno a costituire le formazioni

socioculturali umane (the totality of phenomena that make up the forms of

human societies and cultures)» (Id.,

I carattteri dei popoli nella nuova scienza delle

nazioni di Vico

, cit., p. 173).


The proposed trichotomy might seem to be at odds with statements

that have a clearly “dualistic” tenor, such as § 163 (appended to Axiom XXII;

see footnote 152 above), which only speaks of seeing «in fact (

in fatti

) this

world of nations», on the one hand, and having «studied [it] in idea (

in idea


on the other hand. The “factual” in this instance thus does not make a distinc-

tion between “theory” and underlying “data”, but instead conflates them. Ra-

ther than necessarily conflicting, however, effectively this amounts to an im-

position of additional structure on the initial underlying trichotomous

“scheme”. This additional structure results from setting up an equivalence re-

lation with respect to “philology”, as a discipline, and the actual historical

world. Equivalence does not mean equality, but only certain commonality at

the chosen level of abstraction while ignoring other distinctions. Since it re-