Horst Steinke, Vico’s Ring. Notes on the“Scienza nuova”, its Structure, and the Hermeneutics of Homer’s Works
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87

5.

THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN

“PHILOSOPHY”, “PHILOLOGY”, AND THE ACTUAL

WORLD OF HUMANS

The preceding section raised questions about ways to charac-

terize the complex relationship among this “trichotomy”. While

there may be a heuristic basis for turning the trichotomy into a

“dualistic” structure, our working thesis necessitates distinguish-

ing between all three spheres. However, the relationship between

the postulated trichotomy and dualism

165

can be summarized in

the following table:

Scienza nuova

Vanzulli’s dualism

Otto’s dualism

“Philosophy”

the

ideal

mental constructs,

metaphysics

“Philology”

the

factual

Historical reality

civic world

Certain metaphors have proved to be helpful and insightful,

particularly in providing a vivid sense of their interconnected-

ness. However, such metaphors suffer from a limitation, in that

they were not chosen, or for that matter intended, to specify par-

ticular aspects or features of their relationship. To describe these

relationships in a systematic way – on the assumption of being

able to count Vico among the great systematic thinkers of the

modern age – we will avail ourselves of conceptual tools that

have been forged only relatively recently

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.