Table of Contents Table of Contents
Previous Page  9 / 298 Next Page
Show Menu
Previous Page 9 / 298 Next Page
Page Background



This book is conceived as “notes” on

Scienza nuova

for a varie-

ty of reasons. First of all, it is in recognition of a century of mod-

ern Vico scholarship that has investigated in depth the vast range

of topics contained in his

magnus opus



Against the background

of this rich heritage, the objective here is limited to developing

certain nuances and accents on a few selected aspects of Vico’s

body of thought represented in

Scienza nuova

. A further reason

for keeping this book at the level of “notes” is the chosen focus

on certain specific subject matters to the neglect of other Vichian

topics in

Scienza nuova

of greater philosophical significance. Fur-

thermore, these subjects are dealt with from a particular point of

view or perspective which consequently casts light on some fac-

ets to the exclusion of others. The principal motive for following

this approach is to throw aspects of Vico’s thought into sharper

relief, and to give them a more clearly delineated profile.

The following three subjects will be the main focus:


Vico’s employment of the axiomatic method on Book I

. Vico’s

emulation of the language of Euclid’s

Elements of Geometry

with its

axioms, postulates, proofs, corollaries, and so forth, has elicited a

variety of explanatory attempts. On the one hand, we are faced

with Vico’s high regard for Euclidean geometry, but on the other

hand, Vico was adamant that «things that are not lines or num-

bers will not support the method at all», as he said in his



in the debate with the reviewer(s) of

Liber metaphysicus





the first volume of the projected, but not produced,


De Antiquissima Italorum Sapientia


On the Most An-

cient Wisdom of the Italians



. The subject matter of

Scienza nuova

certainly falls into the category of «things that are not lines or

numbers». So why would Vico violate his own maxim that plays

a key role in his repudiation of Cartesianism? There is the well-

known early modern tradition of framing arguments in Euclide-