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

92

for society was planted in us by God through the eternal idea of

equity in law»

185

. This result may be comparable to the “reduc-

tion” of a complex physical (thermodynamic) state to a mere

number on a temperature scale, if not even more so.

To complicate matters even further, in addition to the rela-

tionships between the categories themselves (considered dualisti-

cally or not), another thorny question arises, namely, how to ac-

count also for the relation between these

functors.

In category

theory, there is explicit, and formal, recognition that the forgetful

and contravariant functors between two categories operate in

tandem, or as a pair, and that one cannot be understood in isola-

tion from, or without reference to, the other: the concept is

ad-

junction

of functors, or, adjectivally,

adjoint functors

186

.

The cogni-

tive process involved can and has been described in other – non-

functorial – ways, too, for instance, by the felicitous term «oscil-

latory»

187

. At the same time, the introduction of category-

theoretical concepts is not a matter of novelty or updating of

terminology; rather, it introduces epistemic distinctions, such as

between

forgetful

and

contravariant

that help to identify subtle fea-

tures that otherwise could go unnoticed, while

adjunction

calls for

ever-present reflexivity.

For the purpose of outlining the overall functorial scheme,

the dualistic paradigm was entirely suitable. For expository pur-

poses, it was assumed to consist of the dichotomy of the

ideal

and the

factual.

As noted above, this dichotomy would be episte-

mologically justified if either the category of the

ideal

or the

factu-

al

represents an equivalence class that incorporates the category

of Vichian “philology”

188

. On the other hand, without the ac-

knowledgment of the inclusion of “philology”, explicitly or im-

plicitly, a dualistic framework might be compared to an open-

mesh net with openings so large that most “objects” of interest

would simply slip through unnoticed and unexamined

189

, a net in

which the

ideas

are the mesh and reality furnishes the objects. So,

when for Vico “human nature”, on a philosophical level, is «to