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Vico’s Ring


but endowed with a capacity to think the infinite, and so on. As

claimed above, the forgetful functors resulted, in Vico’s hands, in

«discovering the idea hidden in the real», and now the


, the




) become the source of a contravariant functor that

“enriches”, transforms these universal, undefined entities back

into “philological” propositions. Indeed, the deep and radical

“philosophical” reflections have the potential of casting earlier

“philological” theorems in a new light, as well as leading to en-

tirely new propositions. The influence, so to speak, that “philos-

ophy” exerts on “philology” is alluded to by the Vichian phrase

in the prologue, entitled

Idea of the Work,


Scienza nuova

: «phi-

losophy undertakes to examine philology […] and reduces it to

the form of a science (

e la riduce in forma di

Scienza) by discover-

ing in it the design of an ideal eternal history»


. The term «re-

duce» occurs a number of times in

Scienza nuova


, and important

aspects of its import in the present context, has been succinctly

brought by both G. Cacciatore and A. Battistini, respectively: «La

ragione filosofica con le sue “pruove” aiuta a distinguere e a chi-

arire le prove filologiche, così da poter “ridurre a certezza

l’umano arbitrio” (Philosophical reason with its “proofs” aids in

distinguishing and clarifying the philological proofs, thus being

able to “reduce the human will to certainty”)», and «[…] Vico af-

ferma di volere “ridurre” la filologia “in forma di scienza”, nel

senso che il momento analitico che raccoglie i dati è poi sottopo-

sto a un vaglio che con una drastica sintesi ne restringe la mole

(Vico affirms wanting to “reduce” philology “in form of a sci-

ence” in the sense that the analytical moment that gathers the da-

ta is then subjected to an examination that by a drastic synthesis

restricts the massive amount of material)»


. The process of de-

veloping “philological” constructs motivated by, and imbued

with, historical reality, must at the same time be fully cognizant

of the fundamental


coming out of “philosophy”, and en-

sure that these are embedded in its theoretical framework


. The

desired final outcome is described in Axiom CXIII (§ 324): «The