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Vico and NaplesThe Urban Origins of Modern Social Theory$
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Barbara Ann Naddeo

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780801449161

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9780801449161.001.0001

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The Origins of Vico’s Social Theory

The Origins of Vico’s Social Theory

Vichian Reflections on the Neapolitan Revolt of 1701 and the Politics of the Metropolis

(p.19) Chapter 1 The Origins of Vico’s Social Theory
Vico and Naples

Barbara Ann Naddeo

Cornell University Press

This chapter presents Vico's version of the failed Neapolitan revolt of 1701, known as the Coniuratio principum Neapolitanorum. Although commissioned by the political brokers of the Spanish regime, Vico's history failed to please the representatives of the status quo, as it challenged their neat incrimination of the urban underclasses with its attention to the unusual ways in which extrapolitical processes had both destabilized and reshaped the behavior of the traditional orders of the Kingdom in general and those of the capital city of Naples in particular. By examining Vico's account of revolt in light of the normative explanations of the period, this chapter underscores just what an astute critic of contemporary politics and society Vico was and the extent to which his keen sense of the obsolescence of civic citizenship and the municipality of Naples informed his alternative account of this episode of revolt.

Keywords:   Neapolitan revolt of 1701, Spanish regime, Coniuratio principum Neapolitanorum, urban underclasses, extrapolitical processes, civic citizenship

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