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Vico's "New Science"A Philosophical Commentary$
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Donald Phillip Verene

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9781501700163

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9781501700163.001.0001

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Structure of the New Science

Structure of the New Science

(p.18) Chapter 3 Structure of the New Science
Vico's "New Science"

Donald Phillip Verene

Cornell University Press

This chapter comments on the structure of the New Science. The New Science has been interpreted in philosophical terms, which dwells on its theory of knowledge, or in political terms, which places emphasis on its theory of society. GiambattistaVico’s own field of thought is rhetoric as the key to the law as the wisdom and order of civility. On opening the New Science, the reader is immediately puzzled as to what the order of its contents means. Expecting a logical order of topics, the potential reader remains confused but perhaps intrigued by the array of principles and subject matters. This chapter considers a way of comprehending what Vico has in mind as the structure of the New Science by focusing on the divisions of forensic oratory of his Institutes: invention, disposition, exordium, narration, digression, proposition, confirmation, confutation, and peroration. It shows that these divisions of forensic or judicial oration correspond to the parts of the New Science.

Keywords:   oration, New Science, GiambattistaVico, rhetoric, forensic oratory, Institutes, invention, disposition, confutation, peroration

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