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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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(p.71) Chapter 7 Elements
Vico's "New Science"

Donald Phillip Verene

Cornell University Press

This chapter discusses the Elements section of the New Science. According to Giambattista Vico, the axioms he puts forth in the Elements are intended to give form to the materials presented on the Chronological Table. This form will be not static but dynamic. Vico employs the image of the circulation of the blood in On the Study Methods of Our Time to suggest that one should never lose sight of the aim of the learning process from its beginning to its end. The aim is to study the ancients against the moderns in an effort to find a balance between them. This chapter considers the axioms articulated by Vico in the Elements, his conception of the natural law of the gentes, and his doctrine of poetic wisdom. It also examines how Vico has taken the elements of the threefold distinction employed by Plato in his quarrel with poets in the Republic and put them into positive relationship.

Keywords:   ancients, Elements, New Science, Giambattista Vico, axioms, blood, moderns, natural law, poetic wisdom, Plato

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