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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.96) Chapter 9 Method
Vico's "New Science"

Donald Phillip Verene

Cornell University Press

This chapter offers a philosophical commentary on the Method section of the New Science. Giambattista Vico begins Method by saying that to complete the establishment of principles requires discussing the method which the science is to follow. The establishment of the beginning of the subject matter of the new science must be derived from both the philologists and the philosophers, since the new science itself is predicated on the joining of philology and philosophy. The philologists will take us back to the myths of the origin of men from natural objects, whereas the philosophers provide theories of protohumans. This chapter considers Vico’s conception of the giants as well as his depiction of the original state of human existence among the gentiles. It also explores Vico’s claim that the new science, in one of its principal aspects, must be a “rational civil theology of divine providence.” Finally, it assesses Vico’s list of seven philological proofs that concludes the section on Method.

Keywords:   philology, Method, New Science, Giambattista Vico, philosophy, giants, gentiles, civil theology, divine providence, philological proofs

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