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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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Poetic Metaphysics

Poetic Metaphysics

(p.119) Chapter 11 Poetic Metaphysics
Vico's "New Science"

Donald Phillip Verene

Cornell University Press

This chapter discusses the section on poetic metaphysics in Giambattista Vico’s New Science. Poetic metaphysics, being the source of poetic sciences, corresponds to the mother of the Muses—Mnemosyne or Memory. The full source is Mnemosyne and Jove, since it is through their union on nine nights that the Muses are born as their daughters. This chapter examines Vico’s articulation of the nature of the giants in the New Science as well as his list of seven corollaries or principal aspects of the new science that concludes the section on poetic metaphysics: the new science is a “rational civil theology,” a “philosophy of authority,” a“history of human ideas,” a “philosophical criticism,” an “ideal eternal history” of all the gentile nations, a “system of the natural law of the gentes,” and a science of “the principles of universal history.”

Keywords:   poetic metaphysics, Giambattista Vico, New Science, Muses, giants, civil theology, philosophy, gentile nations, natural law, universal history

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