Giambattista Vico


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Giovanni Battista (Giambattista) Vico or Vigo (23 June 1668 – 23 January 1744) was an Italian political philosopher, rhetorician, historian, and jurist. A critic of modern rationalism and apologist of classical antiquity, Vico's magnum opus is Scienza Nuova (1725), often published in English as New Science.

Vico is a precursor of systemic and complexity thinking, as opposed to Cartesian... more »

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  • It is true that men themselves made this world of nations ... but this world without doubt has issued from a mind often diverse, at times quite contrary, and always superior to the particular ends tha...
    Giambattista Vico (1688-1744), Italian philosopher, historian. conclusion, para. 1108 (ed. 1744, trans. 1984).
  • ''The nature of peoples is first crude, then severe, then benign, then delicate, finally dissolute.''
    Giambattista Vico (1688-1744), Italian philosopher, historian. The New Science, bk. 1, para. 242 (1744, trans. 1984).
  • Metaphysics abstracts the mind from the senses, and the poetic faculty must submerge the whole mind in the senses. Metaphysics soars up to universals, and the poetic faculty must plunge deep into part...
    Giambattista Vico (1688-1744), Italian philosopher, historian. The New Science, bk. 3, ch. 4, par. 821 (ed. 1744, trans. 1984).
  • The universal principle of etymology in all languages: words are carried over from bodies and from the properties of bodies to express the things of the mind and spirit. The order of ideas must follow...
    Giambattista Vico (1688-1744), Italian philosopher, historian. The New Science, bk. 1, para. 237-238 (ed. 1744, trans. 1968).
  • ''Men first feel necessity, then look for utility, next attend to comfort, still later amuse themselves with pleasure, thence grow dissolute in luxury, and finally go mad and waste their substance.''
    Giambattista Vico (1688-1744), Italian philosopher, historian. The New Science, bk. 1, para. 241 (1744, trans. 1984).
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