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VICO AND CONTEMPORARY THOUGHT - 1 / Vol. 43, No. 3 (Fall 1976)

October 2, 1976

Giorgio Tagliacozzo, Michael Mooney, and Donald Philip Verene, Guest Editors

Arien Mack, Journal Editor

 

Table of Contents

 

Giorgio Tagliacozzo, Michael Mooney, and Donald Philip Verene

Editors’ Note

The papers appearing here and those which are to follow in a second special issue of Social Research were originally presented at the conference on “Vico and Contemporary Thought” held in New York City on January 27-31, 1976, in celebration of the 250th anniversary of Giambattista Vico’s New Science.

 

Giorgio Tagliacozzo

Introductory Remarks

The author introduces us to the conference on Vico and Contemporary Thought and explains how this meeting came about and how it relates to the Institute for Vico Studies.

 

Max H. Fisch

What Has Vico to Say to Philosophers of Today?

What Vico has to say for philosophers is in large part what he is already saying to anthropologists, sociologists, psychologists, linguists, and educationists. The question is meant to be unfolded throughout the duration of the conference.

 

Donald P. Verene

Vico’s Philosophy of Imagination

Examines the thought of Giovanni Battista Vico (1668-1744) on the imagination of humankind and the impact which it had on the philosophical formation of Germany's intellectuals, especially on the formation of "Geisteswissenschaften" in the mid-nineteenth century. The author explains that The New Science, gives form to powers of the human spirit that differ in kind from those that generate the methodology of the natural and observational sciences.

 

Sir Isaiah Berlin

Comment on Professor Verene’s Paper

Questions the specific workings of one facet of Giovanni Battista Vico's (1668-1744) theory of imagination, the recollective "fantasia."

 

Donald P. Verene

Response by the Author

Responds to Isaiah Berlin's critique in this journal issue of the author's article on the thought of Giovanni Battista Vico (1668-1744).

 

Leon Pompa

Human Nature and the Concept of a Human Science

Examines two concepts in the thought of Giovanni Battista Vico (1668-1744) pertaining to the nature of human science: the belief that knowledge of human phenomena can be as rigorous and scientific as knowledge of natural phenomena, and that since human knowledge depends on a storehouse of precedent and antecedent experiential knowledge it can be more intelligible than natural science.

 

Max H. Fisch

Comment on Professor Pompa’s Paper

The paper outlines and discusses what the author takes to be the two main philosophical claims involved in Vico’s conception of human science. The first is that our knowledge of the world of human phenomena can be as rigorous and scientific as our knowledge of the world of natural phenomena. The second is that, because it is a human science, it involves an appeal to antecedent, experiential knowledge of what it is to be human, which renders its products more intelligible than those of any purely natural science.

 

Leon Pompa

Response by the Author

Replies to Max H. Fisch's commentary in this journal issue regarding the author's article on the thought of Giovanni Battista Vico (1668-1744).

 

Ernan McMullin

Vico’s Theory of Science

Examines Giovanni Battista Vico's (1668-1744) theory of science as stated in "Scienza nuova," concentrating on his application of scientific method to the social sciences and closely analyzing his inductive, retroductive, and axiomatic logic.

 

Leon Pompa

Comment on Professor McMullin’s Paper

Comments on Ernan McMullin's article in this journal issue examining Giovanni Battista Vico's (1668-1744) theory of science.

 

Lionel Rubinoff

Vico and the Interpretation of Historical Interpretation

In his treatise "Scienza nuova," Giambattista Vico (1668-1744) treated time and especially historical time as a subjective creation of the human mind. Its interpretation thus becomes not a trap, but a tool for constant reaffirmation and rejuvenation.

 

B. A. Haddock

Vico and the Problem of Historical Reconstruction

In his treatise "Scienza nuova," Giambattista Vico (1668-1744) discussed historical reconstruction, asserting that historians in interpreting and reconstructing past civilizations rely on their own contemporary ideas and perceptions of society, which distort historical ideas.

 

Robert Welsh Jordan

Vico and the Phenomenology of the Moral Sphere

Examines the differentiation between moral sciences, which are the subjective, conscious dimension of thoughts, actions, and values, and natural sciences in the thought of Giovanni Battista Vico (1668-1744); and includes a critique of Max Weber's idea of phenomenological moral science.

 

Howard Tuttle

Comments on Professor Jordan’s Paper

Comments on eidetic psychology in relation to the thought of Giovanni Battista Vico (1668-1744).

 

B. A. Haddock

Vico: The Problem of Interpretation

Examines difficulties in interpreting, and various interpretations of, the philosophy of Giovanni Battista Vico (1668-1744). Difficulties in interpretation arise because his philosophy is suggestive rather than of a systematic nature. The true value of Vico's works on the history of ideas lies in his criterion for judgment of ideas which avoided anachronism.

 

Ernesto Grassi

The Priority of Common Sense and Imagination: Vico's Philosophical Relevance Today

As a background to Giovanni Battista Vico's (1668-1744) perceptions of common sense and imagination as they interact and construct rational and subjective thought for humans, the author discusses Cartesian rationalism and the impact which logic and structuralism had on philosophy prior to Vico.

 

John Michael Krois

Comment on Professor Grassi’s Paper

Comments on Ernesto Grassi's paper in this journal issue dealing with the thought of Giovanni Battista Vico (1668-1744), "The Priority of Common Sense and Imagination: Vico's Philosophical Relevance Today." Queries Grassi's discussion of the logic of the imagination - specifically, the bases for the fundamental importance attached to work and its connection with the imagination and original thought.

 

Ernesto Grassi

Response by the Author

Replies to John Michael Krois's critique of the author's article in this journal issue dealing with the thought of Giovanni Battista Vico (1668-1744), "The Priority of Common Sense and Imagination: Vico's Philosophical Relevance Today." Responds by differentiating material and spiritual work.

 

Michael Mooney

The Primacy of Language in Vico

Examines the primacy of language in the philosophical and historical writings of Giovanni Battista Vico (1668-1744) regarding the origins of human society and culture, 1709-30.

 

Donald R. Kelley

In Vico Veritas: The True Philosophy and the New Science

Examines the thought of Giovanni Battista Vico (1668-1744) on jurisprudence and the legal tradition as brought forth in his treatise, "Scienza nuova."

 

Gustavo Costa

Vico's Political Thought In His Time and Ours

Examines Giovanni Battista Vico's (1668-1744) attitudes toward Europe, highlighting his love of German Gothicism, his distaste for France and the Cartesian philosophical method, and his personal preference for the political system of Great Britain, which he saw as the home of poetic and heroic barbaric ways of life during the 18th century.

 

Robert Nisbet

Vico and the Idea of Progress

Examines the thought of Giovanni Battista Vico (1668-1744) on the idea of progress. There is no reference to progress in the traditional sense, but rather to the problem of progress and the events and intellectual climate which cause it to occur.

 

Gustavo Costa

Vico's Influence on Eighteenth-Century Europen Culture: A Footnote to Professor Nisbet's Paper

Examines the thought of Giovanni Battista Vico (1668-1744) on the idea of progress. There is no reference to progress in the traditional sense, but rather to the problem of progress and the events and intellectual climate which cause it to occur.

 

Sir Isaiah Berlin

Vico and the Ideal of the Enlightenment

Examines Enlightenment thought pertaining to the concept of the perfect society and relates this to its impact on and occurrence in the writings of the Italian historian and philosopher Giovanni Battista Vico (1668-1744).

 

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