Vico's New Science of the Intersubjective World
282 pages, 6.00 x 9.00
Hardcover | 9780268100285 | November 2016
eBook (Web PDF) | 9780268100308 | November 2016
eBook (EPUB) | 9780268100315 | November 2016
Among the classics of the history of philosophy, the Scienza nuova (New Science) by Giambattista Vico (1668–1744) was largely neglected and generally misunderstood during the author's lifetime. From the nineteenth century onwards Vico’s views found a wider audience, and today his influence is widespread in the humanities and social sciences. The New Science is often taught in courses at colleges and universities, both in philosophy and Italian departments and in general humanities courses. Despite the excellent English translations of this enigmatic book and numerous studies in English of Vico, many sections of the work remain challenging to the modern reader. Vico's New Science of the Intersubjective World offers both an in-depth analysis of all the important ideas of the book and an evaluation of their contribution to our present understanding of the social world.
In the first chapter, Vittorio Hösle examines Vico’s life, sources, and writings. The second and third chapters discuss the concerns and problems of the Scienza nuova. The fourth chapter traces the broader history of Vico’s reception. Hösle facilitates the understanding of many passages in the work as well as the overarching structure of its claims, which are often dispersed over many sections. Hösle reformulates Vico’s vision in such a way that it is not only of historical interest but may inspire ongoing debates about the nature of the humanities and social sciences as well as many other issues on which Vico sheds light, from the relation of poetry and poetics to the development of law. This book will prepare students and scholars for a precise study of the Scienza nuova, equipping them with the necessary categories and context and familiarizing them with the most important problems in the critical debate on Vico's philosophy.
Vittorio Hösle is Paul G. Kimball Professor of Arts and Letters in the Department of German Languages and Literatures, and concurrent professor of philosophy and political science at the University of Notre Dame. He is the author or editor of numerous books, including God as Reason: Essays in Philosophical Theology, The Philosophical Dialogue: A Poetics and a Hermeneutics, and A Short History of German Philosophy.
Francis R. Hittinger, IV, holds a Ph.D. in Italian and the Institute for Comparative Literature and Society from Columbia University where he is a postdoctoral lecturer in the Columbia Center for the Core Curriculum.
"Vico's New Science of the Intersubjective World delivers a comprehensive treatment of Vico, which is neither too detailed and technical nor too superficial. The book gives a clear picture of what Vico wanted to say, where he might have been wrong or become obsolete, and what his true achievements are for which he still deserves praise." —Peter König, University of Heidelberg
“This is among the best single-volume companions to the Scienza nouva available, and will be of interest to students and more established scholars alike. It will sit comfortably alongside other accomplished recent works on the Scienza nuova.“ —Catholic Library World
"This volume makes available in translation a revised version of Professor Hösle's introduction to the German edition of Vico's masterpiece. Readers will find here a guide both historical and critical to Vico's central ideas as well as an original approach to the problem of intersubjectivity. It is a most welcome and learned contribution to Vico interpretation." —Donald Phillip Verene, director, Institute for Vico Studies, Emory University
“It is both the insightful interpretation of the book’s subject, as well as the author’s own wide-ranging insights, that [prompts a highly recommended review of] Vico’s New Science of the Intersubjective World to both experts on the work of Vico, as well as those unfamiliar with his work.” —Sixteenth Century Journal
"For Vico, philosophy, social science, and the history of human culture are inseparable. All commentators on Vico agree that he anticipated with astounding originality key themes in nineteenth- and twentieth-century historical thought and social studies. But possibly no other commentator has shown the depth, complexity, and relevance of Vico's ideas for modern Western thought since the Enlightenment with such insight, incisiveness, and lucidity as Vittorio Hösle." —Jonathan Israel, Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton