Vico, Genealogist of Modernity

Overview

In this study, Robert C. Miner argues that Giambattista Vico (1668-1744) was the architect of a subversive, genealogical approach to modernity. Miner documents the genesis of Vico's stance toward modernity in the first phase of his thought. Through close examination of his early writings, centering on Vico's critique of Descartes and his elaboration of the 'verum-factum' principle, Vico, Genealogist of Modernity reveals that Vico strives to acknowledge the technical advances of modernity while unmasking its ...
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Overview

In this study, Robert C. Miner argues that Giambattista Vico (1668-1744) was the architect of a subversive, genealogical approach to modernity. Miner documents the genesis of Vico's stance toward modernity in the first phase of his thought. Through close examination of his early writings, centering on Vico's critique of Descartes and his elaboration of the 'verum-factum' principle, Vico, Genealogist of Modernity reveals that Vico strives to acknowledge the technical advances of modernity while unmasking its origins in human pride.
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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Miner (philosophy, Boston Coll.) contends that Vico sought to undermine Descartes's philosophy, and the break in European thought it inaugurated, by means of a historical critique of reason. In this respect, Vico was a precursor of 19th-century historicism. Challenging Croce and Isaiah Berlin, Miner does not think that this critique made Vico into an essentially modern thinker. Instead, he contends that Vico used philology and historical investigation to undermine the pretensions of modern thought. Like St. Augustine, whom he followed, Vico contended that secular thought stems from human pride and is in essence sinful. Miner contrasts Vico with Nietzsche, who likewise pursued a genealogical method to criticize philosophy. Unlike Nietzsche, however, Vico aimed to defend Christianity. Miner's book rests on a thorough knowledge of Vico's work, especially stressing the early Universal Law. Though his interpretation has been heavily influenced by John Milbank's two-volume The Religious Dimension in the Thought of Giambattista Vico, it offers original insight and understanding into a seminal, if occasionally neglected, figure and is therefore highly recommended for larger public as well as academic libraries. David Gordon, Bowling Green Univ., Ohio Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780268034689
  • Publisher: University of Notre Dame Press
  • Publication date: 7/1/2002
  • Pages: 232
  • Product dimensions: 6.36 (w) x 9.26 (h) x 0.82 (d)

Table of Contents

Note on Texts
Preface
Pt. I Humbling Modern Pride: Genealogy in the Early Vico
1 Ancients and Moderns 3
2 Eloquence and Prudence 10
3 Critique of Descartes 13
4 The Roots of Mathematics 20
5 Verum-Factum 26
Pt. 2 The Development of Modern Historical Consciousness in the Diritto universale
6 The Intention and Form of the Diritto universale 35
7 Justice and Equity 42
8 Natural Law 47
9 Verum-Certum 54
10 Constantia and Christian Jurisprudence 58
Pt. 3 The Moral Genealogy of the Scienza nuova
11 Vico, Genealogy, History 69
12 Unmasking the Philosophers and Philologists 74
13 Knowledge as Archaeology 81
14 Pagan Consciousness in the Age of Gods 94
15 The Hebrew Difference 106
16 From Achilles to Socrates 116
17 Modern Nihilism and the Barbarism of Reflection 126
Conclusion 137
Notes 143
Bibliography 197
Index 204
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