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On the Most Ancient Wisdom of the Italians: Unearthed from the Origins of the Latin Language [Paperback]

Giambattista Vico , L. M. Palmer
3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Book Description

July 20, 1988 0801495113 978-0801495113 1

On the Most Ancient Wisdom of the Italians, originally published in 1710, is widely regarded as Vico's most significant work after the New Science and the Autobiography. Subtitled "The Book of Metaphysics," it was one of three planned volumes of a larger work that was never published, and it marks Vico's transition from rhetorician to philosopher of historical knowledge.

This edition incorporates translations from the Italian of a contemporary review and Vico's responses, published in 1711 and 1712. L. M. Palmer's translation helps make more accessible a treatise of vital importance for an understanding of Vico's epistemology, psychology, and philosophy of mathematics.


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On the Most Ancient Wisdom of the Italians: Unearthed from the Origins of the Latin Language + On Humanistic Education: Six Inaugural Orations, 1699-1707 (Six Inaugural Orations, 1699-1707 : from the Definitive Latin Text, Introduction, and Notes of Gian Galeazzo Visconti) + On the Study Methods of Our Time
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Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

$8.95. phil Italian philosopher and social theorist Vico (1668-1744) is best known for his Principles of a New Science Concerning the Common Nature of All Nations (1725), which aimed to discover the laws governing the formation, development, and decay of societies. This earlier work marks Vico's transition from rhetorician to philosopher of history. All that remains of a projected three-volume work on metaphysics, logic, and ethics, it gives significant insight into the early thoughts of one of the first truly modern thinkers in Western intellectual tradition. Palmer's excellent introduction illustrates its historical significance by placing it in a wider historical context. For academic libraries. Raymond Frey, Bergen Community Coll., Paramus, N.J.
Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

"This work gives significant insight into the early thoughts of one of the first truly modern thinkers in Western intellectual tradition. Palmer's excellent introduction illustrates its historical significance by placing it in a wider context."—Library Journal



"Until now, the Latin treatise in which Vico first set forth his theory of knowledge and of metaphysics, On the Most Ancient Wisdom of the Italians, has never had a complete rendering into English. Lucia Palmer in this volume has provided a welcome translation not only of the treatise, but also of a series of exchanges concerning it (1711–12) between Vico and the Giornale de' letterati d'Italia. It contains the fullest statement of Vico's principle that the true and the made are interchangeable."—Seventeenth-Century News



"This is a work of the first importance on its own account, and it should gain attention from students of Descartes and Malbranche (among Vico's predecessors) and students of Collingwood (among his successors). Palmer's translation of the associated controversial discussions adds greatly to the value of the English edition."—H. S. Harris, York University

Product Details

  • Paperback: 216 pages
  • Publisher: Cornell University Press; 1 edition (July 20, 1988)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0801495113
  • ISBN-13: 978-0801495113
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 6 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #776,340 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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0 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars words from the past April 4, 2012
Format:Hardcover
Vico wrote the original book in Latin in 1710, long before I was born. Wisdom already had tremendous problems with its reputation, and the people who responded in Italian did not understand what was meant "for its learned author crowds speculations without number unto every page" (p. 117). Following the conclusion in this book is a section called the Disputation with two articles in Giornale de' letterati d'Italia, which reveals who knows when a dog is up to its tricks:

But then if the pimp had answered
to the first two insults, "Excellently done,"
he would have been speaking Latin
just as well. Perhaps others might
think differently. (p. 145)

Vico's responses which included, on the authority of Virgil:

"Happy is he who knows the causes of everything." (p. 163)

followed by Vico's Final Statement, then an Editorial Declaration of the Giornale de' letterati d'Italia that:

To this we answer nothing,
out of respect for the author
and in order not to extend
controversies ad infinitum. (p. 187).
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