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Knowledge of Things Human and DivineVico's New Science and "Finnegans Wake"$
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Donald Phillip Verene

Print publication date: 2003

Print ISBN-13: 9780300099584

Published to Yale Scholarship Online: October 2013

DOI: 10.12987/yale/9780300099584.001.0001

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The Most Ancient Wisdom: Metaphysics

The Most Ancient Wisdom: Metaphysics

(p.96) 4 The Most Ancient Wisdom: Metaphysics
Knowledge of Things Human and Divine

Donald Phillip Verene

Yale University Press

This chapter focuses on the first phase of Vico's odyssey, which he completed at the age of forty-one when he published his first major work, the expanded version of his seventh oration, on the method of studies. Having found a way out of the great cave of Cartesian pedagogy in the seventh oration, Vico arrived quickly on the shore of metaphysics. The Cartesian method is one-eyed, the narrowness of its vision being both its strength and its limitation. Vico discovered the means to save his students from this method by his doctrine of double truth—his principle of balancing the sciences of the moderns with the civil wisdom of the ancients. By giving each its due, Vico could lead his students to perfect their corrupt human nature and complete in themselves the circle of knowledge.

Keywords:   seventh oration, Vico's odyssey, Cartesian pedagogy, metaphysics, doctrine of double truth, corrupt human nature, circle of knowledge

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