Vico on the Meaning and Nature of Scientific Cognition


In this article, I reconstruct and interpret the early Vico’s oft-neglected theory of scientific cognition, as found in his 1710 metaphysical treatise On the Most Ancient Wisdom of the Italians, a work whose aim was to be the handmaid to experimental physics. In particular, I offer a new reading of his verum-factum principle, which holds that the true and the made are interchangeable, by examining this doctrine in light of its unexpected connections to much later trends in philosophy. I also present his criticism of Descartes’ cogito and, finally, Vico’s own solution to the problem of skepticism, which is meant to provide a new foundation for the sciences.

Author's Profile

Alan Daboin
Université de Paris


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