Introduction: schema, substance, and symbol -- Linguistic form: the critique of reason becomes the critique of culture -- Mythical thought: beginning the ladder of consciousness -- Phenomenology of knowledge: taking phenomenology in the Hegelian, not the modern sense -- Metaphysics of symbolic forms: spirit, life, and Werk -- Logic of the cultural sciences: nature and culture -- Animal symbolicum -- Human freedom and politics.
Moral philosophy in all its contemporary forms, whether consequentialist, formalist, contractarian, utilitarian, or virtue ethicist, presumes the possibility of formulating principles of conduct that apply universally to all human beings. Standard exceptions are infants and young children, persons who are clinically insane, and persons with reduced mental capacity. These exceptions are recognized by all modern systems of morality and law. The inability to distinguish right from wrong, due to immature age, mental disorganization, or insufficient intelligence is grounds to exempt any (...) given person from moral responsibility and moral agency.Human beings not bound by such conditions are distinguished by their capacity .. (shrink)
How is metaphysics related to human culture? Any culture has at its base a concept of being. This concept of being is expressed through the power of the myth. Myth provides culture with a grasp of the whole, with the interrelations of the human, natural, and divine. The instinct to form the myth achieves its expression at the origin of culture. Once the origin is passed, myth passes into memory, but the instinct to grasp the whole of things remains. F. (...) H. Bradley claims: “Metaphysics is the finding of bad reasons for what we believe upon instinct, but to find these reasons is no less an instinct.” Metaphysics is myth remembered. Once past the origin, the formation of being passes from the mythic imagination to the metaphysical imagination. The metaphysical imagination pursues an account of the whole of things through the power of the rational idea. — Correspondence to: email@example.com. (shrink)
Introduction: On philosophical tetralogy -- The canon of the primal scene in speculative philosophy -- Philosophical pragmatics -- Putting philosophical questions (in)to language -- Absolute knowledge and philosophical language -- The limits of argument : argument and autobiography -- Philosophical aesthetics -- Philosophical memory -- Culture, categories, and the imagination -- Metaphysical narration, science, and symbolic form -- Myth and metaphysics.
Introduction : interpreting The new science -- Synopsis of universal law -- The true and the certain : from On the one principle and one end of universal law -- A new science is essayed : from On the constancy of the jurisprudent -- On Homer and his two poems : from the dissertations -- Vico's address to his readers from a lost manuscript on jurisprudence -- Vico's reply to the false book notice : the Vici vindiciae -- Vico's "ignota (...) latebat" : on the impresa and the dipintura -- Vico's addition to the tree of the poetic sciences and his use of the muses -- Vico's reprehension of the metaphysics of René Descartes, Benedict Spinoza, and John Locke -- Appendix : Vico's writings in English translation. (shrink)
With the aim of guiding readers along, in Hegel’s words, “the long process of education towards genuine philosophy,” this introduction emphasizes the importance of striking up a conversation with the past. Only by looking to past masters and their works, it holds, can old memories and prior thought be brought fully to bear on the present. This living past invigorates contemporary practice, enriching today’s study and discoveries. In this book, groundbreaking philosopher and author Donald Verene addresses two themes: why should (...) one study the historically “great” texts and, if such a study is necessary, how can one undertake it? Acting out against the rejection of the idea that there is a philosophical canon, he centers his argument on the “tetralogy” of Plato, Aristotle, Kant, and Hegel. From his opening look at the rhetorical tradition, he brings those core ideals forward to classical Roman and medieval philosophers and then on into Renaissance and modern philosophy, including contemporary thinkers such as Derrida and Foucault. This vital chronological outline is supplemented by Verene’s contextualizing commentary. In ensuing sections, he offers guidance on reading philosophical works with “intellectual empathy,” suggests 100 essential works to establish a canon, illustrates the role of philosophers in history and society, and examines the nature of history itself. Ultimately, Verene concludes that history may be essential to philosophy, but philosophy is more than just its history. (shrink)
This is a discussion and translation of the first academic address of Vico’s career. “Delle cene sontuose de’ romani” (“On the sumptuous dinners of the Romans”) was delivered early in 1699 before the Accademia Palatina. This is the same year that Vico assumed his position as professor of Latin eloquence at the University of Naples. Vico’s choice of a topic concerning the details of everyday Roman life derives from his concern to understand Roman culture in terms other than its political (...) history. He approaches the teaching of Latin in a similar way, advocating in his textbook, Institutiones oratoriae, that the place to begin learning Latin is “From the comics!”—meaning that the everyday expressions of Latin speech are those preserved by the comic poets, especially Plautus and Terence. (shrink)
Vico’s De nostri temporis studiorum ratione (1709) draws a distinction between two types of pedagogy, based on the difference between ars topica and ars critica, which is crucial to our present-day conception of human education. Ars critica is the source of the contemporary understanding of education. When Descartes put aside rhetoric, poetic, and history as having nothing to do with the conduct of right reasoning in the sciences, he established criticism as the ideal of education. On the Cartesian view no (...) education is offered in the art of topics, which Vico understands as “the art of finding the middle term” that is necessary to the making of arguments.In Vico’s view, children are to be trained in memory, metaphor, and narration—or when they are adults they will be unable to find the starting points of thought. The Cartesian child will become a hollow-minded adult, expert in the use of methods, organizing materials, and calling up information but unable to make original judgments without ingenuity (ingenium)—the power to see the similar in dissimilars. On Vico’s view ars critica and all it implies is to be introduced only when the mind has been formed in its original powers of imagination. (shrink)
In this, the first full-length study of Vico's highly original autobiography, Verene discusses its place in the history of autobiography generally, and shows it to be the first work of modern intellectual autobiography which uses a genetic method. The author views the autobiography as a work in which Vico applies the principles of human history discussed in New Science, making the telling of his own life an application and verification of his own philosophy. He places Vico's autobiography within the general (...) development of the genre, considering it in relation to Augustine's Confessions, Descartes's Discourse, and Rousseau's Confessions. The author shows Vico to be not only the founder of the philosophy of history, but also the originator of a philosophical art of self-narrative which is the response by a modern thinker to the ancient problem of self-knowledge. (shrink)