New Vico Studies 20:25-36 (2002)

With the celebrated frontispiece to the New Science (1744) and through an immediate comparison of this image to the ancient moral fable inscribed in the Tablet of Cebes the Theban, Vico ingeniously employs a then well-known common topic and a conventional emblematic device to inaugurate his topics-based philosophy. A topical knowledge of the human cannot, for Vico, be seized by precept only; it must be undergone as an active and imaginative recovery of the topics through memory. In times of need, topical memory is consequential for civil wisdom and historical consciousness. An aptitude for the practic of topics is manifest in the manmade figurations of fable and poetry and in the requisite and recollective resynthesis of them. By modeling, exemplifying, explaining, and soliciting this aptitude for topical knowledge, Vico provides a multifold teaching on the acquisition of civil wisdom
Keywords History of Philosophy  Major Philosophers
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ISBN(s) 0733-9542
DOI 10.5840/newvico20022015
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