History of Humanities (forthcoming)

Rebecca Ruth Gould
University of Birmingham
This essay examines Giambattista Vico’s philology as a contribution to democratic legitimacy. I outline three steps in Vico’s account of the historical and political development of philological knowledge. First, his merger of philosophy and philology, and the effects of that merge on the relative claims of reason and authority. Second, his use of antiquarian knowledge to supersede historicist accounts of change in time and to position the plebian social class as the true arbiters of language. Third, his understanding of philological knowledge as an instrument of political change, and a foundational element in the establishment of democracy. By treating the philological imagination as a tool for bringing about political change, Vico’s plebian philology is radically democratic, and a crucial instrument in the struggle against the elite, from antiquity to the present.
Keywords Vico  democracy  philology  Roman law  Solon  New Science  language  political theory  critical theory
Categories (categorize this paper)
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

 PhilArchive page | Other versions
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

Vico and Herder: Two Studies in the History of Ideas.Isaiah Berlin - 1976 - Philosophy and Rhetoric 10 (4):276-280.

View all 33 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

New Philology and Old French.R. Howard Bloch - 1990 - Speculum 65 (1):38-58.
Vico's Science of Imagination.Donald Phillip Verene - 1981 - Cornell University Press.
Vico, iurisprudentia y derecho romano.Pablo Badillo O'Farrell - 2003 - Cuadernos Sobre Vico 15 (16):334.
Vico, Metaphor, and the Origin of Language.Marcel Danesi - 1993 - Bloomington: Indiana University Press.
Vico: política, moral y ciencia.León Pompa - 1998 - Cuadernos Sobre Vico 9:10.


Added to PP index

Total views
223 ( #49,724 of 2,498,782 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
26 ( #33,632 of 2,498,782 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes