Difference, Migration, and Cultural Exchange in Vico

In: Philological Encounters
Raffaele Carbone Università Federico II di Napoli

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In his historical and legal works, Giambattista Vico points out several times that there are significant differences between human societies. From The Universal Law onwards, the Neapolitan philosopher proposes the restoration of the history of nations and recognizes that travel, migration and cultural exchanges play a significant role in the vicissitudes of peoples. At the same time, he also searches for constants (economic and social, political and cultural) that are common to all nations and that may be compatible with the natural and historical differences remaining between them. This project grows and matures over the three editions of the New Science. In this regard, this article aims to dissect the course of Vico’s intent and show that he does not appear to neglect cultural differences or the importance of cultural exchanges in the history of humankind to the exclusive benefit of the invariants occurring in all human communities.

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