Georges Sorel’s Study on Vico is a revelatory document of the depths and stakes of French social thought at the end of the 19th century. What brought Sorel to the 18th century Neapolitan theorist of history? Acute awareness of the limitations of Marxist thought in his day, a profound concern with the material underpinnings of language, law, and culture, and the imperative to understand the possibilities of revolutionary change. We find here a different Sorel, one who speaks in surprising ways to the 21st century.
The translation is accompanied by an introduction and by a set of notes which situate the text both in Sorel’s overall intellectual trajectory and in the fin de siècle debates from which it emerged.
Eric Brandom, Ph.D (2012) is a James Carey Research Fellow in the History Department at Kansas State University, and is at work on a manuscript entitled
Autonomy and Violence: Georges Sorel and the Problem of Liberalism.
Tommaso Giordani, Ph.D (2015), European University Institute, is a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Tallinn, where he is working in the ERC-funded project BETWEEN THE TIMES. He has published various articles on French and Italian intellectual history.
Introduction: Georges Sorel’s Study on Vico in French and European Context 1
The Early Years of Georges Sorel 2
The Epistemology of the Social Sciences 3
French Marxism in the 1890s 4
Italian Connections 5
The “Politics” of the Institution 6
Violence and Myth 7
Beyond Syndicalism 8
Note on the Text and Translation
Study on Vico
Texts Cited or Quoted in the “Étude sur Vico” Modern Editions Cited in the Translation Index
Students and researchers of fin de siècle European intellectual history; historians of the social sciences, and Marxism; students of Vico’s legacy and of Sorel’s social thought. Anyone interested in the roots of cultural studies.