On the Most Ancient Wisdom of the Italians, originally published in 1710, is widely regarded as Vico's most significant work after the New Science and the Autobiography. Subtitled "The Book of Metaphysics," it was one of three planned volumes of a larger work that was never published, and it marks Vico's transition from rhetorician to philosopher of historical knowledge.
This edition incorporates translations from the Italian of a contemporary review and Vico's responses, published in 1711 and 1712. L. M. Palmer's translation helps make more accessible a treatise of vital importance for an understanding of Vico's epistemology, psychology, and philosophy of mathematics.
Publisher: Cornell University Press
Number of pages: 216
Weight: 454 g
Dimensions: 229 x 152 x 13 mm
"This work gives significant insight into the early thoughts of one of the first truly modern thinkers in Western intellectual tradition. Palmer's excellent introduction illustrates its historical significance by placing it in a wider context."-Library Journal
"Until now, the Latin treatise in which Vico first set forth his theory of knowledge and of metaphysics, On the Most Ancient Wisdom of the Italians, has never had a complete rendering into English. Lucia Palmer in this volume has provided a welcome translation not only of the treatise, but also of a series of exchanges concerning it (1711-12) between Vico and the Giornale de' letterati d'Italia. It contains the fullest statement of Vico's principle that the true and the made are interchangeable."-Seventeenth-Century News
"This is a work of the first importance on its own account, and it should gain attention from students of Descartes and Malbranche (among Vico's predecessors) and students of Collingwood (among his successors). Palmer's translation of the associated controversial discussions adds greatly to the value of the English edition."-H. S. Harris, York University