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Vico and the Transformation of Rhetoric in Early Modern Europe (Hardback)
  • Vico and the Transformation of Rhetoric in Early Modern Europe (Hardback)
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Vico and the Transformation of Rhetoric in Early Modern Europe (Hardback)

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£72.00
Hardback 312 Pages / Published: 31/03/2010
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Considered the most original thinker in the Italian philosophical tradition, Giambattista Vico has been the object of much scholarly attention but little consensus. In this new interpretation, David L. Marshall examines the entirety of Vico's oeuvre and situates him in the political context of early modern Naples. Marshall presents Vico's work as an effort to resolve a contradiction. As a professor of rhetoric at the University of Naples, Vico had a deep investment in the explanatory power of classical rhetorical thought, especially that of Aristotle, Cicero, and Quintilian. Yet as a historian of the failure of Naples as a self-determining political community, he had no illusions about the possibility or worth of democratic and republican systems of government in the post-classical world. As Marshall demonstrates, by jettisoning the assumption that rhetoric only illuminates direct, face-to-face interactions between orator and auditor, Vico reinvented rhetoric for a modern world in which the Greek polis and the Roman res publica are no longer paradigmatic for political thought.

Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 9780521190626
Number of pages: 312
Weight: 630 g
Dimensions: 228 x 152 x 21 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
'Marshall's book on Vico is very original. Almost every master concept of Vico's thought is visited and interpreted in a personal way: the verum-factum principle, Providence's meaning, ingegno, the art of etymology, 'degnit...' or axioms, 'poetic wisdom', and 'the true Homer'. Particularly interesting are the parts on the relation between orator and audience, the discovery of implicit parallels between ancient Rome and eighteenth-century Naples, and the role of the piazza. Very impressive is Marshall's thesis that Vico theorized the transposition of topics to experimental natural philosophy. Usually Vichian scholars have always denied that, according to Vico, man can be said to know nature. On this account, however, Vico's verum-factum principle is no longer incapable of being applied to the study of physical phenomena. These audacious perspectives deserve great attention.' Andrea Battistini, University of Bologna
'In his landmark book Vico and the Transformation of Rhetoric in Early Modern Europe, David Marshall demonstrates that Vico is once again pivotal in a modern age broadly conceived, where sober sciences newly engage the irrationalisms of emotion, language, and human history. We can now celebrate the first major, English-language monograph on Vico in more than a decade at the same time that we enjoy expert guidance through a range of concerns that traverse Vico's work; Marshall's book serves as an excellent primer on the interlocking fields of modern epistemology after Descartes, the prehistory of Peircean pragmatism, early modern European intellectual history across four literatures (English, German, French, and Italian), and the history of rhetoric, which serves as a key to the rest. This is a deeply responsible book that moves chronologically through Vico's entire oeuvre - including some notable rediscoveries in the archives and beyond - at the same time that it honors the weirdness that makes Vico indispensable.' Daniel M. Gross, University of California, Irvine
'This book is one of a kind. That Vico was a professor of rhetoric, wrote a textbook on rhetoric, and taught rhetoric throughout his long career is frequently forgotten as a key to understanding his work. Although several authors have given significant attention to the rhetorical basis of Vico's thought, none have placed Vico at the center of the development of rhetoric in the modern period, as Marshall's study does. The reader of this work gains a full, original, and rewarding account of Vico's place in intellectual history that is not to be found elsewhere and done in a manner that is a pleasure to read.' Donald Phillip Verene, Charles Howard Candler Professor of Metaphysics and Moral Philosophy, Director, Institute of Vico Studies, Emory University

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