New Science

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Penguin Books Limited, Apr 29, 1999 - Philosophy - 520 pages
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A bold new translation of a masterpiece of early social science that has found enthusiasts among such artists and scholars as James Joyce and Harold Bloom.

Although Vico lived his whole life as an obscure academic in Naples, his New Science is an astonishingly ambitious attempt to provide a comprehensive science of all human society by decoding the history, mythology, and law of the ancient world. It argues that the key to true understanding lies in accepting that the customs and emotional lives of the Greeks and Romans, Egyptians, Jews, and Babylonians were utterly different from our own. In examining these huge themes, Vico offers countless fresh insights into topics ranging from physics to politics, money to monsters, and family structures to the Flood. Deeply influential since the dawn of Romanticism, the New Science even inspired the framework for Joyce's Finnegans Wake. This powerful new translation makes it clear why this work marked a turning-point in humanist thinking as significant as Newton's contemporary revolution in physics.

Translated by David Marsh with an Introduction by Anthony Grafton

"My imagination grows every time I read Vico as it doesn't when I read Freud or Jung."-- James Joyce

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User Review  - Kulturtrager - LibraryThing

It is unique. It is headache inducing. It is glorious and it should be far, far better known. Read full review

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Although Vico (1668-1744) lived his whole life as an obscure academic in Naples, his New Science is an astonishingly ambitious attempt to decode the history, mythology and law of the ancient world.

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