Inspirational Giambattista Vico Quotes

Giambattista Vico ( 23 June 1668 – 23 January 1744) was an Italian political philosopher and rhetorician, historian, and jurist. This post features some Inspirational Giambattista Vico Quotes.

He is recognized as a great intellectual of the Age of Enlightenment. He criticized the expansion and development of modern rationalism and was an apologist for Classical Antiquity; Vico is best known for his magnum opus, the Scienza Nuova (1725, New Science).

Vico is a precursor of systematic thought and of complex thought, in opposition to Cartesian analysis and other types of reductionism, and is credited with the first exposition of the fundamental aspects of social science and of semiotics. As an intellectual, Giambattista Vico is considered to have inaugurated the modern field of the philosophy of history.

He has been called the ‘sleeping partner’ of the Enlightenment. He was largely unknown in his own time, read only in his native Naples. Nonetheless his ideas are remarkably similar to later Enlightenment thinkers. It was not until the 1820s that his writing was recognised, although somewhat reconfigured by the French Romantic historians.

Giambattista Vico Quotes
Giambattista Vico Quotes

Giambattista Vico Quotes

“A city divided by religion is either already in ruins or close to it.”
― Giambattista Vico

“Because of the indefinite nature of the human mind, wherever it is lost in ignorance man makes himself the measure of all things.”
Giambattista Vico

“The most sublime labour of poetry is to give sense and passion to insensate things; and it is characteristic of children to take inanimate things in their hands and talk to them in play as if they were living persons… This philological-philosophical axiom proves to us that in the world’s childhood men were by nature sublime poets.”
― Giambattista Vico

“It is true that men themselves made this world of nations… but this world without doubt has issued from a mind often diverse, at times quite contrary, and always superior to the particular ends that men had proposed to themselves.”
― Giambattista Vico

“In every [other] pursuit men without natural aptitude succeed by obstinate study of technique, but who is not a poet by nature can never become one by art.”
― Giambattista Vico

“Uniform ideas originating among entire peoples unknown to each other must have a common ground of truth.”
― Giambattista Vico

“Peoples, like so many beasts, have fallen into the custom of each man thinking only of his own private interests and have reached the extreme of delicacy, or better of pride, in which like wild animals they bristle and lash out at the slightest displeasure. Thus no matter how great the throng and press of their bodies, they live like wild beasts in a deep solitude of spirit and will, scarcely any two being able to agree since each follows his own pleasure and caprice.”
― Giambattista Vico quotes

“Common sense is judgment without reflection, shared by an entire class, an entire nation, or the entire human race.”
― Giambattista Vico

“The universal principle of etymology in all languages: words are carried over from bodies and from the properties of bodies to express the things of the mind and spirit. The order of ideas must follow the order of things.”
― Giambattista Vico

“Rational metaphysics teaches that man becomes all things by understanding them … imaginative metaphysics shows that man becomes all things by not understanding them. for when he does not understand he makes the things out of himself and becomes them by transforming himself into them.”
― Giambattista Vico

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