Tra storia e ragione: Giambattista Vico e la promessa di un mito classico

Starting from Vico’s thought, my attempt in the present paper is to examine the primary tension between rational identity and historical difference within the European tradition. In this way, I want to establish Vico’s usefulness for a reconsideration of mythic, religious and even national pluralism. Upon adumbrating my own theoretical position towards a mythic paradigm, which I develop in line with and in response to the work of Hans Blumenberg (§1), I turn to the key distinction that Vico makes between the natural sciences, which are grounded in the rationalism of the cogito, and the social sciences, which posit constructivist arguments that depend on human sensibility (§2). Subsequently, I investigate Vico’s refusal to subordinate mythos to hegemonic logos (§3), before concluding with some brief reflections on the epistemological and hermeneutic stakes implied by Vico’s demonstrations (§4). Rather than provide any comprehensive or exhaustive account, I take a more desultory approach that should amply exhibit how Vico’s work can counter propagandist appropriations of mythic and religious material.