• Democracy and the Vernacular Imagination in Vico’s Plebian Philology

    Author(s):
    Rebecca Ruth Gould (see profile)
    Date:
    2018
    Group(s):
    Classical Tradition, Historiography, History of Linguistics and Language Study, Legal history, Political Philosophy & Theory
    Subject(s):
    Political theory, Law, Rhetoric, Philosophy, Philology, Politics
    Item Type:
    Article
    Tag(s):
    imagination, democracy, Vico, class struggle
    Permanent URL:
    http://dx.doi.org/10.17613/M6FN10R99
    Abstract:
    This essay examines Giambattista Vico’s philology as a contribution to democratic legitimacy. I outline three steps in Vico’s account of the historical and political development of philological knowledge: first, his merger of philosophy and philology, and the effects of that merger on the relative claims of reason and authority; second, his use of antiquarian knowledge to supersede historicist accounts of change in time and to position the plebian social class as the true arbiters of language; third, his understanding of philological knowledge as an instrument of political change, and a foundational element in the establishment of democracy. In its treatment of the philological imagination as a tool for bringing about political change, Vico’s plebian philology is radically democratic and a crucial instrument in the struggle against the elite from antiquity to the present.
    Metadata:
    Published as:
    Journal article    
    Status:
    Published
    Last Updated:
    9 months ago
    License:
    All Rights Reserved
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