Rollen av det poetiska språket i "Den Nya Vetenskapen" av Giambattista Vico
The Role of Poetic Language in "The New Science" of Giambattista Vico
In the seventeenth century the Italian rhetorician Giambattista Vico imagined the history of human civilization in his major work The New Science. He conceived the progression of humanity from barbarism along the way towards the construction of a self-conscious mind, the highest and final achievement of human development. Nonetheless, with the realization of self-consciousness, a new form of barbarism looms in the destiny of human beings: the barbarism of reflection. The aim of this study is to explore which role poetic language has in The New Science. The language is defined as “poetic” by Vico, because the world is a human creation devised by means of language. Body, metaphor and social interaction are the key elements of the gnoseological operation of devising the world as well as the main objects of this study. The theories applied in the study are taken from Vico’s own rhetorical method which is interpreted in close relationship with Deleuze’s philosophical reflections about repetition and difference. In the thesis it is argued that the body is conceived by Vico as the linguistic matrix out of which corporal needs and emotional forces are abstracted in order to shape the world. Metaphor is described as the cognitive instrument used in order to replicate the body. The interaction regards the linguistic process which is understood as collective because gestures, shouts, acts and words assume a gnoseological significance only by interaction. In my interpretation the social construction of human civilizations ends with the construction of the human mind, described by Vico as an operation of self-reflection. A close reading of selected parts is the method used in order to grasp the obscure and fascinating prose of The New Science, a classical and still not fully understood work, which inspired generations of poets and critics.