Natura umana e dimensione del possibile in G. B. Vico

  • Roberta Martina Zagarella


In the present theories about human nature there are some attempts to naturalize the mind; on the other hand there are tendencies of thought that criticise those ideas. Vico’s work can be considered the foundation of theories which refuse to naturalize humans. Vico had an anti-dualistic view of human nature, centred on ingenium and related to the ideas of action, language, civil world and culture. This essay analyses Vico’s concept of ingenium and proposes a reflection about his epistemology (1), philosophy of mind (2) and philosophy of language (3).

(1) Knowledge and truth are connected to human praxis and action. Vico’s theory of knowledge is based on the verum-factum principle. This principle states that what can be known is what can be done. We can only have science about the mathematical world and about the civil world because they have been created by humans. These two worlds are products of ingenium, the faculty that connects disparate and diverse things. (2) Furthermore, ingenium was the root of early nations’ thought. The first Gentile people were poets. Incapable of forming abstract universals, people had a natural need to create poetic characters, which are products of ingenium. (3) Also the first language was a product of ingenium. In their mute condition, primitive peoples made themselves ingenious. They had difficulty in articulating sounds because they had very rigid vocal organs; so they expressed themselves by using mute gestures and physical objects
How to Cite
Zagarella, R. M. (2009) “Natura umana e dimensione del possibile in G. B. Vico”, Rivista Italiana di Filosofia del Linguaggio, (1), pp. 222-248. Available at: (Accessed: 21June2024).