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Vico and Plato

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Nancy du Bois Marcus

Of the four authors Vico states that he had always before him – Plato, Tacitus, Bacon, and Grotius – the most famous has also been the most neglected. Vico and Plato is the first book-length study of Vico’s relationship to his first author, Plato. This study traces the enigmatic references to Plato and the Platonists in Vico’s major works. Seen in the light of its Platonic dimension, Vico’s New Science forges a middle way between the extremes of dogmatism and skepticism in epistemology as well as Stoicism and Epicureanism in metaphysics and moral philosophy. What emerges from placing Vico’s thought in the context of «the family of Plato» – from Socrates and Plato to Augustine and Giovanni Pico della Mirandola – is a portrait of Vico as a Platonic philosophical hero for our own time.