Anna Kostoula: Giambattista Vico, the Republic of Letters
Critique to the scientific enterprise is identified usually with the Catholic Church. Science has come out of this conflict as a free enterprise. Bacon’s New Atlantis gave the image of the ideal state which guaranteed the production of citizens appropriate for this great undertaking. No other critique reached the level of a conflict.
Towards the end of the 17th century and the beginning of the 18th, right after the great Newtonian success, the Italian philosopher Giambatista Vico dares to express his disagreement with the New Philosophy and the ethos it demanded from its participants. With the hope that one can learn from a critique to our present Republic of letters, I try to reconstruct the characteristics of the Republic Vico envisaged for the learned. For this I make use of his two major works, The Autobiography of Giambattista Vico and On the Study Methods of Our Time.