Focus

Giambattista Vico and his Works

Pietro Piovani was the first to formulate the general project of a Critical Edition of Giambattista Vico's Works in 1972, in the second number of "Bollettino del Centro di studi vichiani". His aim was to start up in a new approach to Vico's opus, focused on a remarkable multidisciplinary strain, and to get away from the ecdotical Tradition by Benedetto Croce and Fausto Nicolini, combining philological and philosophical Method.
Benedetto Croce started in 1904, with the first redaction of the Bibliografia vichiana, the inexhaustible collection and publication of Vico's documents and papers; from 1911 Fausto Nicolini joined him in this enterprise. Croce and Nicolini's labours influenced and addressed the Vico's interpretation in the next generation, making the readers used to a modern writing, an intelligibile punctuation, a unique type without differentiations; a method which really helped in making Vico generally readable.
The originality of the new approach to Vico's Writings is in the strictly philological observance of the original Edition. The "Bollettino del Centro di Studi Vichiani" has been the container of preliminary materials for the Critical Edition, and the medium which made possible a constant exchange of information among all editors, the emendation and integration of the works in progress, such as the notification of new discoveries.
The standards of Vico's Edition are the same as the ones adopted for the major critical editions, as far as possible considering the peculiarity of every single work and its own specific problems: ahead of the texts are always the description of the manuscript or manuscripts, of the printed editions used for the collation of variant readings, or for the critical reconstruction of the final text; an introduction is always prefaced for the justification of the selected criteria, of the text tradition and of every description; the apparatus criticus, positioned at the bottom of the page, includes all express sources, while the commentaries are positioned at the end of the text; the original graphical forms are kept such as the punctuation and the text partitions; the appendixes include all relevant text for the completeness of the edition.
The critical edition of Giambattista Vico's Works edited by Center for Vico Studies (see the URL: http://www.csv.cnr.it) is in the foreground of many enterprises organized by the Center for the promotion of scientific exchanges and debates; it provides furthermore the standard text for all editions of Vico's Works in any other language, such as On Humanistic Education (Six Inaugural Orations, 1699-1707) published by Cornell University Press in 1993.
The edition's general project includes 14 volumes, six already published (Orazioni inaugurali I-VI, De partenopea coniuratione, De rebus gestis Antonj Caraphei, Minora, Epistole, Varia) and eight to be published
in medium run (De nostri temporis studiorum ratione, De antiquissima Italorum sapientia, Diritto universale, Autobiografia, Scienza nuova 1725, Scienza nuova 1730, Scienza nuova 1744, Poesie).