"... the natural curiosity, which is the daughter of ignorance and mother of science": the anthropological foundation of Vico's aesthetics

Gaetano Antonio Gualtieri


This essay has the purpose to emphasize the terms in which it is possible to distinguish an “aesthetic dimension” in G.B. Vico’s thought. In order to reach this goal, it can be primarily important to assume a perspective that, going beyond the horizon of the pure contemplation of beauty, should comprehend the idea that the body, as the seat of sensations, can be, to all intents and purposes, the heart of an aesthetic view, too. Secondly, it is necessary to underline the fact that the body is also bound to sensory properties such as perception, imagination, wit and memory. Besides, these properties, also including curiosity and wonder, two qualities typical of human nature, that drive men to investigate phenomena and to construct adequate explanations, find their maximum realization in the so-called “universali fantastici”. On the other hand, it is almost impossible to identify an “aesthetic dimension” in Vico, if you do not consider the emotional elements that characterize human actions and that trigger the phenomenon called “Sublime”. In addition to this, the essay focuses on the role that the above-mentioned properties, particularly imagination, had in the formulation of Vico’s historical narration. In this way it is clear how Vico’s philosophy can be, in a sense, comprehended in a complete “aesthetic dimension”.


Aesthetic; Body; Curiosity; Imagination; Vico

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DOI: 10.6092/issn.2421-4124/6000


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