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Home > Dictionary of Science Quotations > Scientist Names Index V > Giambattista Vico Quotes

Giambattista Vico
(23 Jun 1668 - 23 Jan 1744)

Italian philosopher.


Science Quotes by Giambattista Vico (10 quotes)

Aux mathιmaticiens, il appartient de chercher le vrai; les philosophes doivent se contenter du probable
The concern of mathematicians is to seek the truth; philosophers must be content with the probable.
— Giambattista Vico
In 'Divers Opuscules' collected in Oeuvres de Vico (1835), Vol. 1, 159. Translation by Webmaster.
Science quotes on:  |  Content (39)  |  Mathematician (177)  |  Philosopher (132)  |  Probable (14)  |  Seek (57)  |  Truth (750)

Il senso comune θ un giudizio senz'alcuna riflessione, comunemente sentito da tutto un ordine, da tutto un popolo, da tutta una Nazione, o da tutto il Gener Umano.
Common sense is judgment without reflection, shared by an entire class, an entire nation, or the entire human race.
— Giambattista Vico
In The New Science (3rd ed., 1744), Book 1, Para. 142, as translated by Thomas Goddard Bergin and Max Harold Fisch, The New Science of Giambattista Vico (1948), 57.
Science quotes on:  |  Class (64)  |  Common Sense (69)  |  Human Race (49)  |  Judgment (72)  |  Nation (111)  |  Reflection (50)  |  Share (30)

But the nature of our civilized minds is so detached from the senses, even in the vulgar, by abstractions corresponding to all the abstract terms our languages abound in, and so refined by the art of writing, and as it were spiritualized by the use of numbers, because even the vulgar know how to count and reckon, that it is naturally beyond our power to form the vast image of this mistress called ‘Sympathetic Nature.’
— Giambattista Vico
The New Science, bk. 2, para. 378 (1744, trans. 1984).
Science quotes on:  |  Abound (3)  |  Abstract (43)  |  Abstraction (29)  |  Art (205)  |  Beyond (65)  |  Call (68)  |  Civilized (13)  |  Correspond (5)  |  Count (34)  |  Detach (2)  |  Form (210)  |  Image (38)  |  Know (321)  |  Language (155)  |  Mind (544)  |  Mistress (6)  |  Naturally (7)  |  Nature (1029)  |  Number (179)  |  Power (273)  |  Reckon (6)  |  Refine (3)  |  Sense (240)  |  Sympathetic (3)  |  Term (87)  |  Vast (56)  |  Vulgar (11)  |  Write (87)

Curiosity that inborn property of man, daughter of ignorance and mother of knowledge when wonder wakens our minds, has the habit, wherever it sees some extraordinary phenomenon of nature, a comet for example, a sun-dog, or a midday star, of asking straightway what it means.
— Giambattista Vico
In The New Science (3rd ed., 1744), Book 1, Para. 189, as translated by Thomas Goddard Bergin and Max Harold Fisch, The New Science of Giambattista Vico (1948), 64.
Science quotes on:  |  Asking (23)  |  Comet (43)  |  Curiosity (89)  |  Daughter (11)  |  Extraordinary (32)  |  Habit (78)  |  Ignorance (190)  |  Knowledge (1128)  |  Meaning (87)  |  Midday (2)  |  Mother (59)  |  Nature (1029)  |  Phenomenon (218)  |  Star (251)  |  Straightway (2)  |  Wonder (134)

Imagination is more robust in proportion as reasoning power is weak.
— Giambattista Vico
In The New Science (3rd ed., 1744), Book 1, Para. 185, as translated by Thomas Goddard Bergin and Max Harold Fisch, The New Science of Giambattista Vico (1948), 63.
Science quotes on:  |  Imagination (209)  |  Power (273)  |  Proportion (47)  |  Reasoning (79)  |  Robust (5)  |  Weak (36)

It is another property of the human mind that whenever men can form no idea of distant and unknown things, they judge them by what is familiar and at hand.
— Giambattista Vico
In The New Science (3rd ed., 1744), Book 1, Para. 122, as translated by Thomas Goddard Bergin and Max Harold Fisch, The New Science of Giambattista Vico (1948, 1984), 60.
Science quotes on:  |  Distant (16)  |  Familiar (22)  |  Human Mind (51)  |  Idea (440)  |  Judge (43)  |  Property (96)  |  Unknown (87)

Men who do not know the truth of things try to reach certainty about them, so that, if they cannot satisfy their intellects by science, their wills at least may rest on conscience.
— Giambattista Vico
In The New Science (3rd ed., 1744), Book 1, Para. 137, as translated by Thomas Goddard Bergin and Max Harold Fisch, The New Science of Giambattista Vico (1948), 56.
Science quotes on:  |  Certainty (97)  |  Conscience (36)  |  Intellect (157)  |  Knowledge (1128)  |  Rest (64)  |  Satisfaction (48)  |  Truth (750)  |  Trying (18)

Our Science comes to be at once a history of the ideas, the customs, and the deeds of mankind. From these three we shall derive the principles of the history of human nature, which we shall show to be the principles of universal history, which principles it seems hitherto to have lacked.
— Giambattista Vico
From The New Science (1744), Chap. 2, para 368, as translated in Thomas Goddard Bergin and Max Harold Fisch (eds.), The New Science of Giambattista Vico (1970), 73.
Science quotes on:  |  Custom (24)  |  Deed (17)  |  Derive (18)  |  History (302)  |  Human (445)  |  Idea (440)  |  Lack (52)  |  Mankind (196)  |  Nature (1029)  |  Principle (228)  |  Science (1699)  |  Universal (70)

Uniform ideas originating among entire peoples unknown to each other must have a common ground of truth.
— Giambattista Vico
In The New Science (3rd ed., 1744), Book 1, Para. 144, as translated by Thomas Goddard Bergin and Max Harold Fisch, The New Science of Giambattista Vico (1948), 57.
Science quotes on:  |  Common (92)  |  Entire (29)  |  Idea (440)  |  Origination (7)  |  People (269)  |  Truth (750)  |  Uniform (14)  |  Unknown (87)

When men are ignorant of the natural causes producing things, and cannot even explain them by analogy with similar things, they attribute their own nature to them. The vulgar, for example, say the magnet loves the iron.
— Giambattista Vico
In The New Science (3rd ed., 1744), Book 1, Para. 185, as translated by Thomas Goddard Bergin and Max Harold Fisch, The New Science of Giambattista Vico (1948), 63.
Science quotes on:  |  Analogy (46)  |  Attribute (22)  |  Cause (231)  |  Example (57)  |  Explanation (161)  |  Ignorance (190)  |  Iron (53)  |  Love (164)  |  Magnet (8)  |  Natural (128)  |  Nature (1029)  |  Producing (6)  |  Similar (22)  |  Vulgar (11)


See also:
  • 23 Jun - short biography, births, deaths and events on date of Vico's birth.

Carl Sagan Thumbnail In science it often happens that scientists say, 'You know that's a really good argument; my position is mistaken,' and then they would actually change their minds and you never hear that old view from them again. They really do it. It doesn't happen as often as it should, because scientists are human and change is sometimes painful. But it happens every day. I cannot recall the last time something like that happened in politics or religion. (1987) -- Carl Sagan
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