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The New Science of Giambattista Vico by Giambattista Vico

By Giambattista Vico

A pioneering treatise that aroused nice controversy whilst it used to be first released in 1725, Vico's New technological know-how is stated this present day to be one of many few works of genuine genius within the background of social thought. It represents the main bold test prior to Comte at complete technological know-how of human society and the main profound research of the category fight ahead of Marx.

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AccorBmg to Alberti the artist investigates nature and is above all a mathematician and engineer, for only knowledge thus gained will give him absolute mastery over his artistic media. Brunelleschi's cupola at Florence is a good example of combined artistic and scientific work. In the course of this fusion the technical side was to a considerable extent pursued as an end in itself. The joy of discovery and experimenting almost got out of hand. But this seeking and investigating also proves the dynamic quality of the new art.

Later on a type of libertinism developed in types such as Filelfo, which prompted Cino Rinuccini, a man of shrewd sociological understanding, to compare these humanist adventurers with the condottieri. And when the negation of all ties, apart from purely personal ones, went as far as to deny a husband all rights as against hi~ wife's lover, as we find in Valla (4), the bourgeois busines3 man could not SOCIOLOGY OF THE RENAISSANCE 34 possibly follow, simply because to accept such views and to live according to such standards would dangerously impair his credit in the market.

The rivalry with what were so far the greatest achie\"("ments was to push one to yet greater ones, releasing the very maximum of ability and intellectual effort, an impulse whic;:h was even heightened by the belief that Ancient Rome was a part of one's own national past. The fame of one's own name, city and time provided an incentive, and a great consciousness of self was developed even in cultural and intellectual spheres. The humanist myth of the rebirth of Classical Antiquity wa~ the wish-dream of a renewed national culture, bringing with it creativeness and vitality.

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