Giambattista Vico on Natural Law: Rhetoric, Religion and Sensus Communis, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Giambattista Vico on Natural Law

Rhetoric, Religion and Sensus Communis, 1st Edition

By John Schaeffer

Routledge

130 pages

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Hardback: 9780367191061
pub: 2019-04-23
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Description

This book introduces the thought of Giambattista Vico (1668-1744) into the discussion about natural law. For many critics, natural law is not natural but a façade behind which lurks the supernatural – that is, revealed religion. While current notions of natural law are based on either Aristotelian/Thomistic principles or on Enlightenment rationalism, the book shows how Vico was the only natural law thinker to draw on the Roman legal tradition, rather than on Greek or Enlightenment philosophy. Specifically, the book addresses how Vico, drawing his inspiration from Roman history, incorporated both rhetoric and religion into a dynamic concept of natural law grounded in what he called the sensus communis: the entire repertoire of values, images, institutions, and even prejudices that a community takes for granted. Vico denied that natural law could ever furnish a definitive answer to moral problems in the social/public sphere. Rather he maintained that such problems had to be debated in the wider arena of the sensus communis. For Vico, as this book argues, natural law principles emerged from these debates; they did not resolve them.

Table of Contents

 

 

TABLE OF CONTENTS

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

INTRODUCTION

  1. EXCAVATING ROMAN LEGAL HISTORY
  2. CHAPTER ONE: VICO’S LEGAL MILIEU

    CHAPTER TWO: VICO’S UNIVERSAL LAW: RELIGION, RHETORIC AND THE ROMAN PARADIGM

    CHAPTER THREE: NATURAL LAW IN THE FIRST NEW SCIENCE

    CHAPTER FOUR: NATURAL LAW LAND THE REVISED NEW SCIENCE

    CHAPTER FIVE: REPRISE: THE SENSES OF THE SENSUS COMMUNIS

  3. NATURAL LAW AND SENSUS COMMUNIS

CHAPTER SIX: THE ARISTOTELIAN-THOMIST TRADITION

CHAPTER SEVEN: VICO’S PLACE IN THE NATURAL LAW TRADITION

CHAPTER EIGHT: CONCLUSION: NATURAL LAW IN THE BARBARISM OF REFLECTION

BIBLIOGRAPHY

INDEX

 

About the Author

John Schaeffer is Emeritus Professor of English at Northern Illinois, US

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HIS054000
HISTORY / Social History
LAW052000
LAW / Jurisprudence
LAW060000
LAW / Legal History
LAW069000
LAW / Natural Law
LAW101000
LAW / Essays
PHI019000
PHILOSOPHY / Political
PHI037000
PHILOSOPHY / History & Surveys / Renaissance