Gadamer e Vico: il sensus communis nell’ermeneutica filosofica


Gadamer and Vico: The Common Sense in Philosophical Hermeneutics

This article deals with the question concerning the role played by the concept of sensus communis in the philosophy of Giambattista Vico and the interpretation of it provided by Hans-Georg Gadamer in the context of his project of a philosophical hermeneutics. Gadamer’s rehabilitation of the concept of commonsense, derived from an early work of Vico entitled De nostri temporis studiorum ratione ratione, is functional to his criticism of the methodological model of knowledge that the humanities (or, in German, the Geisteswissenschaften) have borrowed from the natural sciences, to which Gadamer opposes the rhetorical-linguistic experience that one can make in a real community. Comparing these two philosophers will lead me then to analyze the interpretations of Gadamer’s hermeneutical appropriation of Vico that various scholars have provided, mostly to criticize Gadamer by arguing that his treatment of Vico’s concept of commonsense eventually falls prey to some kind of relativism. This topic also implies a critical analysis of the two authors’ overall philosophies, in particular with regard to the difference between Vico’s project of developing a science of human history grounded on universal transcendental structures in his Scienza nuova and Gadamer’s concept of extra-methodical truth and experience that forms the basis of his philosophical hermeneutics in Wahrheit und Methode.

Keywords: Gadamer, Vico, hermeneutics, sensus communis, rhet

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