Vico and Marx on ‘Making’ History

Terence Ball

in Reappraising Political Theory

Published in print November 1994 | ISBN: 9780198279952
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191598753 | DOI:
 Vico and Marx on ‘Making’ History

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Although both Giambattista Vico and Karl Marx claimed that men `make’ their own history, each had a different view of what `making’ means and what it entails. Both agreed that humans have a special sort of knowledge—`maker's knowledge—of what they have made. But Vico's view that Verum et factum convertuntur—that knowing and making are one—relies on a distinctly non‐material or linguistic–communicative conception of making (as in making a promise or making sense), while Marx's conception of making is decidedly materialist and is concerned with the human transformation of nature through productive labour.

Keywords: epistemology; Giambattista Vico; history; labour; language; maker's knowledge; Karl Marx; materialism; The New Science

Chapter.  6627 words. 

Subjects: Political Theory

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