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Reappraising Political TheoryRevisionist Studies in the History of Political Thought$
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Terence Ball

Print publication date: 1994

Print ISBN-13: 9780198279952

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2003

DOI: 10.1093/0198279957.001.0001

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Vico and Marx on ‘Making’ History

Vico and Marx on ‘Making’ History

Chapter:
(p.212) 9 Vico and Marx on ‘Making’ History
Source:
Reappraising Political Theory
Author(s):

Terence Ball (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/0198279957.003.0009

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

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