This course offers a close reading of Giambattista Vico's masterpiece, New Science (1744) – a work that sets out to refute all opinions hitherto held about the principles of humanity. Vico, who is acknowledged as the most resolute scourge of any form of rationalism, breathed new life into rhetoric, imagination, poetry, metaphor, history, and philology in order to promote in his readers that originary wonder and pathos which sets human beings on the search for truth. However, Vico argues, the truths that are most available and interesting to us are the ones humanity authored by means of its culture and history-creating activities. For this reason the study of myth and folklore as well as archeology, anthropology, and ethnology must all play a role in the rediscovery of man. The New Science builds an alternative philosophy for a new age and reads like a novel of formation recounting the (hi)story of the entire human race and our divine ancestors. In Vico, a prophetic spirit, one recognizes the fulfillment of the Renaissance, the spokesperson of a particular Enlightenment, the precursor of the Kantian revolution, and the forefather of the philosophy of history (Herder, Hegel, and Marx). The New Science remained a strong source of inspiration in the twentieth century (Cassirer, Gadamer, Berlin, Joyce, Beckett, etc.) and may prove relevant in disclosing our own responsibilities in postmodernity. Course taught in English.