Mt. Etna

“We shall find the resources we need in characterizing both these issues in the following paradigm (poetic) example: In paras. 377-391 of the New Science, Vico discusses what he calls the ‘civil history’ of the saying that it was ‘From Jove that the muse began’. Taking it seriously, he suggests that fear of thunder indeed functioned to give rise both to the first sensory topic and to the first imaginative universal. For, as everyone runs to shelter from the thunder, all in a state of fear, they all do in fact come to act in the same way in the same circumstances. What the ‘inner mechanisms’ are that bring this about, is not Vico’s concern here. His concern here is with the ‘outer’, practical, social conditions conducive to such a possibility. And here, it is the fear induced activity shared in common which provides the first fixed reference point which people can ‘find again’ within themselves and know that for all practical purposes, the others around them ‘feel the same’.”


Source: John Shotter, Vico, Wittgenstein, and Bakhtin: ‘practical trust’ in dialogical communities