Giambattista Vico (born Giovan Battista Vico , Italian: [ˈviko]; 23 June 1668 – 23 January 1744) was an Italian political philosopher and rhetorician, historian and jurist, of the Age of Enlightenment. He criticized the expansion and development of modern rationalism, was an apologist for Classical Antiquity, a precursor of systematic and complex thought, in opposition to Cartesian analysis and other types of reductionism, and was the first expositor of the fundamentals of social science and of semiotics.
The Latin aphorism Verum esse ipsum factum ("What is true is precisely what is made") coined by Vico is an early instance of constructivist epistemology. He inaugurated the modern field of the philosophy of history, and, although the term philosophy of history is not in his writings, Vico spoke of a “history of philosophy narrated philosophically." Although he was not an historicist, contemporary interest in Vico usually has been motivated by historicists, such as Isaiah Berlin, an historian of ideas, Edward Said, a literary critic, and Hayden White, a metahistorian.Giambattista Vico's intellectual magnum opus is the book Scienza Nuova (1725, New Science), which attempts a systematic organization of the humanities as a single science that recorded and explained the historical cycles by which societies rise and fall.