While the term “Poetic wisdom” as the translation of “della Sapienza Poetica” helps to convey the aestheticconnotation of the original,it shadows the meaning of “poetic knowledge” and its epistemological background. Since René Descartes's rationality denied the value of philology,Giovanni Battista Vico tried to use “della Sapienza Poetica” as his method to seek truth in philology,and as his determination to defend philology. When approaching “della Sapienza Poetica” from the perspective of “poetic knowledge," we can understand and justify many of the puzzling arguments in Vico's New Science and give due respect to the concept which lacks among Western estheticians. The difference between “della Sapienza Poetica" and its Chinese term “poetic wisdom”,this article maintains,provides an example to examine how concepts transform across languages and cast light to the study of how Western theories may localize in China.


Giovanni Battista Vico, poetic wisdom, Zhu Guangqian, translation of literary theory, theory of knowledge, misunderstanding