Cattaneo gave credit to Vico for having with his "new science" founded "social ideology", that is "the study of the individual within humanity". He reproached him, however, for having sacrificed the "variety" of human history to a principle of "uniformity", as well as ignoring progress in favor of the circle. These evaluations already contain Cattaneo’s original program. An encyclopedic spirit, his conception of philosophy was twofold: first of all as a synthesis of scientific knowledge, but also as a general methodology of knowing. The two definitions converge to make Cattaneo more a positive methodologist than a positivist liquidator of philosophy. He thus cuts across a series of themes that made him the founder of modern Italian philosophy in a new sense: experimental, scientific, anti-metaphysical, though attentive to history and the variety of human culture.
Keywords: Carlo Cattaneo, Giambattista Vico, philosophical systems, progress, unity of humanity.