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Lecture

ENGL 200 Lecture Notes - Long Parliament, Samuel Daniel, Scientific Method

43 pages111 viewsFall 2013

Department
English
Course Code
ENGL 200
Professor
Gwynn Dujardin

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The Renaissance: Oct 11, 2013
Central tenets and pursuits of renaissance humanism (from "shudia humaniatis")
Renaissance = rebirth, recuperate classical antiquity of Greek/Rome (pagan religions)
Humanism- represents the restoration and study of (humanities) history, philosophy of ancient Greece
and Rome
belief that learning is beneficial in and of itself, by rendering one a more capable
thinker, but that it especially serves to produce moral human beings prepared to
contribute to society
o... "Getting an education" ... helps one "think critically"; "be a better person": "get a job"
(end of learning is to serve God)
subjects of learning: the languages, literature, history, and philosophy of classical antiquity (it.
ancient Greece and Rome) ... ie. the "humanities"
o... notion that past should be valued, even held above the present (the cyclical
narrative of present day decline vs solely the study of Scripture and theology
privileges the study and practice of rhetoric , the ability to persuade others through
language
o... the importance of being able to "communicate effectively": to be a "better
writer/speaker" (vs logic, which yields definite and incontrovertible solutions)
defines language as product of social interaction and consent (vs divinely ordained, a book
isn't called a book because God said so, but because of the language/knowledge that it
communicates); understands knowledge as constructed and provisional (vs. certain and
uncontestable)
oradical revolution in thinking about language and shift in ways of thinking about
knowledge
o... goal of English major to analyse and interpret, achieved through dialogue,
discussion
Humanism conceives and generates knowledge through dialogue ("through words")
How this particular course is humanist in the classical sense:
values the study of history in and of itself but also as means to understand the present
studies the way figures/authors represent themselves and their societies through language
understands/interprets texts by putting them in dialogue with one another and with you
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odi=through --> dialogue = through words
assists you in your ability to argue your own interpretation in writing
Thomas More, Utopia (Printed in Louvaine (Belgium) in Latin 1516)
Member of Parliament, sheriff; on trade embassy (ambassador); will become Lord Chancellor: public
servant to the King and state
went to grammar school to study latin, French
used that learning to get a job in government
knowledge of the past and history, ability to learn from other cultures can help us better
understand and improve our own society
means for social mobility
education transforms the society of feudal England (inherited rank, born into your station for
life) --> now education can allow anyone to change their social order
wealth was amassed by the few --> education changes this traditional model
knowledge is essential to the running of the state - not just someone who is born into the
position
U-topia: Gk., eu (good) and/or ou (no) + topos, place (geographical place or a place to deliver their
rhetoric point of view) --> pun utopia = "good place" or "no place"
Precedents and Influences:
Classical: Plato, Republic: imagines ideal republic, through "Socratic dialogue" pastoral: represents
innocent, humble folk (eg. shepherds) in idyllic, agricultural scene removed from city/civilization
Aristotle, Rhetoric: topoi: place
Immediate: Writings of Amerigo Vespucci, Atlantic explorer
Structure:
1) "letter" to Peter Giles
2) Book 1 conversation with Hythloday
3) Hythloday's monologue
Utopia Book 1 (add readings pg 31-34)
Key questions: how does Utopia represent Renaissance humanism? How does Utopia represent
and address sixteenth century social problems?
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1) Book 1: Raphael's conversion with More and Giles about previous conversations at court
2) Book 2: Raphael's representation of the island of Utopia (how does the place of Utopia address the
social problems?)
3) Prefatory letter from Thomas More to Peter Giles ? (how and why does he include this letter?)
questions why are people thieving?
people are kicked off their feudal estate, don't have a job, --> rise of crime
"there is no PLACE in philosophy for the councils of kings" pg 34
Oct 16, 2013 : Thomas More- Utopia
Book 1
critiques the fact that there are so many public executions (too many of them)
concerned with if the punishment of public execution is fair/appropriate for the crime
committed
concerned with the social ills, social unrest
cardinal praises how many public executions that have been happening
Raphael explains how it doesn't work with addressing the crime rates and it's not right either
affect of the plague decimating Europe's population, population increased with improvements
to sanitation, have more people that need to be fed and employed
system of how the social order was arranged was based on feudalism --> people were
employed according to their lord --> produced goods and services to keep the lord in the
position that he inherited
feudalism disrupted! --> people who should be living and working on these estates of land
are cast off employed
soldiers that were serving in wars coming back
o--> increase of CRIME
radical way to approach understanding the society- critiquing the social order itself as
the cause of social problems
Thomas More and Peter Giles Hithladay (fictional character to represent the most controversial view
at the time)
RADICAL REVISION OF 16TH CENTURY SOCIETY
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