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C Scoville

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ENG205- June 4 th  Vico is very much more appreciated in the 20 century than in the 18 th  Since the 17 century, we’ve thought that truth must be something measurable but it leaves the whole graft of life out o It doesn’t take into account values, beliefs, aesthetics, etc.  Vico was one of the first ones to look back at rhetorical  He was a professor of rhetoric for over 4 decades in the 18 century. He didn’t really relish it although he was very good at it. He wanted to be in the law faculty  It was the job of the professor of rhetoric to look at the big picture for the university o Which is what this piece is about  Vico doesn’t like where the university is when he gives this address because what bothered him is that the university was not giving the student the practical knowledge they needed. They were teaching them things that were not all that useful  Vico was very critical of Descartes  Descartes was a revolutionary thinker and was one of the first to understand that if you wanted to understand the world scientifically then you need to understand it mathematically also  Radical doubt- it would be best to start with doubting everything, then figure out what you can be certain of and go from there  I think therefore I am is the only thing you can be sure of o From there, Descartes builds from there  Vico says it only looks like a theory  He ends up defending the humanities, instead of the sciences but he doesn’t reject them either o He says the humanities are more practical to everyday life  Civilizations have lives, they are born, grow up, becomes adults and then become senile and die  Because civilizations go through the whole life cycle, they know things that no one else knows because we haven’t reached that stage of the cycle yet  Vico did not play well with others, he was “weird”: talked to himself, muttering, only cared about himself because he th
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