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Lec 5 - Humanists

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University of Toronto St. George
Nicholas Terpstra

HIS243 H – Lec. 5 Renaissance Humanism  Humanist values  Imitation of the classics – liked order and rationality  Humanism was a set of disciplines o Studia Humanitatis – studied in what we understand as high school o University was largely professional facilities o Scholasticism > use of classics to study theology/philosophy, etc. o Person who studied Studia Humanitatis > Humanistà  Moral Philosophy o Active v. passive/contemplative life; study of which one to live o Key to change society: duty to developing society or developing self o Values: virtue, happiness, wisdom, justice, compassion, integrity, discipline, loyalty o Moral philosophy: how to live o Sources: Christianity and classics  History o Understanding that history was philosophy (philosophy – teaching by example) o Used biographies – key genre to teaching history o Earlier history was taught through chronicles (chronological record of events with very little commentary) o Focus on how to live through biography o Political and military history, Roman history, human history: Chronicles o The chronicle was God’s history o What guides Human life?  Fortune? Use of intellect, wit, etc., will outwit fortune  The argument was fortune v. virtù, so fortune is feminine – fickle, Indecisive, etc. v. virtù is masculine [intellect, wit, activeness, improvement of one self, striving for success]  Literature o Poetry – to recover past experiences o Human experience, emotion, biography, moral philosophy  Grammar o The art of writing correctly o Latin grammar (Valla) o Writing like Cicero  Rhetoric: writing/speaking persuasively o Demonstrative: for praise or blame
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