Smith8_Descartes-Vico

Smith8_Descartes-Vico - Smith Chapter 8 Epistemology and...

Info iconThis preview shows pages 1–3. Sign up to view the full content.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Smith Chapter 8 Epistemology and Modern Rhetorics 1 Descartes and Vico I. René Descartes (1596-1650) A. Background 1. Born of French nobleman, educated by Jesuits 2. Became one of the most famous mathematicians of the century 3. November 10, 1619 had a vision of an “angel of truth” who told him that mathematics was the proper method for the study of natural phenomena a) Jacques Maritain, 1) The Dream of Descartes 2) Says that Descartes had a vision of an angel who told him to embark on a science that would improve mankind. 3) Thus the mission of objective science had its birth in a heavenly vision. b) The seduction of certainty is prevalent today 4. In Descartes day, there were instruments that could measure the world with precision —the clock 5. Today, we use the computer as a model of precision and certainty a) Theodore Roszak, The Cult of Information b) Argues that the computer is an inferior model for the human mind because there are products of humanity—great ideas like “All men are created equal”—that cannot be reduced to data processing. Humans are more than computers. B. Ever a SKEPTIC—preferred Dialectic to Rhetoric C. Discourse on Method (1637) 1. If one could only prove the existence of one’s own mind, how was one to deal with others? How do we know other people exist? 2. Saw others as complex machines; others are always objects to us because we cannot get into their minds to see what they are thinking or IF they are thinking. D. Converts Aristotle’s theory of the energizing soul to a mechanical model without metaphysical force. E. Only our minds prevent us from being automatons, like the animals F. Famous Bifurcation—Cartesian Dualism 1.Mind 2.Body II. Giambatista Vico (1668-1744) A. Believed Descartes system too narrow B. Humans Needed Imagination i. A Humanistic Imagination was essential to the task of interpretation ii. Imagination could be developed by examining myths and fables—the openings to the origins of civilization. 1. Parola : words that clearly interpret reality; speken by the ancient poets who told the stories of the gods and heroes of previous ages. 2. Favola : Came from parola; the true fables 3. Allegoria : true allegories; came from favola
Background image of page 1

Info iconThis preview has intentionally blurred sections. Sign up to view the full version.

View Full DocumentRight Arrow Icon
Smith Chapter 8 Epistemology and Modern Rhetorics 2 iii. Universal Imagination: a collective knowledge; composed of the myths and stories that can be reduced to an "imaginative metaphysics" through the proper use of rhetorical analysis. iv. The object of philosophy is speculation about history because humans create history but do not create nature. v. Saw rhetoric and natural religion as major foundations of society vi. Humans are more rhetorical than logical and more religious than scientific. C. Theory of metaphor
Background image of page 2
Image of page 3
This is the end of the preview. Sign up to access the rest of the document.

This note was uploaded on 09/26/2011 for the course COMS 3311 taught by Professor Ghring during the Spring '10 term at Texas Tech.

Page1 / 6

Smith8_Descartes-Vico - Smith Chapter 8 Epistemology and...

This preview shows document pages 1 - 3. Sign up to view the full document.

View Full Document Right Arrow Icon
Ask a homework question - tutors are online