Human sciences: reappraising the humanities through history by Jens Hoyrup

By Jens Hoyrup

Human Sciences assesses the significance and cost of the arts traditionally and philosophically, and makes the case for treating them as sciences. via cautious exam of the features they proportion with the usual and social sciences, in addition to what distinguishes them from different clinical fields, the e-book argues that the arts will be visible to correspond with the German/Latin Wissenschaft/scientia--that is, as systematic, equipped our bodies of data, instead of as branches of data that are meant to inevitably emulate the quantitative and experimental procedure of the typical sciences. After examining the arts from historic and philosophical views, the ebook provides a common philosophy of technological know-how that effects from an research of the positive factors which are shared by way of the arts and the ordinary and social sciences, after which applies a few of these insights to philosophical difficulties of specific relevance for the arts, corresponding to ethical philosophy and the relation among artwork and cognition.

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Some, though admittedly few, would go on with the Fathers and possibly with authors like Cicero as guides to good style; they might even try to pick up as many rudiments of the Liberal Arts as they could get hold of (not much, since no other sources than Patristic writings were available to any but the most lucky handful), because even these rudiments could serve to interpret the Scripture and the Fathers and to compute the day of Easter. The system of knowledge to which the select and happy few could hope to get access was thus composed of two parts, the names of which we may borrow from Cassiodorus's Introduction.

Only Bede's computistic works, however, can be said to represent a genuine renewal, as reflected by the circumstance that they displaced everything written on the subject before and gained a position analogous to that possessed by ancient handbooks in other fields. 6 Also of possible consequence were his translations into the vernacular, in the sense that they inaugurated and may have inspired a period of Anglo-Saxon literacy whose best-known product is the Beowulfepos, and which the Viking invasions of the early ninth century would only bring to a temporary halt.?

53, n. 3, and McCluskey 1993: 143-147). 7. "... may have inspired"-but the influence is far from certain. Bede's Anglo-Saxon writings were in prose, and for more than a century all other Anglo-Saxon compositions were poetry. Anglo-Saxon prose writing only took its beginning with King Alfred of Wessex (849-899), that is, well after the "Carolingian Renaissance" (see presently). As so often, what we may be tempted to see as a starting point may rather be an early expression of a more general mood whose roots are anonymous and not connected with any single person now remembered.

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