Week 2 Humanities Notes
Week 2 Humanities Notes 23032
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This 5 page Class Notes was uploaded by Jamie Higgins on Sunday January 24, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to 23032 at Tulsa Community College taught by Dr. Bruce MacQueen in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 16 views. For similar materials see Humanities II in Arts and Humanities at Tulsa Community College.
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Date Created: 01/24/16
Lecture 4 01.19.16 Human Identity • What makes humans human? - According to evolutionary theory, about 6 million years ago, humans and chimpanzees diverge from a common beginning - There are traces of larger members of the monkey family (Apes) that gradually changed into the creatures we now call “human beings” At what point in this process does the creature become “human”? • The mastery of fire, the making of tools (technology)? • The appearance of clothing? • The appearance of language? - How much of language is innate? • The appearance of religion? - Especially a belief in life after death aka, • The appearance of art? to produce and consume beautiful • The building of buildings? objects Creativity • The production of perceptible objects and their appreciation by others, apart from their usefulness, seems to be a characteristically human behavior - Even in nature, we seem to be able to derive pleasure from beauty in a way that animals apparently do not • The drawing of animals on the walls of caves would seem to be among the earliest examples • Both the ability and the desire to create such objects would seem to be a defining characteristic of the human Creativity and Survival • What defines “success” in nature? - The survival of species - The survival of individuals long enough to propagate (reproduce) • What does intelligence do four the species to help it survive? - Adaptability: when the environment changes, behavior changes - Planning: changes in the environment can be anticipated Lecture 4 01.19.16 • What does creativity do for the species to help it survive? - Assists in adaptability by allowing new behaviors to appear for new situations - But what about artistic creativity? Creativity and Culture • What makes it possible for some people to devote their time and energy to creating things? - An economic system that produces a surplus - Aperceived need for aesthetic experiences • What makes this happen? - Cities: centers of economic activity large enough to allow for specialization, a medium of trade (money), etc. - Churches: places and times when the people of a given doing one thing extremely well ✴ulture gather to experience the transcendent Religion and aesthetics go hand in hand Culture and Religion • Religious activity - Not inherently productive in the basic economic sense: i.e. it doesn't provide food, clothing, shelter - Yet it seems to be specifically human • Religious experience and aesthetic experience - Religion as a venue for the creation of beautiful objects - The feeling of transcendence: there is something out there more important than just food, clothing, and shelter Humanities 1 in a nutshell • Animism - That is, rather than identify and worship a god or gods as transcendent being that created the universe and now governs it, people felt the world to be populated by spirits • Polytheism - Many spirits reduced to a “central committee” of gods with particular powers over particular parts of life • Monotheism Many argue that Christianity is NOT monotheistic - Divinity isAll One because they worship the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit Lecture 4 01.19.16 The Medieval Synthesis (Look back at Lecture 1) • Life is centered on the manor (the Lord) or the monastery (theAbbott) - Self-sufficient, patriarchal units larger than a single family but small enough the everyone knows everyone and everyone has an allowed space • Feudalism - Everyone is born to a particular station in life and that is God’s Will - Society is pyramidal • The complication of the MedievalAges: there are two pyramids - ✴ne sacred It was possible to climb up this pyramid - One secular ✴ You were stuck in the class you were born in Lecture 4 01.21.16 MedievalArchitecture • Europe often goes back and forth with historic architecture - America DOES NOT • Cathedrals are designed to draw the eyes up and forward - Cathedrals: homer church of a bishop - Most medieval cathedrals have wall murals that often tell a story • Largest and most famous Gothic cathedral is in Milan, Italy Monks were the only ones who had time to be St. ThomasAquinas philosophers and scholars • Completes the synthesis of Greek philosophy (Plato and especiallyAristotle) with Christianity - Aristotle believed everything was cause -> effect -> cause and that God was the 1st cause • Very systematic First makes a statement and gives some reasons why it seems plausible, often quoting - scripture - Then presents counter arguments - Then answers the counter arguments - Then provides more complete proof of his original statement • Thomistic theology is still deeply imbedded in the doctrine of the Catholic Church - Mainstream Roman Catholic theology - Believed God was all powerful and untouchable, therefore Jesus was the middle man The 14th Century • The “High MiddleAges” - ThomasAquinas and scholastic philosophy (Anselm, Duns Scotus, Occam[Occam’s Razor]) - Giotto[used shading and depth] and other medieval painters - Gothic architecture - Chauncer, Canterbury Tales, Le Chanson de Roland and the chivalric romance (fairy tales) • On the other hand… - Plague (first major outbreak of the bubonic plague) and other natural disasters (many people actually believed it was the end of times because of all the natural disasters - First signs that the Medieval (Catholic) synthesis may be breaking down Lecture 4 01.21.16 Copernicus Galileo From Poland From Italy Both believed that the sun was the center and not the Earth Lived far from Rome Lived near the empire and got imprisoned Waited until his death bed to publish his claims Forced to take back his claim Official Start of Humanities 2 The 15th Century • Urbanization - About the same time, the feudal system of manors and the masteries begins to break down ✴ Some of this seems to be connected with the Crusades and the conflict with the Moors in Spain, when Europeans came in contact with more advanced civilizations (Muslims) - Cities begin to develop as trade expands ✴ Some people in cities manage to become very wealthy without having titles or owning land ★ Middle class has started to develop, with people being rich but not aristocrats • Political tensions associated with urbanization - Fundamental changes in the role of the king ✴ Sacred side was losing control over everyone to the secular side, the kings saying “we are the law of the land” - Tensions between wealthy merchants and bankers in the cities and old aristocracy • The beginnings of a religious revolt - Foreshadowed by St. Francis (could have been a “Martin Luther”) in the 13th century - The Hussites, Luddites, Jansenites, etc. were all violently suppressed
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