George, Charles H. (Charles Hilles), 1922-
M.A. (Master of Arts)
Department of History
Great Britain--History--Stuarts; 1603-1714; Great Britain--Civilization--17th century
The studies required by the humanist were, together with the Holy Bible and Christian writings, mainly the works of the ancients, which for many critics, and to some extent justifiably so, constitutes the very hallmark of humanism. These studies, in the main, are those which have to do with life and conduct, those which form a good man, that is, the works of the ancient philosophers, poets, orators, historians. And to most of these learned men scientific and professional knowledge, though good in itself does not teach one now to live rightly. Though one can point to innumerable variations in the particular importance accorded to the various subjects, the essential remains the same for educational writers from Aseham and Elyot through Kulcaster and Brinsley to Hoole and Milton. Greek and Latin authors, Aristotle, Plato, Xenophon, Cicero, Tacitus, Salust, Deneosthenes and Isocrates— the list might be extended indefinitely provided the ideal intellectual food recommended by the humanist. The emphasis accorded to knowledge, truth and reason, a belief in the capability of the individual to arrive at fundamental truth, was met with suspicion and negation. Investigative skeptics of all kinds were at hand to deny the validity of human knowledge and reason. The important functions which the humanists were convinced learning exercised in government, politics and society, were frequently questioned. The claim that knowledge is necessary to goodness was opposed by some groups and completely modified by others. The belief that worldly knowledge plays a significant role in worship and la an important aid to salvation did not always meet with sympathy in very religious circles. The hopeful view of man and nature, the vision of order and a universal order and a universal harmony in which humanity might strive, through education its disciplines, toward happiness and self-redemption, the conception of God and man working together in history—all find implicit or explicit neglect denial or modification in England from 1595 to 1670.
Feeney, James F., "Some humanistic attitudes and ideas toward learning in seventeenth century England" (1963). Graduate Research Theses & Dissertations. 4982.
ii, 41 pages
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