Arts and Humanities in Rousseau's Second Discourse and Other Pieces of Work Essay

  • Length: 6 pages
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  • Subject: Black Studies - Philosophy
  • Type: Essay
  • Paper: #97121570

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Arts and Humanities in Rosseau's Second Discourse And Other Pieces Of Work

Arts and Humanities in Rousseau's Second Discourse and other Pieces of Work

In the second discourse, Rousseau changes progress and decries imprisoning in men, in a fabricated logic of civilization. Rousseau uses striking language, "the sciences, letters and arts….." However, he believes that the new arts and sciences portray the appearance but not the reality of virtue, which he believes is core to civilization. In addition, he asserts that humanity in the state of nature was ethical and good because, in their primitive simplicity, human beings could not deceive each other (Gourevitch 23-59). However, the sciences undermine morality and threaten the well-being of human beings. Therefore, civilization based on these sciences is a mode of concealing the vices of humanity. To make strong his point, Rousseau gives an example of the Spartans whom he describes as virtuous. He condemns the Athenians who produced monuments as a concept of civilization, but through corruption.

Rousseau describes Socrates as a virtuous and fair man who despised the arts and stylish "sciences" but the Athenians condemned him. This second discourse strives to show that not only did science and art come from vices, but its influence will completely compromise humanity. In an example, he offered, Rousseau suggests that each science has some trace of vices, and states that astronomy originates from superstition and geometry of greed. In addition, Rousseau suggests that learning has negative impacts on humanity. He regards learning as a waste of time, energy because nothing tangible comes out of learning. Learning compromises faith and patriotism, which he says, gives meaning to human life (Moran 37-58). Rousseau describes learning as a factor that weakens the courage of men and criticizes the models of education suggesting that the youth learn a foreign language and ignore defining words in their own that give life significance, equity, temperance and humanity.

Rousseau discourages modernization. He feels that the mode of civilization experienced today has no good. The sciences and art constitute negative impacts on humanity and suggests that learning, particularly book learning produces nothing tangible; therefore, the mode of learning needs replacement with physical learning because physical learning produces results. In addition, physical learning produces physical and mental fitness. In this second discourse, Rousseau symbolically grieves the invention of the printing press which will spread ideas of the enlightenment so rapidly into hands of who will feel the implications of the ideas. In relation to the first discourse, Rousseau suggests that the primitive nature of human beings made them ignorant to bliss; however, the ignorance protected human beings from the dangers their own minds could lead them (Moran 37-58).

The Age of Wonder

The Age of Wonder is a series of scientific stories, which connect to explore a large historical narrative. This is an account of the second scientific revolution that swept through Britain at the end of the 18th century resulting to a new vision called Romantic science. This romanticism is cultural dynamism regarded as extremely hostile to science; however, it is best of subjectivity eternally opposed to that scientific goal. The science and romanticism have not always been the case, but the terms are mutually inclusive. The concept of wonder acts as a connection that unites the two such that there is romantic science, in the same idea there is romantic poetry and often for the same mutual reasons (Richard 15).

A review of the 17th century shows major inventions in science associated with names such as Newton, Hooke, Locke and Descartes, and the almost coincident foundations of the Royal Society in London, and the Academie des Sciences found in Paris. The second science revolution was very different because the major inventions were sudden in the fields of astronomy and chemistry. This second revolution came as a movement that developed out of the 18th century Enlightenment rationalism, but greatly influenced its change and brought a new creative intensity and excitement in scientific innovations. The movement had a general idea of extreme, careless and personal commitments to innovation (Richard 26-30).

The second science revolution was a movement aiming at change or transition. The movement flourished for some time, probably two generations, but generated un-ending negative consequences raising hopes and questions that exist today. In relation to Rousseau's suggestions of science, the consequences he suggested came to pass. Rousseau felt that science would only bring rise to adverse effects to human beings. Romantic science dates back to Captain Cook's first round of the world expedition commenced in 1768, and Charles Darwin's journey to the Galapagos Island in 1831. These two occurrences make up the Age of Wonder, which people feel to date. The concept of exploratory journey is a defining metaphor for Romantic science, which William Wordsworth successfully adjusted the Enlightenment image of Newton into a Romantic one (Richard 44).

The case of Isaac Newton developed a concept of an infinite, mysterious nature that need discovery to reveal the secrets of nature. The same way implies to the primitiveness of mankind as described by Rousseau, which needed revelation to unearth man's potential. In this case, scientific instruments played a significant role in revealing the secrets of nature, allowing man to use the telescope, microscope, barometer in the revelation process. In so doing, science got titles such as having invisible powers, science of fluidity and organic change. During this period, the study of electricity became core to the period; however, astronomy, which dominated as the science of Enlightenment, underwent some change because of Romantic science (Richard 46).

This period unearthed many things and represented the transition from Enlightenment to romantic science in the paintings of Joseph Wright of Derby. This painter painted the experimental and laboratory scenes, which interpreted Enlightenment science as a chain of mysterious, romantic moments of discoveries. In addition, this period leads to dispersion in the Royal Society into new scientific organizations, mechanics organizations and philosophical communities. This revolution became popular, and the people's choice; it promulgated a private and special form of knowledge. Into the bargain, this revolution brought about an independent political ideology and religious doctrine, which emphasized secular and humanist committed to benefiting all human beings (Richard 56).

In The Jungle

"In the Jungle" by Annie Dillard, the use of metaphors and personification uncover Dillard's aim to communicate through writing; a humble and quiet life among nature represents a life of happiness. This style of living will allow an individual to appreciate the beauty of nature by its simplicity. A human being gradually learns to appreciate every detail from their surroundings. Furthermore, the life will give human beings an opportunity to know themselves better. In reference or rather in relation to Rousseau, we see a similarity whereby, a primitive human being was safe and at peace at their state. Slowly, they discovered themselves, just like Dillard suggests. Rousseau describes primitiveness as good because human beings had a simple life, similar to Dillard's idea of peace and simple life (Dillard 110).

In the essay, Dillard, who visited the Ecuadorian jungle as a tourist, she considers the jungle as home and ready to live there. The description of the jungle as home reflects how she found comfort in this place and willing to leave all behind as long as she had the chance to live among nature. In comparison to Rousseau's concept of primitiveness, primitive human beings were innocent and happy at their "illiteracy." At that stage, primitive beings had peace, the same thing Dillard suggests she found in the jungle. In addition, the author describes the jungle as having no problems, a place of freedom and a place of peace among nature (Dillard 115).

Dillard perceives the Amazonian Jungle as a "shadow loamy-aired room" making known her motive, or rather her idea of the jungle as a house. In addition, she suggests that the jungle is a place short of struggles found in the society. In regard to Rousseau's suggestions, human beings in their primitive state had not struggles because the society had no complications. However, after science came in, the society became polluted and caused many adverse consequences. Dillard suggests that struggles take away a person's happiness. She states that the jungle is ideal because it has no problems because it is a happy place to live.

Thomas Coles Paintings

Cole experimented with various ideas and styles, which he records in his notebooks. In most of his ideas, they seem to portray his love of the wilderness. The wilderness in this case compares to Dillard's love for the jungle, and Rousseau's description of primitiveness I human beings. Some of Cole's ideas depict warmth and character while other colors such as those that oppose each other, have an influence on the viewer in that they portray the wilderness. For instance, in The Oxbow, the colors used include light and dark, warm and cool. This composition represents the sky, which is divided between dark and cold. The left represents raging clouds and the bright lights represent the clear sky. This technique…

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