《文本簡介》Asia in the Making of Europe Volume II Book Three

Introduction to Texts Before 1800

主題 Topic 世紀奇聞:The Scholarly Disciplines
A Century of Wonder: The Visual Arts
書刊名 Title《由亞洲建構歐洲》第二卷第三冊
Asia in the Making of Europe Volume II Book Three
作者 AuthorDonald F. Lach
出版社 PublisherThe University of Chicago Press
出版年 Year1993
語言 Language英文 English
裝訂 Binding□ 平裝 Paperback    ■精裝 Hardcover
頁數 Pages368 pages
(10 / 13)
ISBN-10: 0226-46734-1
Bibliography Reference  (STC, Duff, GW . . .)
來源網址 Web Link
撰寫日期 Date15 July 2015

A.   簡介 Introduction (within 100 words, Chinese or English)


B.   文本摘錄 Extracts (4-6 Pages)

An analytical ordering of scholarship, consonant with the intellectual activities of the sixteenth century, cannot be made successfully within the framework of modern learning, divided as it is into separate matter and methodology. In an era when cosmography combined the studies of geography history, mathematics, astronomy and navigation the stress in scholarship was upon the interrelatedness of disciplines rather than upon their individual internal arrangement and development. Renaissance intellectuals showed no hesitation in pursuing universal topics, often preferring them to critical inquiry within a narrowly defined field of study. They were more deeply concerned about the relationships of God and man to nature and about the correlations between the arts and sciences than they were about discovering the intellectual approaches most suitable to the various sciences. In the course of their investigations they searched the classical and religious authorities, compared those findings with contemporary observations and conclusions, and sought to reconcile the conflicts discovered between traditional and recent learning, both within and among what we call separate disciplines.
  Secular Humanists worked to recover the best of the Ancients, but prevailing beliefs often required them to blend classical learning with Christian traditions. Orthodox scholars and theologians also liked backward, but what they saw was a pristine past in which a sinless mankind spoke one universal tongue and lived contentedly doing the bidding of the one true God. Tension between the secular and the Christian had long existed in many speculative fields of scholarship and was exacerbated in all branches of learning by the Reformation and its aftermath. Over the course of the century the knowledge of both the classical and religious authorities was challenged and sometime openly derided as inadequate or inaccuracy by the proponents of a newer learning which upheld the primacy of empirical and demanded, though unavailingly, new syntheses of universal dimension and applicability.
  It was quite apparent to many contemporaries that neither classical nor Christian learning, nor a combination of the two, could explain or encompass what was being discovered overseas. The very existence of the Protestants, as well as the multitudes of heathens found in America and Asia, belied the church’s claim to universality and undermined the credibility of much of its traditional learning. Efforts were made in all aspects of scholarship to stretch established boundaries or to reinterpret conventional doctrine in an effort t accommodate the new information without destroying the traditional structures of learning. In some cases the accommodation was adequate; in others it failed. Basic changes soon came, even in the sixteenth century, to those disciplines whose theoretical limits would stretch no further.
  The reactions in scholarly Europe to the opening of the East were conditioned by the character of the disciplines involved as well as by the reigning intellectual conflicts. Speculative scholarship was touched last, and perhaps least obviously, by the new geographical revelations. The practitioners of each discipline were the first absorb the shock of the new discoveries: artisans rather than artists, alchemists rather than chemists, cartographers rather than geographers, lexicographers rather than linguists were the ones first exposed. As a group the practitioners were more receptive than theoreticians to the new products and information of Asia and found little trouble in accommodating them. The scholars learned in the canons of Antiquity and the church were less willing to admit the inadequacy or error of traditional learning and consequently were slow to adjust their intellectual perspectives.
  Among the natural sciences the newly independent discipline of botany was the most deeply influenced by the broadening of Europe’s scientific horizons. Geography, long the handmaiden of cosmography, reasserted independence as its domain suddenly became enlarged and more clearly defined as earthbound. Students of language and geography were quicker than most others to grasp the idea that the theories of the past governing their disciplines were too narrow to contain the flood of new scientific information that poured into Europe. They were also quicker to incorporate the Asian materials, as they became available, into new technical literature and hypotheses. The botanists, even more than the geographers and linguists, impatiently brushed aside the authorities of the past and under pressure of new knowledge began to reevaluate general concepts and to experiment with novel organizing principles for their disciplines. While the opening of the overseas world helped to erode the prestige of the established authorities, it would be a long time before new syntheses emerged to replace those of the past and to accommodate fully the new knowledge.