Acts of Recognition: Essays on Medieval Culture by Lee Patterson PDF

By Lee Patterson

This quantity brings jointly Lee Patterson’s essays released in a variety of venues during the last twenty-seven years. As he observes in his preface, “The one power acceptance that emerged from writing those another way relatively disparate essays is that regardless of the textual content . . . and whoever the folks . . ., the values at factor stay valuable to modern life.” dialectics are at paintings during this ebook: that among the previous and the current and that among the person and the social, and either have ethical value. the 1st chapters are methodological; the 1st is at the old realizing of medieval literature and the second one on how you can deal with the inseparability of truth and cost within the school room. the following 3 chapters take in 3 “less-read” overdue medieval writers: Sir John Clanvowe, Thomas Hoccleve, and John Lydgate. every one is used to light up a social phenomenon: the character of courtroom tradition, the adventure of town, and Henry V’s act of self-making. the subsequent bankruptcy explicitly hyperlinks earlier and current via arguing that the bearing of the English aristocrat comes from a practice starting with Beowulf and later reinvoked according to nineteenth-century imperialism. the subsequent 3 chapters are the main literary, facing Chaucer and with literary conventions in terms of a couple of texts. the ultimate bankruptcy is at the guy Patterson considers essentially the most vital of our medieval ancestors, Francis of Assisi.

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And yet in the last analysis Exegetics itself blunted its own attack. Refusing to take the problematics of historical understanding seriously, Exegetics reinstituted a naive objectivism that exempted it from the need to acknowledge its own place in history and led it to adopt the methods and values of an uncritical positivism. The result is that the debate over values that was at the heart of the confrontation with New Criticism was remystified, and then simply displaced into a simplistic argument between up-to-date critical sophistication (“theory”) and old-fashioned erudition (“historicism”).

But as soon as one begins to reflect on why one does what one does in the classroom, self-justifying and polemical interests inevitably emerge. This essay will not pretend to have avoided such unattractive qualities, even as it argues against self-justification and polemic in the classroom. But whether acknowledged or not, pedagogical practice always rests on theoretical presuppositions, and in the second part of this essay I shall draw upon the work of Max Weber in order to define my own presuppositions.

P. 143). In methodological terms, Weber insists that values remain incapable of scientific—that is, empirical—demonstration. In an earlier essay, he had also explained that only positive religions — or more precisely expressed: dogmatically bound sects —are able to confer on the content of cultural values the status of unconditionally valid ethical imperatives. . The fate of an epoch which has eaten of the tree of knowledge is that it must know that we cannot learn the meaning of the world from the results of its analysis, be it ever so perfect; it must rather be in a position to create this meaning itself.

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Acts of Recognition: Essays on Medieval Culture by Lee Patterson


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