Giambattista Vico and the wisdom of teaching

Davis, R. A. (2014) Giambattista Vico and the wisdom of teaching. Asia Pacific Education Review, 15(1), pp. 45-53. (doi: 10.1007/s12564-013-9296-3)

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This paper offers a rehabilitation of the neglected eighteenth-century thinker and philosopher, Giambattista Vico (1668–1744), and defends the contemporary relevance of his construction of the wisdom of teaching. Reinventing the ancient traditions of European rhetoric, and reacting with great critical hostility to the pervasive educational influence of the thought and methods of Rene Descartes and his followers in the Jansenist movement, Vico’s major writings and public lectures sought to articulate a complete philosophy of education quite at variance with the styles of rationality and pedagogy favoured in the European Enlightenment. In his insistence on the key function of poetics, narrative, myth, religion, shared common sense, emotion, belonging and ritual in the formation of the educated person, Vico laid stress upon the role of the imagination and its nurture in the development of a properly enlarged and sympathetic rationality. With the implications for teaching methods, curriculum and the understanding and protection of the unique capacities of childhood, Vico has much to offer the philosophy and practice of modern education as it faces the multiple allures of hyperationality and the attenuated knowledge-economy account of its central aims and purposes.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Davis, Professor Robert
Authors: Davis, R. A.
College/School:College of Social Sciences > School of Education > Creativity Culture and Faith
College of Social Sciences > School of Education > People, Place & Social Change
Journal Name:Asia Pacific Education Review
Publisher:Springer Netherlands
ISSN (Online):1876-407X

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