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English Script Request

Complete / 2933 Words
by kee 0:00 - 0:01:02

Professor Ginzburg graduated in what I think one should translate humanities (lettere) not literature, in humanities and philosophy, from the renowned Scuola Normale Superiore of the University of Pisa. He's taught and continues to teach at numerous Italian universities, but since 1988 his main position has been Franklin Murphy Professor of Italian Renaissance Studies at our sister campus UCLA.

by zach0101111 0:01:02 - 0:01:39

It's impossible to categorize our lecturer in the... umm.. normal conventional terms. One could say he's a historian but he's not simply a historian, he is truly a renaissance man with interests that straddle not only history but philosophy, religion, art and literature. As a young man he wanted to be first a novelist and then a painter and he has achieved, I think, the rare status of becoming a scholar who's writings have become minutely researched.

by SergeyPanic 0:01:32 - 0:02:29

And he has achieved, I think, the rare status of becoming a scholar who's writings, though minutely researched, with extraordinary minute research in recondite archives, and yet when you read them, you get the excitement we associate with fiction. In two wonderful early books, *The Night Battles* and *The Cheese and the Worms*, Carlo Ginzburg began to display the combination of historical detective work and sympathy for unheard voices, but is one of his great claims to fame. In those books we meet the terrifying pressures of the inquisition on simple people whose only error was in harmlessly, as they thought, expressing beliefs. They were forced into making confessions of traffic with the Devil.

by Cornas 0:02:29 - 0:03:45

Yosef Kaplan in a preface to Ginsburg's book history rhetoric and proof put it brilliantly when he said not only has he called our attention to the ways in which the learned culture tried to suppress and dominate popular culture but with his virtuosity he's also pointed out the vitality of popular culture and the means by which it retained its independence and even in its own way influenced elite and establishment culture I think from my reading of Carlo's work puts it very very well but while he's a leader in what's called micro history and an expert on witchcraft in particular I think I'd like to be an expert on witchcraft he's no less at home in his studies of high culture in the book and
I just cited a history rhetoric and proof you find an extraordinary range over the Ancients Thucydides Plato Aristotle and the moderns flow Barre Nietzsche (...) and Foucault and in his recently published book which I greatly recommend and there may well be others since this but this I think came out in 2000...

by zedkyuu 0:03:45 - 0:05:40

...No Island Is An Island, he probes the complexities of Thomas More's Utopia with remarkable erudition, while ending these what he calls glances at English literature in a world perspective with a comparison of Robert Louis Stevenson in his South Sea Island authorial identity and the great Polish anthropologist Malinowski. Ginzburg's also been an important contributor to debates about historical methodology and the possibility of a historical knowledge that transcends wholesale relativism. In this as in so much else, he reminds me of the great Italian polymath Arnaldo Momigliano, under whose influence he came as a student in Pisa as I was fortunate also to do in the sixties in London.

Professor Ginzburg's distinction has been recognized by numerous learned societies that have made him a fellow including the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the British Academy. The topic of his Forster lecture, The Soul of Brutes, promises to be just right not only for our series but also in terms of Professor Ginzburg's special expertise in the Renaissance with that epoch's strange amalgam of great learning and great prejudice. As a historian of ancient philosophy, I have long been troubled by Aristotelian and Stoic denial of minds to animals which still resonates in modern thought and justifies our cruel exploitation of creatures with which we have so much in common, so I can't wait to learn from Professor Ginzberg about 16th century debates on The Soul of Brutes. Professor Ginzberg.

by EMarieNYC 0:05:40 - 0:06:51

Hello, thank you very much Tony for this truly generous presentation.
I will begin with an image, in this splended drawing, now at the British Museum, is probably a self portrait. The painter Francesco Mazzola, nicknamed "Parmigianino," who was born in Parma in 1503, and died in Casa Maggiore, a nearby town, in 1540, - would have depicted himself holding a bitch. The identification is supported as a poem convincingly suggested by the physical resemblance between the figure and the portrait representing Parmigianino in his later years...

by EMarieNYC 0:06:51 - 0:09:09

This…is an etching in a private collection…um… from a pupil… made by a pupil of Julio Bonozoni a 16th century draftsman, reported of Parmigianino… Francesco Maria Parmigiano. By the time of the later portriat, according to Lazari’s vivid description, the gentle looking painter had developed an obsession with alchemy and had become, quote “a sort of wild man, with a long beard, and disheveled hair.” End quote.

Parmigianino was an extraordinary draftsman, skilled in all media, from wash to pencil, from red chalk to pen. In this British Museum drawing the fluid sensitive line conveys the physical and emotional closeness between two different beings: the sitting man, and the standing, pregnant bitch.

A much quoted passage from Ovid’s Metamorphosis echoed by Augustin and innumerable Christian writers after him, explained that God gave man an upturned face, os sublime dedit, as a sign of his preeminence in the cosmos. I would argue, that in portraying himself- or less probably somebody else- beside a standing bitch Parmigianino was ironically undermining the ancient commonplace that took the erect standard stance of human beings as proof of their excellence.

But is such an interpretation convincing? Are we entitled to read a philosophical message in a drawing that appears to depict nothing but a cozy domestic scene? I think we are.

by anniekate76 0:09:09 - 12:06

My argument relies upon an etching in chiaroscuro by Ugo da Carpi based on a now lost drawing that Parmigianino, as we learn from Bazzari [spelling?], either made in Bologna or brought to Bologna in 1527, after Rome, where he had spent a few years, had been sacked.

The subject of this etching is explicitly declared in a much cruder version of the same etching made by Julio Bonazone [spelling?]. One of the many emblems illustrating Aquila Boce's [spelling?] Symbolicaro mon question de universogenere quacerio ludeibat librero quinque [not sure on long Italian book name], five books of symbolical questions on all sorts of subjects of which he made a serious game, first published in Bologna in 1555.

Boce's related poem praises endurance in the face of life's hardships. The caption "Ic est omo platones" [spelling?] refers to an anecdote concerning Diogenes the Cynic, told Diogenes Laërtius in his Lives of the Philosophers. I quote:

"Plato had defined Man as an animal, biped and featherless, and was applauded. Diogenes plucked a fowl and brought it into the lecture-room with the words, 'Here is Plato's man.'"


Images illustrating this anecdote are exceedingly rare. Parmigianino's unusual choice may have been inspired by a learned patron who was familiar either with Diogenes Laërtius' "Lives of the Philosophers" or with two short texts by Erasmus dealing with
the same subject. Although the passage I'm talking about is not included in the
abridged Italian versions of Diogenes Laërtius' "Lives", I do not entirely rule out the possibility that the subject was chosen by Parmigianino himself.

His letters and contracts, in which grammatical peculiarities certainly do crop up, are nonetheless written in a regular, educated hand. This is a contract made in 1531 for a decoration of Santa Maria della Steccata church in Parma for a fresco which Parmigianino never, never made.

by janicen 12:06 - 13:14

Diogenes' aggressive caricature of Plato's men resembles the point Parmigianino made in a more intimate mode by portraying himself close to the standing bitch. In both cases the uniqueness of human beings was cast into doubt by stressing their similarity with allegedly inferior animals. Parmigianino's striking images are a fitting introduction to my topic: the 16th century debate on the souls of brutes. My emphasis on the 16th century rather than the 17th needs some clarification. In two articles from his Dizionario Storico-Critico (?) Pierre Bayle at the end of the 17th century compellingly showed that the later debate was a response to Descartes theory of animal machine, beasts as automata.

by jacherna 13:14 - 17:26

Significantly, however, Bale's most profound reflections on the subject can be found in the article that appears under the heading, "Rorarios," the latinized name of a 16th century writer, Jeromino Rorario, whose posthumously published dialogue contributed to trigger the debate. The crucial role played by adjective Bruta in the title of Rorario's dialogue - latin - are often more rational than men is perhaps not self-evident to a 21st century reader. Equally puzzling might be the words with which Francesca da Rimini addresses the poet in the 5th canto of Dante's Inferno -italian- gracious and benevolent animal. We tend to forget that for a long time animals meant, quote, "all beings endowed with sensation and voluntary motion," end quote. This definition still echoed in the shorter oxford english dictionary usually did not imply any equality. One is simply to recall Hamlet's words, what a piece of work is man the paragon of animals. Today those who speak of animals' rights employ a different language. This linguistic disjunction conceals a contiguity in content. The debate on this also brutes dealt with issues which still possibly once again resonate with us -a recapitulation of the rules of this debate in the Greek philosophical tradition is necessary in order to see how they shaped 16th century perceptions and indirectly ours. In a famous passage of his Nicomachean ethics, Aristotle asked, "what is this specific function aergon of man? Not life," he answered, "which man shares with all living beings including plants, not sensation which man shares with whores the ox and other animals. Man's specific function is reason, logos, both practical and theoretical." Therefore since, quote "rational or at least not irrational activity seems to be the function of man," unquote, Aristotle identified men as the rational animal, a definition of which mirrored on a technical level the Greek word for the other animals, the is -greek- those without reason. In his politics, Aristotle spelled out the implications of man's supremacy. Clearly we must suppose, he wrote, that plants exist for the sake of animals and the other animals for the good of man. The domestic species both for his service and for his food and if not all at all events most of the wild ones for the sake of his food and of supplies of other kinds in order that they may furnish him both with clothing and with other appliances. If therefore nature makes nothing purpose or in vain, it follows that nature has made all the animals for the sake of man and good.

by jacherna 17:26 - 18:55

Hunting as a form of war, Aristotle concluded, is by nature just. The entirety of the natural world ultimately exists for the sake of man, but man’s position in the natural world is not based on the possession of a soul. In the beginning of his treaties on the soul, Aristotle complained that, quote “speakers and enquirers about the soul seen today to confine their inquiries to the soul of man. But he objected, one must be careful not to evade the question for one definition of soul is enough as we can give one definition of living creature. Or whether there must be a different one in each case, that is, one of the horse, one of the dog, one of man, and one of god. Whether the words living creature have no meaning or logically will come later. “ end quote.

Then Aristotle distinguished among different qualit-faculties of the soul. Quote “some living things have only some and all others only one. Those that we have mentioned are the facilities for nourishment, for appetite, for conversation,
For movement in space, and for thought.

by jacherna 18:55 - 20:45

We have a sort of ladder with man the only animal capable of thought at the top, but Aristotle perceived a notable difficulty which he promised to deal with later. The question of imagination, Fantasia, which declared obscure but the long discussion devoted to fantasy in the third book on the soul did not, in the third chapter, did not clarify this. This notion of Fantasia remains obscure and occasionally contradictory which is possibly the only point of agreement between many recent largely divergent interpretations. An adequate comment on this intricate issue is beyond my competence. I will limit myself to underlying a few points closely related to my topic. First, for Aristotle Fantasia seems to be something in between sensation, istisis? And thoughts, noises. As well as a sensation and desire. A meaning approximately conveyed by the words reproductive imagination, Fantasia, began to indicate productive imagination only much later. Second, Aristotle denies that Fantasia is shared by all animals. This appears not to be the case for instance this is true of the ant and the bee but not the worm” unquote. This passage is corrupt and according to the manuscript tradition it should be read as quote “ for instance it It is not true of the ant, the bee, or the worm which does not make much sense.

by jpebelier 20:45 - 21:40

Note that Aquinas' commentary on this passage, based on William of Moerbeke's translation of the traditional text, somewhat anticipated Tosrick's textual correction which had followed. Third, the aforementioned passage seems to imply that some brutes, because they have (phantasia), are closer to man. But Aristotle introduces a further distinction between sensitive imagination, (________ phantasia) on the one hand, and calculating and deliberative imagination, (________ phantasia) on the other. The former is shared by all living creatures, the latter only by man. Hence, Aristotle concludes, appetite, (?) does not imply a capacity for deliberation.

by vittoriobrescia1990 21:40 - 1:02

Professor Ginzburg graduated in what I think one should translate humanities (lettere) not literature, in humanities and philosophy, from the renowned Scuola Normale Superiore of the University of Pisa. He's taught and continues to teach at numerous Italian universities, but since 1988 his main position has been Franklin Murphy Professor of Italian Renaissance Studies at our sister campus UCLA.


March 7, 2019

Non-English word in brackets. No idea if it's spelt correctly or not.

April 20, 2019

Fairly sure I have got correct words, but have not entered punctuation.

May 13, 2019

The Youtube autotranscription into English is very good; it needs some fixing up, but for the most part, it's spot on.

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