Redrawing History

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...a plan history of the Wacko House.
1997.05.22


...the history of architecture [at Quondam] may be in the midst of the creation of a whole new arena, i.e., a new forum for criticism and theory dealing primarily with buildings that are not there.
...one day I may sort through all the old projects and notes and find the connection that wraps all the themes together.
1997.05.26


…show the gradual growth stages of the Campo Marzio redrawing.
1997.05.28


Giambattista Vico’s Scieza nuova (1744) was a work whose importance remained for a long time unrecognized, partly, no doubt, because of the obscure and scholastic manner in which the Italian philosopher expressed his ideas. Central to the book is the contention that the kind of knowledge which men can achieve of their own actions, creations, and institutions--the material of history--is of a radically different kind from the knowledge that is acquired by the observation and investigation of the nonhuman or “natural” world: indeed, knowledge of the former type is of a superior or “more certain” character. In order truly to know something it is necessary in some sense o have made it, and where as the reality which the physical scientist studies is the creation of God and therefore only properly known to him, “the world of nations” that forms the subject matter of history is the creation of men and is therefore something that men can “hope to know.” Thus Vico was led to stress the differences rather that the analogies between historical and other forms of inquiry and laid emphasis upon the need for the historian to recreate imaginatively the spirit of the past ages and the outlook and attitudes of mind possessed by the men who lived in them, instead of trying to impose upon them inappropriate interpretive models--”Pseudomyths”--suggested by ways of thinking and feeling current in his own time. It is true that Vico pronounced a cyclical theory of human history, according to which “nations” or cultures pass through determinate stages: he employed it, however, in a manner that underlined man’s nature as a historical being, whose powers and capacities do not conform to a fixed and static pattern but are subject to change and development in the course of time: it is not through a priori intuition or through attention to the subjective findings of introspective self-consciousness that we can acquire the deepest insight into what we are (as so many of his contemporaries assumed), but through a critical and sympathetic interpretation of the evidence provided by historical research.
Patrick L. Gardiner, “Philosophy of history” in Encyclopedia Britannica (Chicago: Encyclopedia Britannica, 1969), vol. 11, p. 543



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