Critique of Archaeological Reason
1. Introduction to the website


Giorgio Buccellati – February 2004-2016

Drawing comfort from the classics… (as per the preface…)

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St. Bonaventure

The Soul’s Journey into God, Prolog, 4

     Igitur ad gemitum orationis … primum quidem lectorem invito, ne forte credat quod sibi sufficiat
          lectio sine unctione,
          speculatio sine devotione,
          investigatio sine admiratione,
          circumspectio sine exsultatione,
          industria sine pietate,
          scientia sine caritate,
          intelligentia sine humilitate…

     First, therefore, I invite the reader to the groans of prayer … so that he not believe that
          reading is sufficient without inspiration,
          speculation without devotion,
          investigation without wonder,
          observation without joy,
          knowledge without love,
          intelligence without humility…

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Erasmus of Rotterdam

Praise of Folly, end of Ch. 32
     … adeo ut vel una Grammatica abunde satis sit ad perpetuam vitae carnificinam.

     …it only takes a single system of grammar to provide continuous torture for life.

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Jonathan Swift

Gulliver’s Travels: Part Three - A Voyage to Laputa, Ch. 4 and 5.
     In these colleges the professors contrive new rules and methods of agriculture and building, and new instruments and tools for all trades and manufactures, whereby, as they undertake, one man shall do the work of ten; a palace may be built in a week, of materials so durable as to last for ever without repairing. All the fruits of the earth shall come to maturity at whatever season we think fit to choose, and increase a hundred fold more than they do at present, with innumerable other happy proposals.
     The only inconvenience is, that none of these projects are yet brought to perfection, and in the meantime, the whole country lies miserably waste, the houses in ruins, and the people without food or clothes.

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Jorge Luis Borges

Funes, The Memorious
     Los dos proyectos que he indicado (un vocabulario infinito para la serie natural de los números, un inútil catálogo mental de todas las imágenes del recuerdo) son insensatos, pero revelan cierta balbuciente grandeza. Nos dejan vislumbrar o inferír el vertiginoso mundo de Funes. Éste, no lo olvidemos, era casi incapaz de ideas generales, platónicas. No sólo le costaba comprender que el símbolo genérico perro abarcara tantos individuos dispares de diversos tamaños y diversa forma; le molestaba que el perro de las tres y catorce (visto de perfil) tuviera el mismo nombre que el perro de las tres y cuarto (visto de frente)…Había aprendido sin esfuerzo el inglés, el francés, el portugués, el latín. Sospecho, sin embargo, que no era muy capaz de pensar. Pensar es olvidar diferencias, es generalizar, abstraer. En el abarrotado mundo de Funes no había sino detalles, casi inmediatos.

     The two projects I have indicated (an infinite vocabulary for the natural series of numbers, and a usable mental catalogue of all the images of memory) are lacking in sense, but they reveal a certain stammering greatness. They allow us to make out dimly, or to infer, the dizzying world of Funes. He was, let not forget, almost incapable of general, Platonic ideas. It was not difficult for him to understand that the generic term ‘dog’ embraced so many unlike specimens of differing sizes and different forms; he was disturbed by the fact that a dog at three-fourteen (seen in profile) should have the same name as the dog at three-fifteen (seen from the front). … Without effort, he had learned English, French, Portuguese, Latin. I suspect, nevertheless, that he was not very capable of thought. To think is to forget a difference, to generalize, to abstract. In the overly replete world of Funes there were nothing but details, almost contiguous details.

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