December 21, 1997

From Gerald R. Lucas

Vico and the Role of the Professor


Giambattista Vico’s somewhat romanticized ideas on the role of the professor:

  1. To select the best authors in the canon;
  2. To mistrust by commentary, explication, analysis;
  3. To stimulate students to direct and shape their minds more perfectly toward wisdom;
  4. To inspire students with a love for learning;
  5. To encourage students to create their own knowledge;
  6. To instill in students a recognition of the communal and civic importance of education;
  7. To make students aware of the encyclopedic and universal nature of true knowledge;
  8. To inspire students toward a scholarly heroism which through the cultivation of moral and intellectual virtue seeks to uncover the image and likeness of the transcendent spirit within, their better nature;
  9. To assist students to recognize the purposes of education are transcendent and self-less, for God, his glory, and for the advancement and well-being of all mankind;
  10. To demonstrate the collation and comparison of knowledge, how the whole hangs together, how the parts relate to the universe of knowledge.