Gathering, Disposing and the Cultivation of Judgement in Sir Henry Wotton's the Elements of Architecture

University of Sydney
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Journal Article
Architectural Theory Review, 2001, 6 (2), pp. 81 - 94
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Employing a hermeneutic approach to Sir Henry Wotton's seventeenth century text on architecture, this paper discloses the discourse on judgement that lies at its heart. Wotton's conception of judgement is Aristotelian, and refers to Aristotle's Ethics; specifically his discourses on practical reasoning, legislation and political wisdom. Addressed to the aristocratic amateur architects of Jacobean England. The Elements of Architecture seeks to provide a 'rule' to guide the cultivation of good judgment in architecture. Nuances of the relationship between 'rule' and 'example' in Wotton's conception of judgement are examined, highlighting a consonance with the play between logos and ethos that is characteristic of Aristotelian ethics. This play, it is argued, is crucial to Wotton's conception of both judgement and architectural making
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