Lecture 7

Mar 12

The Essay and the Age of Discovery

In 1492, Columbus transformed Europeans' understanding of the world. Not by proving that the world was round—most people believed that already. But rather by discovering lands and peoples that had not been known to the ancients. In an era that gave great weight to Greek and Roman learning, Columbus stumbled on something wholly new—what Harari calls "The Discovery of Ignorance."

For class, please read the first two sections of Harari Ch 14 (stop reading when you get to the heading "The Scientific Dogma") as well as an essay by Michael Hall titled "The Emergence of the Essay and the Idea of Discovery," posted among the readings on our Blackboard site.

For homework, respond to one of the following prompts, posting under the appropriate heading below:

  • Hall argues that the essay owes something fundamental to the ethos of the Age of Discovery, while Harari suggests that the Age of Discovery was fundamental to the invention of modern science. If so, should we conclude that there is something "scientific" about essay writing? Explain why or why not in a brief ¶.
  • How does Hall's understanding of the essay differ from Wampole's earlier in the term? If you need a refresher, her speech can be viewed here.

46 responses to “Lecture 7

  1. Following that logic, essay writing is in some way “scientific.” An essay, by definition, is a piece of writing that makes an attempt to do something, to push an idea. Until the 15th century there has been no real societal motivation for change because it was not acknowledged there could be change. In today’s day and age everything is constantly evolving to be better than it once was; however, up until 500 years ago there was barely any change in the structure of a society or in technological innovations. A constant was kept. However, with the Age of Discovery came the mindset and the will to not settle, to acknowledge ignorance and admit that “ ‘we do not know’… everything” (Harari). Opinions change constantly given the current state and the new conflicts that arise, and essays in particular aim to modernize ideas accordingly. Essays are indeed a very broad term to define, especially define as “scientific,” but given that essays were created after the Age of Discovery it is to suggest that they were created with the purpose of discovering a new, more educated, point of view that was made available by modern science.

  2. Essay writing, and writing in general, most definitely has a science to it. There is a flow of words and narrative that creates a piece of writing. As homo sapiens grew to explore the world and all of its offerings, with it came the expansion of their communication and ability to creatively write. Although writing was not always as developed, there came a point where, because of the Age of Discovery, the human mind was exposed to ideas and concepts so much greater than all was known. Through independent thinking and experimentation through exploration, writing was taken to an entirely new level utilizing the science of storytelling and messages/lessons. Harari continually argues throughout his book that humanity will never truly understand all of the world and its functionality. Through our human development, we have grown gradually to become as intelligent as we are; and, I could argue, writing has almost everything to do with it. With each step in advancement of the human mind, culture, and livelihood, changes were documented and perspectives were created.

  3. Essay writing is scientific. As suggested by Hall, essay writing is an attempt to examine both inward truths and outward. It is an examination of old and new assumptions. By rethinking of already existed knowledge and subverse those irrational, new knowledge would be established. As essay emerges, people starts to examine knowledges, and thus raising questions. This led to thew idea of discovery of the nature, and led to the Age of Discovery. It is scientific of essays, because it examines the existing knowledge by logic, not superstition, nor emotion.

  4. 1. Taking under consideration the historical context which allowed for the development of essay writing, it would be rational to accept its scientific nature. Hull, in his essay, specifically states that “the essay was suited to the examination of conventional wisdom, the exploration of received opinion, and the discovery of new ideas and insights”, which is exactly what Harari praises modern science for. The Age of Discovery permitted in a way the essay to diverge from older beliefs which placed high values on existing rather than novel ideas and knowledge. As Harari would describe it, the Age of Discovery presented a chance for the essayists to achieve Hull’s descriptions of a natural, simple piece of writing, which would present contradicting evidence, allowing further inquiry to grow in the reader’s mind. This idea highlights Harari’s interpretation of modern science, which he says “openly admits collective ignorance regarding the most important questions” (252).

  5. There is something “scientific” when it comes to writing an essay and essay writing in general. Hall’s understanding of the essay is that the essay pushes out ideas of the old and the new where readers are able to examine it and come out with new truths. Essays are “scientific” in that it helps establish ideas where readers and scholars can branch out from these ideas and push them to discovery. Essays help because when these old ideas are written about, people are able to build off from these old ideas and expand their knowledge upon it. Essays help build up new discoveries.

  6. 1. Essay writing is scientific because examining the unknown is innately scientific. Like any good experimental conclusion, an essay presents the topic of examination, opposing sides of the argument, reasoning for an opinion rendered by research, and ultimately what that research has led you to beleive. These steps are also reflected in the scientific method. Beyond this, Harari argues that at the heart of the scientific revolution, and modern science in general, was the admittance of ignorance. Hall similarly asserts that essays aim to examine truths– to examine a truth is to admit that a conclusion has yet to be reached. While there are no test tubes or bunsen burners associated with essay writing, it would be a mistake to claim that essays are unscientific. Traditional science and essays are two sides of the same coin; one examines the meaning of the physical, the other delves into the meaning of the metaphysical.

  7. Essay writing is about presenting your argument in the most appealing way possible and to do that, one must have a basic understanding of the human mind and how it operates. Furthermore, Harari says, “The greatest discovery that launched the Scientific Revolution was the discovery that humans do not know the answers to their most important questions” (251). In this way, essays are used to dissect, analyze, and spread the word about a new way of thinking or discovery. In this way, we are trying to answer the important questions that we don’t have an answer to and that is, in fact, a sort of science.

  8. Essay writing is, in a way, scientific. One of the definitions of this word is “practicing or using thorough or systematic methods” (according to Merriam-Webster). These systematic methods are reflected in Hull’s essay, as he analyzes Montaigne’s style, which was supposed to reflect “the movements of the author’s mind as he meditated on a subject.” While not traditionally scientific as relating to biology or chemistry, essays were meant to be a thorough examination of a topic in which the author eventually arrived at some sort of truth about the world. Furthermore, essayists employ rhetorical techniques intended to help guide the reader towards “personal exploration and discovery.” Similarly, science uses established methods to investigate certain hypotheses. According to the evidence Hull provides, the structure of an essay reflects the same process; through rhetorical techniques represented in an almost dialectical form, the essay reaches a conclusion on a certain subject. Additionally, this is similar to Harari’s idea of what modern science is. Modern science assumes that we do not know everything (ignoramus), but that we can acquire more knowledge through the use of observation and its mathematical analysis. Essays do somewhat the same; they provide a systematic breakdown of the author’s thoughts in an effort to obtain a new understanding on the topic.

  9. Essays are science. Sciences is based around discovery and trying to uncover new things. The french word essai means “to try.” This example was used Hall’s essay, in addition. Not only is an essay an attempt to prove, explain, question, or discuss a particular topic, but science is the exact same; questioning things. There are open ended scientific theories just like there can be open-ended essays. Essays also follow structure similar to science. There are truths and common beliefs which are used to further advance our understanding of the work around us. IfIweretowritelikethis, you would have no idea what I am saying. We have a structured and agreed upon ways which we spell, witre, and form our language. Just like science which is not random in nature. There is structure into how we hypothesize, experiment, and research the world.

  10. Having read Hall’s piece, ‘The Emergence of the Essay
    and the Idea of Discovery’ it is clear to see that essay writing is indeed a science. The Oxford Languages definition for “science” is the following; “the intellectual and practical activity encompassing the systematic study of the structure and behaviour of the physical and natural world through observation and experiment”. This definition can clearly relate to essay writing. Essay writing is a form of discovery. A form of experimentation. Essays allowed authors to “think freely outside the constraints of established authority and traditional rhetorical forms”. This clearly indicates how writers were able to experiment with thinking through the form of writing to try and create new reasons for complicated issues. Essays serve as a form of influence and education to help grasp our minds around specific concepts and issues, showing how essays are by definition a “science”.

  11. Before the Scientific Revolution, very few people were curious about entities outside of their religious, authoritative bubbles. It was after the Scientific Revolution and the discoveries of the unknown that prompted humans to shift gears and begin thinking more inquisitively. Unlike past eras where people turned to religion for answers to their questions, the Scientific Revolution allowed people to abandon this stagnant ideology that there is no need to go out in search of answers to things that are not stated within the Bible. This change in thinking, however, is not exclusive to only science; it is true for essay writing as well. Michael Hall writes about how essayists were affected by the discovery of ideas too and they realized that “knowledge was no longer fixed by authority but in a state of transition” (89). This transitional state was imperative for essayists because it proved that essay writing is definitely scientific in nature. The Scientific Revolution opened many doors to endless opportunities, allowing essayists to write more creatively and unrestrictively; there was so much they could write about and so much that had not yet been discovered. Essay writing was significantly affected by this new shift in thinking, thus supporting the idea that essay writing is scientific.

  12. Based on the claims of Harari and Hall, there is definitely a scientific aspect in essay writing. As Harari mentions, people from ancient societies were so consumed by what was accepted, that they completely disregarded knowledge outside the norms. It wasn’t until the Scientific Revolution, that humans were able to expand upon their knowns and build on the foundation that was given to them from ancient times. Thus, the evolution of various technological inventions that dominate modern society. Just as how scientific discovery has made it possible for people today to step on the moon, the essence of science is intertwined in essay writing. In Hall’s essay, he claims that the purpose of essay writing is to enkindle the spirit of exploration. He exemplifies many well known writers from the Renaissance period and concludes that the shared goal among these writers is to produce unfinished pieces which force readers to go beyond what is simply written for them. Scientific findings and essay writing alike, both allow individuals to engage in their own exploration and discovery.

  13. Essays are works of science. Whether or not that is a fact is up to you, but there is a clear connection between the two. There will always be questions that science cannot answer, but science is there to try to answer them. This sounds like what Montaigne said in his book “Essais”. “Essays, he says, are not supposed to be the products of art or study, but are intended to be spontaneous, tentative, open-ended, and even unfinished?” Like science, this notion of open-mindedness would lead humanity at the time to ask questions, questions that normally wouldn’t affect a person in their daily lives. Like science, these unfinished essays lead humanity to indulge themselves to form a new understanding of the world around them.

  14. 1st prompt). I agree with Harari’s suggestion that essay-writing and modern science are innately linked. Modern science is driven by the fundamental principles of the scientific method which strives to prove a hypothesis through rigorous analysis. Just so, written essays often try to persuade a reader to a defined argument by presenting evidence – essays try to prove these conclusions whereas modern science states that all conclusions must be proven. The modern scientific method is the logical evolution of the persuasive essay.

  15. Essay writing is a science, according to the claims of Yuval Noah Harari, Michael Hall, and anyone who has ever written an essay. The entire premise of science is using evidence and research to find something out, to prove something as true or false. A good essay provides a thesis, arguments that support either side and a conclusion based on the evidence. Scientific discovery is similar, it starts with background information, and has research that draws a conclusion. The emergence of essays occurred alongside the Scientific Revolution, discoveries prompted deeper, more inquisitive thinking. Hall writes, “Nor was this spirit of discovery limited to the sciences” and “[Essayists] turned their attention to the examination of received opinions, to a search for inward truths as well as outward.”

  16. Without any doubt, essay writing is scientific. A quote from Hall’s article says that “Essayists…turned their attention to the examination of received opinions, to a search for inward truths as well as outward” (74). Acquiring new knowledge isn’t only about the discovery of new things, but also has a strong connection with the rethinking and reexamination of either old assumptions or knowledge in the past. People use what they have acquired in the past to help them explore unknown areas of knowledge. And eventually, a reexamination of past knowledge and assumptions lead to the Age of Discovery. People are following the exact same steps when they are writing essays and doing scientific exploration.

  17. After reading both works from Harari and Hall, I can definitively say that essay writing requires a certain science. When I think of what science means, I come to the area of discovering unknowns. In writing down and trying to sift through thoughts to get to a point, science is being used. Before the Scientific Revolution, there was little interest in any of the happenings in the world besides what was in individuals’ immediate surroundings. To put it simply, as the years go on, there will be many scientific discoveries and revisions, just as in essay writing.

  18. An essay is a piece of writing that is used to convey a topic or argue something to the reader. Fairly similar to the hypothesis made by scientists when they are trying to prove an experiment. They use a hypothesis to try and persuade the reader to believe in their work through the evidence they provided. Similar to the traditional essay, it is about persuading the reader and drawing a conclusion. When writing an essay you are experimenting with different ideas and if they correlate with each other. Essay writing is giving the author full control of their thoughts and ideas.

  19. We cannot conclude that there is something scientific about essay writing. I believe that the two of these developed in a synonymous manner because essays developed into explaining further scientific theory. I do not think there is something scientific about essay writing, but rather some essay writing in science. These two could develop and progress through eh same time because of the new importance in sharing ideas, and even a sort of persuasive appeal given in essay in order to try and prove a theory to be as true as we can decisively say it can be.

  20. Essay writings are scientific. Science revolves around scientific ideas and sources that are presented to prove the hypothesis the scientists came up with before an experiment. Similarly, essays also are presented with different kinds of evidence to explain the author’s argument and to draw conclusions based on evidence and analysis. Besides, science and essay writings both raise questions and doubts. Scientists and authors can both struggle to prove something whether it’s a scientific question or a complicated perspective on someone. However, I do not think this is a bad thing. Raising questions and doubts can potentially lead to new solutions and discoveries that will expand their knowledge.

  21. The idea that essay writing is potentially “scientific,” is simply not plausible. Of course, essay writing provides credibility to our knowledge of history and the Age of Discovery, and this age is what led to major developments in many scientific fields. However, this doesn’t necessarily mean there is anything “scientific” about the craft of essay writing. As an example, the discovery of human ignorance aided in the development of scientific theories, but it does not have anything to do with the subject specifically. Likewise, essay writing provides credibility to ancient discoveries, such as that of our ignorance, but it has no direct relation to the development of modern science.

  22. Essays are inherently scientific. What is science but the search for knowledge? The search for knowledge extends to the distribution of knowledge, as by distributing knowledge already known by some individuals, you functionally crowd-source the discovery of the next bit of knowledge. This is the essence of an essay. Essays are written to distribute knowledge, to get some point across, to make the reader understand something the author already does. If an essay doesn’t have some informational standing, it has no reason to be written or read. Essays exist to increase the amount of information the average human understands, a specifically scientific endeavor.

  23. I believe that essay writing can be scientific in a sense. Science is often a process in which something is discovered or garnered through the repeated process of questioning and proving. Essays in a similar way do the same as the culmination of evidence and analysis in an essay ultimately takes shape as some sort of theory or argument. Both require critical thinking as it takes established thoughts and ideas and synthesizes into something new, which aligns with the thought process put forth by Halls. They also have similar structure and schematics as well and this makes sense as both require some forth of logic and organization to reach a conclusion. Ultimately, essays and science both work towards a greater understanding of a new idea by building off of old ones.

  24. After reading both Hall and Harari’s works, it is clear that there is a strong connection between science and essay writing. Harari explained that prior to the invention of modern science, most people relied on religious beliefs and figures to guide them through life, such as asking their priests about worldly questions. Once the Scientific Revolution began, people were able to more openly question ideas about the interworkings of the world and search for sound evidence to back up these concepts. This process of the scientific method can be related to essay writing, as Hall explained his view of people utilizing essay writing to explain their discoveries or discuss their potential theories, as people would also do with science. When Hall describes various Renaissance writers, he explains how they would leave their essays void of a definite ending, allowing their readers to ponder their own solutions or opinions surrounding the piece. The Age of Discovery allowed for people to expand their knowledge through a newfound open mindset, as people were no longer confined to the explanations of their authority, specifically the church. By incorporating both methods from writing and science, Hall and Harari make clear how these educational tools can be combined to expand people’s understanding of phenomena outside of religion.

  25. Although essay writing is not a science of its own, it embodies a small aspect of the broader definition of science as it allows scientist to keep track of their discoverings, observations and trials. Now, wether or not an essay discusses a scientific topic it always has an aspect of science present as it attempts to explain, illustrate, and demonstrate an abstract idea by turning it into something concrete through paper and words. Also one similarity between essay writing and science is that they both have a specific method to it and there is certain criteria that makes up the both of them. They both make use of some kind of evidence and try to reach the truth or at least get closer to it. So, because of this I consider that essay writing is indeed scientific.

  26. Essay writing can be regarded as scientific. As presented by “The Emergence of the Essay and the Idea of Discovery,” essays are inherently about discovery, knowledge, and a deeper understanding of a topic. Whether it be about geography, astronomy, or philosophy, essays will grant some sort of knowledge to those who read them. Knowledge can be passed on and challenged, this can lead to people who want more knowledge. As presented by Harari, the cycle of research and power is based on having more knowledge, which is the basis of modern science. This is why essays are scientific.

  27. As humans, we tend to ask ourselves why very frequently. However, it is our curiosity that has led to unprecedented growth in various aspects of life. There is something scientific about essay writing because both science and essay writing strive to answer the question why. Although these two subjects are seemingly different, they are similar due to the fact that they are able to go past the surface level understanding and explain why something is the way that it is. Scientists will explain why the moon has craters while essay writers explain why sentence structure is important to the overall theme. In addition to explaining why, these works are also always unfinished. Montiange deemed essays as “open-ended” and “unfinished” hoping that others will contribute to the essays that were already written. Piggybacking off of the work of another, whether it be in essay writing or for science experiments, has helped advance our society and help us find answers to the seemingly simple question why.

  28. Upon first inspection, it might seem as though there is a definitive connection between essay writing and modern science, as they are both products of the Age of Discovery. Clearly, this age simultaneously provided innovative essays, which offered examinations of traditional beliefs, and scientific methods, which were geared towards finding improvements upon societal technologies. However, I am inclined to view the similarity of these advancements as an instance of correlation, not causation. These are two distinct byproducts of humanity shedding part of its ignorance in favor of making discoveries, rendering few, if any, “scientific” aspects to be found in early essay composition. Rather, these first essays speak to the nature of the human mind to flow freely, develop complex ideas, and speculate, whereas the invention of modern science reflects a desire to explore the practical possibilities of nature and the physical world. There is this fundamental opposition between the respective realistic and abstract preliminary goals of essays and scientific research that clash despite them both being products of the Age of Discovery, which offers little science to be found in the process of essay writing.

  29. I believe there is something inherently scientific about essay writing. If essays were truly what kicked off the culture that made up the the Age of Discovery as Hall argues, and if the Age of Discovery was imperative to the development of modern science as Harari argues, there has to be some sort of correlation between the two. Essays were in many ways an outlet for people and authors to explore these “truths” which Hall dabbles on, and I believe Hall’s use of Francis Bacon and his essays is a prime example of such. For people to write down these truths and explore them means that there is a transfer of knowledge — as Hall states, “as soon as an author commits his private thoughts to paper, they are no longer merely ‘antike workes’ or the play of a mind thinking but literary artifacts with syntax, grammar, and rhetoric directed toward some reading ‘public…'” Original writings from historical figures like Copernicus and Columbus inspired the many essays of the Renaissance era which allowed for such a boom of discovery and increase in knowledge about the surrounding world and beyond. Essay writing allows for a connection between the past, present, and future, as essays are like stamps in time. This allowed for such an immense amount of scientific discoveries and knowledge that had been seen during the Age of Discovery, because people were able to use these past writings to formulate essays that would then inspire more essays, becoming building tools for further interpretation and conquest. Without such, many of the knowledge during those times would have been lost in time, and humanity probably would had never developed scientifically the way it has had these discoveries never been documented in essays.

  30. Hall explains that the essay is a “kind of written discourse” that “allowed the author to think freely” and discover “new ideas and insights”, which is an argument that Wampole would agree with, especially when she states that the essay is “an act of knowledge production” that allows for “self-education”. In this respect, they both agree that the essay, in the way that Montaigne intended, was a way of discovering your thoughts as you write, a place of uncertainty where you haven’t yet figured everything out. However, Hall goes on to discuss how the essay is somewhat “dialectical” as it involves almost an “implied dialogue” between author and reader, leading to “cooperative exploration of a subject. On the other hand, Wampole focuses on the inner, egocentric component of the essay, which creates a “map of your mind” and allows for “self-edification”, molding space for discovery of oneself and one’s own view of the world.

  31. Essay writing falls under an artistic or creative category of skills in most people’s minds, but when examined further, it is evident that writing a compelling piece is like solving for a derivative. The language, tone, or wording may be different, but there is a theoretical equation for every type of essay we write, our English classes in school taught us not how to write from scratch, but what blueprint to use for what occasion. Persuasive essays start with a problem statement, evidence needs to be followed by analysis, even “creative” writing needs to follow structure. Ethos, pathos, logos, and other rhetorical writing devices are just like multiplication, addition, and subtraction; each serves a specific and unique purpose. Writing has formulas so that the reader does not need to focus on understanding the layout of the argument, all attention is pointed towards what the writer has to say as opposed to in what order.

  32. Essays are practically science because they reflect the same ideals and principles. Both essays and science need evidence and analysis in their own ways. The scientific revolution created a gateway for future scientific discoveries to be made and allowed for broader thinking and ideas. Persuasive essays need specific evidence in order to prove a particular point, and like science, will not be able to come to a strong conclusion without effective evidence. Since both essays and principles are quite identical, they share enough similarities to be considered equal.

  33. Essays are a science, or at least have a scientific aspect to them. As suggested by Hall, essay writing is an examination of old and new assumptions. Putting them together into an essay can create new knowledge that one has not discovered yet. Opening the lenses by looking at events or objects from different views points that are in essays leads to new realizations. The realization that could be for the better or for the worse but new knowledge is discovered and it is for humans to experiment with.

  34. An essay is scientific in nature. It examines the personal opinions of the unknown, just like a scientific experiment would. However, where a science experiment would reveal truth in data and numbers, an essay strives to answer the unknown through words and rhetoric. Harari describes how the Scientific Revolution during the Age of Discovery allowed mankind to push the boundaries of knowledge past religion and authority. On an individual level, man began to stray away from the definitive word of the religious elite as the scientific method allowed for new discovery. Hall expands on this idea of widespread discovery through essay writing with the notion that essays allow readers to ponder why and seek further into the truth. While essays may lack in quantifiable fact, it broadens the scope for deeper understanding by first acknowledging its flaws of ignorance.

  35. Essay writing is scientific because it is not something that is absolutely right. One idea that Harari mentioned is that admitting the ignorance of people is a fundamental part of science. People agreed that there are errors even in the well-developed theories. There is no “the best way to write an essay”. And people who claim that will not be marginalized and attracted by people with different opinions. This is the most important reason why essay writing is scientific.

  36. Based on Hall’s and Harari’s insights, there is something “scientific” about essay writing. Harari touches upon the change in perspective and approach on learning new ideas. Previously, people were under a very religious lense, however, the Scientific Revolution opened up a new determination for discovery. He explains the differences between the traditions of knowledge and modern science, specifically the admittance to ignorance and how it allowed for the development of new technologies. Essays, in corroboration, is a search for new ideas as well. Hall describes essayists as trying to “search for inward truths as well as outward” (74). Writing is a journey of exploration and is to be left open-ended and unfinished. This is similar to our change in thinking in the Scientific Revolution as we are continuously theorizing and obtaining new knowledge, not necessarily trying to establish a definitive answer. Thus, essays are “scientific.”

  37. Essay writing is most definitely a science in that it is formulaic and there is a certain methodology that can be applied to a text. In Harari’s chapter fourteen, “The Discovery of Ignorance”, he discusses that “the Scientific Revolution has not been a revolution of knowledge. It has been above all a revolution of ignorance” (251). In other words, during this period humans discovered that they don’t know everything. This can be related to an idea expressed by Hall in that during this same period focused primarily on STEM applications, essayists dealt with a very similar phenomenon. Their works were composed of “a search for inward truths as well as outward” (Hall 74). Essays open with a claim, or problem, develop a thesis or in scientific terms, a hypothesis, and then research their evidence and draw conclusions. Hall, Harari, and anyone with a sense of how to write an essay and the general concept of the scientific method cannot ignore the similarities between the two forms.

  38. 1. There is most certainly a scientific process that essay writing follows. Essays are defined as, and designed to be, works of writing that introduce the reader to a new idea or agues a case from a different, revolutionary standpoint. In many ways, science works in this same way, working with a small nugget of prior knowledge and researching, experimenting, and investigating until a newfound breakthrough is reached. Both essay writers and scientists utilize evidence, analysis of this evidence, and then original, well-founded ideas in order to hone their craft and produce a reputable, novel result. Essays are certainly more abstract, personal, and unprovable compared to science, which is rigid and empirical, but they both share a similar developmental process and utilize similar tools, which should not be discounted.

  39. Writing essays is an outlet to express one’s free thought, but it is also a way to search for higher truths that could very well be unknown at the moment. It is both a mode of self-discovery and an attempt to discover the world. In a similar vein, the essence of science also endeavors to learn more about our physical world through a multitude of rigorous observations, inferring, and experimentations. While essays can be more visceral and involve more emotions since it explores an author’s inner world, science focuses mostly on objectivity without the addition of personal emotions. I believe these two are interconnected and interdependent because humans need both sides to interpret the world around us. As science provides us answers, we write essays to further interpret them with a personal understanding and to share our take with others.

  40. In Hall’s: The Emergence of the Essay and Idea of Discovery, he regards the art of essay writing as a sort of science. Such that science is based on finding the solution to a problem or serving as an explanation. Even their structure is recognizably similar. According to Harari, in his book Sapiens, holds that essays and science both aim to examine a proved truth and to analyze and draw a conclusion from.

  41. Essays most definitely are scientific. Specifically in the Renaissance, they were used to display the discoveries and advancements scientists, philosophers, explorers, etc.. Through these essays, these unconventional and revolutionary ideas were introduced to society, challenging the status quo and “imagined reality” (Harari) implemented by the Catholic Church. As a result of challenging the Church with these essays within the Age of Discovery, society was allowed to evolve and with it writing. Essays were the champions of change, they were what made the brilliant discoveries of history’s finest like Francis Bacon and Copernicus known, eventually prompting change.

  42. Essay writings are absolutely scientific as they both follow a similar methodology. In science, the goal is to conduct an experiment that will provide evidence to support a hypothesis claimed by the scientists. This notion is similarly followed in essay writing when writers make a claim and provide evidence to deepen and prove their claim to be true. The start of an essay is quite alike to the beginning of an experiment in science, as both begin with a question they work to answer. Though essay writings are more personal and can not truly be right, it follows a process that is much like the scientific process.

  43. What better way is there to describe essays by saying it’s scientific? Although that sounds strange, when looking at the components of what makes an essay it can definitely be termed as scientific. Essay writing heavily integrates the necessity to find evidence and analyze such evidence to prove a point. Doesn’t that sound similar to science and their methodology in general? Through essay writing, new ideas and knowledge are being created. The evidence found in both essays and scientific discoveries create a foundation that is necessary to come to a conclusion for whatever is happening.

  44. 1. There is something “scientific” about essay writing. While we were able to make huge progress after the Scientific Revolution, society didn’t change drastically from any perspective before because people didn’t have the passion to investigate the truth and didn’t realize the potential to think in a non-religious way. By admitting their ignorance, people changed the way to think and started to search for truth rather than believing in the information that was created for them. The same thing applies to writing. According to Hall, in the late sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries, Essayists prompted “a new mode of thought and discourse”. They now turned their attention to “examination of received opinions, to a search for inward truths as well as outward” (Hall). This new mode of writing shows the similarity between scientific progress and essay writing.

  45. Essay writing is inherently scientific. Not in a technical, formulaic sense, but rather in that they both exhibit the pursuit of knowledge and new ideas in a way that admits ignorance and seeks truth via mathematical principles (concrete logics). As such, any craft that exhibits said raw pursuit via the Scientific Method (which is precisely what encompasses the process by which scientific knowledge is found) is scientific, whether it is the exploration of philosophical ponderings in a film or a study on the efficacy of medicine. Conversely, any supposed scientific paper or scholarly essay can be entirely unscientific if they do not follow in this way.

  46. After reading through Hall’s essay and the posted Sapiens chapter, I agree with Hall and Harari in the claim that essay writing is a science. Essays are a formulaic means of convening a new thought or idea to someone else. This is quite similar to science and the scientific method which strives to do the same thing with sharing information. Both essays and science require theorizing and using specific means to get a point across effectively.

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