Download e-book for kindle: Ancients and Moderns (Washington University Studies.) by Richard Foster Jones

By Richard Foster Jones

ISBN-10: 0486244148

ISBN-13: 9780486244143

Attractive, erudite examine of upward thrust of medical flow in 17th-century England; Francis Bacon’s position rather under pressure. Revised (1961) version.

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Example text

42 "There are many modern authors," he says, who have written and copied from others about amber and jet attracting chaff, and about other substances generally unknown; with whose labours the shops of booksellers are crammed. Our own age has produced many books about hidden, abstruse, and occult causes and wonders, in all of which amber and jet are set forth as enticing chaff; but they treat the subject in words alone, without finding any reasons or proofs from experiments, their very statements obscuring the thing in a greater fog, forsooth in a cryptic, marvellous, abstruse, secret, occult, way.

He even goes so far as to insist that nature was practically unknown to the ancients; that knowledge of it belongs essentially to modernity. He is unmerciful in his denunciation of ancient fallacies, realizing, as he -17- did, how these errors continued to be propagated by the blind followers of antiquity in the protected seats of learning. 39 In fact, it was the propagation of ancient mistakes that constituted his chief charge against the philosophy derived from antiquity. He holds up to his age the horrible example of those who "not being practised in the subjects of nature, and being misled by certain false physical systems.

But Poets, Philosophers, Fathers, (in other things worthy our loue, for their delightful Poems; our admiration for their profound Science; our awefull respect and reuerence for their holy learning, and learned holinesse) herein wee bid you farewell:. . our America, subject to that supposed burning Zone, with clouds and armies of witnesses in her well-peopled Regions can auerre, that the parts betwixt the Tropickes are both habitable and inhabited. 28 Modern geographical observations added to and frequently corrected traditional knowledge, but they certainly did not undermine respect for the ancients, nor, in academic treatises at any rate, very much lessen their authority in many things.

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Ancients and Moderns (Washington University Studies.) by Richard Foster Jones


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