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Natural Science
NATS 1760
Edward Jones- Imhotep

TheAuthority ofAncient Sources Practice and utility in Renaissance culture – question of knowledge – recipe for concrete is known inAncient Rome but recipe is lost in the MiddleAge – comes idea that there are secrets out there (secrets of nature) – project of rediscovering theAncients is rediscovering the marvels of nature – practice and utility needs to be rediscovered – obsessed with practicality – “how to” books are published – practical concern because renaissance culture commercial culture – interest in commercial practical applications Wonder and the marvels of nature – ideas of how to discover secrets of earth that need to be recovered – fables are taken for sources of potential knowledge The Baconian Sciences – o ften involve marvels and exceptions – don't have overarching theory to explain – knowledge relies on trial and error experiments – seen as practical fields of study – people who contribute to them are generally artisans, people who make things for a living – end up revealing knowledge that are produce through body of literature called the books of secret – books of secrets deal with things such as how to dye textile, cloths, – two crucial functions: they transmit knowledge that would otherwise remain only in the hands of the artisans, responsible for new concept of experimentation – people who read these books see how experimentation can create knowledge CorneliusAgrippa – studies at university of cologne – finds secret society interested in magic – has idea that universe is broken up into three parts: elemental world (the world we inhabit; rocks, trees, water; celestial world; the world of heavens; intellectual world: world of god and the supernatural) – sees all of these things as being connected – sees that aspects of one world end up being communicated to the other, they influence the other – published “Of Occult Philosophy” – believes relationships between numbers hold secrets of the world – books of secrets form the basis of natural magic – natural magic is not demonic magic, it's basic assumption is that nature is full of hidden forces that can be manipulated, understood, and directed for human gain – kind of natural philosophy that seeks to understand wondrous ways the world behaves according to naturalistic observation 2 reasons church outlaws natural magic: – church does not draw distinction between naturalistic magic and demonic magic – church sees it as encroaching on questions of miracles, believes they are trying to demystify miracles so they go after natural magicians and outlawing natural magic – magician take nature and produce effects that illusions – make nature behave in ways it doesn't usually behave – people that were most interested in natural magic.... Giambattista Della Porta – travels through, Italy, France, Spain – studies optics, math, astronomy – friends with Galileo – interested in things that have to do with magic and codes – interested in cryptography: study of codes and cyphers – “Natural magic” book believes that nature can be changed through natural philosophy – you can change the world through natural philosophy – book is an instrument of self promotion: presents himself as a person who can makes sense of marvels and wonders – ones of his theories is that the beauty of the baby is determined by what the women is looking at at the time of conception – ends up representing juxtaposition of the secrets – mixing of art and nature Francis Bacon – son of high rank official – time of Shakespeare – theory that he is author behind Shakespeare – because he has education that everybody attributes to someone who knows as much as Shakespeare does – very specific attitude that marks him apart from the people of his time Francis Bacon and Salomon's House – metaphor of Solomon s House – imaginary building that Bacon ends up seeing as a model for the kind of Science he wants to see – kinds of activities that go on in house are practical activities that will generate new knowledge in science – vision is that this place, science itself will end up producing knowledge that is useful for the country that will do things such as predict plagues, weather, create weapons – experiments go on in house – says the main focus is the knowledge of causes and the secret motion of things – change in understanding of nature in science – Ancient Greece: regularity, observation is crucial Renaissance: marvels, exceptions, if you believe nature has secrets you create conditions of possibility for experimentation – experimentation creates knowledge – torture nature to force her to reveal her secrets – experimentation is the only way to get nature to reveal her secrets – only way science can progress is through experimentation Two things we can take away from Bacon's view of Solomon's house: – emphasis on practicality – notion of secrecy: believes some things in Solomon s house should be common knowledge, but some things should be secret; some basic knowledge should be kept secret The critique of scholasticism – attacks the systems of knowledge at the time – scholasticism; merger of ancient religion and philosophy – takes religion of augustine and combines with philosophy of Aristotle – disagrees of science or natural philosophy that allows no question – disagrees with definition of scho
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