February 2, 2008
Reading “The Revolution in Science 1500-1750” by A. Rupert Hall and absolutely loved this line:
Quite how the authentic philosophy of Plato […] became the father of natural magic — magical operations without the aid of demons — seems to be somewhat obscure.
“Magical operations without the aid of demons”! So awesome! “Hey, uh, listen, so if you want to do some magic… but you don’t have any demons… try science!”
I’m enjoying the tone of the book. Hall isn’t afraid to make positive value-judgments about the scientific worldview (because, he says, that view actually does provide more useful, more complete theories about the world) but at the same time, he doesn’t fail to detail all the weird, religious, dogmatic, and/or occult motivations of many early scientists: Vesalius! Mondino! Paracelsus!