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Chapter One - The First Phase: Seminal Ideation, c.1648– c.1670: The Focus upon Definition and Hypothesis

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  02 March 2021

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Summary

All these motives, I am suggesting, could take enough of a hold over some souls to produce some actions and effects which might seem supernatural without actually being so.

Sir Kenelm Digby's (1603– 1665) letter to the Louis de Rohan (1598– 1667), prince de Guémené, concerning the possessed people at Loudon, c. Fall, 1636 (attached to a letter sent to Thomas Hobbes, January 17, 1637).

In your Logike, before you can manage men's conceptions, you must show how to apprehend them rightly; and herein I would gladly know wither you work upon the general notions and apprehensions that all men (the vulgar as well as the learned) frame of all things that occurred unto them; or whither you make your ground to be definitions collected out of a deep insight into the things themselves.

Sir Kenelm Digby's letter to Thomas Hobbes, January 17, 1637, P. 42 (Letter 25).

If the Society would retreat a little from its Baconian stance, and accept that it might be permissible to gather information with a specific aim in mind, rather than collecting material on every conceivable subject, the work might be completed more quickly. “I mention this, to hint only by the by, that there may be use of Method in the collecting of Materials, as well as in the use of them, and to show that … there ought to be some End and Aim, some pre-designed Module and Theory, some Purpose in our Experiment”.

Robert Hooke (1635– 1703), written on a lecture on Earthquakes in 1667 or 1668.

These epigraphs introduce the transitional shift from the fourth phasal Early Modern principles of knowing (c.1620– 1648) outlined in the Introduction to what becomes the first phasal, First Modern metaparadigm principles of knowing (c.1648– 1672):

Fourth phase (c. 1620– 1648) of the Early Modern Metaparadigm Principles of Knowing

  • (1) the collective expression of persons, places, and things, that is, having the totality formed by them in common by dint of shared characteristics

  • (2) determinism in the laws of function in intelligent beings and in things without mind or will;

  • (3) a conception of duration of states-of-affairs;

  • (4) matter rather than mind is the chief content of judgment.

Type
Chapter
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The Metahistory of Western Knowledge in the Modern Era
Four Evolving Metaparadigms, 1648 to Present
, pp. 23 - 38
Publisher: Anthem Press
Print publication year: 2021

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