Athanasius Kircher: The Last Man Who Knew Everything - download pdf or read online

By Paula Findlen

ISBN-10: 0203643887

ISBN-13: 9780203643884

ISBN-10: 0203953878

ISBN-13: 9780203953877

ISBN-10: 041594015X

ISBN-13: 9780415940153

ISBN-10: 0415940168

ISBN-13: 9780415940160

I have learn much approximately this guy and was once shocked to discover a ebook approximately him in my neighborhood bookstore. besides the fact that, i used to be dissapointed while i eventually set out to examining the e-book and really acquired so bored i did not end it!

It regrettably reads like a persons Masters thesis. This try at writing is abissmal, and will by no means were revealed sooner than a good (mass-market) editor checked out it. might have been significantly better is basically all i am asserting.

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PgsI 5/13/04 2:32 PM Page 35 The Last Man Who Knew Everything . . or Did He? • 35 a world of natural and experimental curiosities. He allowed his recently departed colleague Schott to publicize the machines they had made together. 110 By this point in time, Kircher had begun to routinely delegate the construction and description of his fabled machines to younger Jesuits. In the throes of completing the long-awaited Mundus subterraneus, Kircher continued to find new forms of diversion for his capacious intellect.

Kircher promised translations of Syrian and Islamic manuscripts that would unlock the secrets of Eastern philosophy. He planned two additional translations of Arabic manuscripts—one a collection of geometric, optical, and astronomical fragments, the other an account of ancient Egyptian writing and law. 79 None of these translations ever appeared. But perhaps that was not the point of it all. In 1646, Kircher presented himself as a consummate encyclopedist whose knowledge of the arts and sciences rested on his ability to read virtually every ancient language of interest in Catholic Europe and whose reputation depended upon his access to rare and important manuscripts.

112 The problem in both instances was quality. In an age in which dozens of philosophers, among them Bacon and Descartes, had put forth bold new methodologies for attaining knowledge, Kircher’s “great art” seems to have only inspired a reader such as Knittel. An anonymous English reviewer shared this view when he wrote in 1669 that Kircher “pretends by a new and Universal Method . . ”113 Similarly, the idea of a German who had barely seen Tuscany writing the definitive work on its history and nature outraged some of the Tuscan Jesuits, who found the work riddled with errors.

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Athanasius Kircher: The Last Man Who Knew Everything by Paula Findlen


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