By Sarah Irving
"Natural technological know-how and the Origins of the British Empire" represents a primary background of the British Empire that takes account of the experience of empire as highbrow in addition to geographic dominion: the historiography of the British Empire, with its preoccupation of empire as geographically unchallenged sovereignty, overlooks the belief of empire as highbrow dominion. Conversely, historians of technology haven't investigated the way in which that 17th century typical philosophers' thought of empire was once in detail attached to England's colonisation of the Atlantic. "Natural technological know-how and the Origins of the British Empire" stands out as the first publication to assemble the origins of the British Empire with the heritage of early sleek technological know-how. Irving locations seventeenth-century developments in ordinary technology within the context of England's colonisation of the Atlantic international. As Robert Boyle and his contemporaries stumbled on, English colonies in eire, North the US and the Caribbean yielded a wealth of recent wisdom concerning the flora and fauna. information regarding local peoples, vegetation, soil and weather used to be gathered. Irving argues that males of technology used new info to construct an highbrow in addition to a geographical empire.
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Extra resources for Natural Science and The Origins of The British Empire (Empires in Perspective)
Founded in 1660, the Royal Society of London for the Promotion of Natural Knowledge emerged as the first official scientific institution in England. For several decades preceding the Restoration, however, a number of unofficial groups of like-minded gentlemen had met informally to discuss natural philosophy. One of the characteristics of the new experimental natural philosophy was, after all, the collaborative context in which it was practised. In 1645 a group of men including John Wallis and Robert Boyle met in London.
The fourth point which we must keep in mind is that there is a profound ambiguity in Bacon’s work concerning who would reclaim man’s empire over the earth: mankind or England? Bacon’s language when he refers to Adam’s dominion, as we will see, is universal. Adam is a synecdoche for mankind. We know, however, that the overwhelming intention of Bacon’s work was to advance learning in order to enhance the power of England rather than mankind. This is an unresolved tension in Bacon’s work. Although Bacon’s use of the language of empire was varied, the task of understanding his conception of Adamic empire is aided by the fact that he was not doing anything lexically new.
Again, my point is not that this is an inaccurate translation of Bacon’s meaning, but that had the translators used the term ‘empire’ in English, scholars would be more aware of the significance of the concept of empire to Bacon’s work. De Sapienta Veterum (The Wisdom of the Ancients) deals with ancient myths, for which Bacon provides an interpretation. ’62 Let us consider the Riddle of the Sphinx, which Bacon identifies as a riddle about the nature of science. Put briefly the story is that in Thebes there lived a sphinx who foisted riddles upon passers-by and would tear to pieces those who could not solve them.
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