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The Poet And The Philosopher: Francis Bacon And Georg Philipp Harsdörffer

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Chapter Summary

This chapter traces the influence of Bacon?s thought on Harsdörffer in an effort to illuminate the history of Bacon?s reception in Germany and the paths through which his thought was disseminated. It addresses the question of how contemporary scientific discussion was conveyed to the educated gentry and aristocracy. The chapter comments briefly on the current state of research on this question. A thorough examination of Bacon?s influence in Germany, particularly with regard to development of early natural science, has yet to be undertaken. Harsdörffer?s concept of mathematics is much broader than modern concepts, considering ?mathematical? virtually anything having to do with quantification. This set is divided into pure and applied mathematics. Anything not fitting into one of these categories is referred to with the term art, which includes the entirety of human capabilities and tools for the processing of nature and is, thus, roughly analogous to our concept of technology.

Keywords: aristocracy; art; contemporary scientific discussion; early natural science; educated gentry; Francis Bacon; Germany; Harsdörffer; mathematics

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