Re: Big Reply 7

Clyde Davenport (clyde@BUS.HIROSHIMA-PU.AC.JP)
Tue, 9 Jul 1996 09:20:53 +0900

I will not have a chance to reply in sufficient detail to Gary
Goodman's worthy response to my earlier posting (which
itself was in reply to an earlier posting of his) until next
month as I am going on vacation for a few weeks. However,
here I would like to make one quick point.

Gary writes:
>(BTW, though pretty familiar with the Inquisition I must
admit to have somehow completely missed "Carolyn Merchant's
connection between the Inquisition and scientific techniques"
which considering the timing and details I am aware of seems
at first glance to be blithering nonsense -- anyone tell me the
book or article this is in. I'd love to see how this "connection"
was made?)

I comment:
Francis Bacon (1561-1626) states that the underlying
purpose of experimentation is "natura vexata," to annoy
or vex nature so that it reveals its secrets. He also directly
compares the role of the experimentor to the role of the
inquisitor who tortures his victims. See Morris Berman, _
The Reenchantment of the World_ (Cornell University Press,
1981), p. 28 and Carolyn Merchant, _The Death of Nature:
Women, Ecology and the Scientific Revolution_ , (Harper
and Row, 1980) pp. 165-172.

The question here is in evaluating Bacon's role in the
development of science. How influential was he? Also
to what extent did others share his view of the nature
of experimentation.

Clyde Davenport