Notebooks, English Virtuosi, And Early Modern Science by Richard YeoNotebooks, English Virtuosi, And Early Modern Science by Richard Yeo

Notebooks, English Virtuosi, And Early Modern Science

byRichard Yeo

Hardcover | March 1, 2014

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In Notebooks, English Virtuosi, and Early Modern Science, Richard Yeo interprets a relatively unexplored set of primary archival sources: the notes and notebooks of some of the leading figures of the Scientific Revolution. Notebooks were important to several key members of the Royal Society of London, including Robert Boyle, John Evelyn, Robert Hooke, John Locke, and others, who drew on Renaissance humanist techniques of excerpting from texts to build storehouses of proverbs, maxims, quotations, and other material in personal notebooks, or commonplace books. Yeo shows that these men appreciated the value of their own notes both as powerful tools for personal recollection, and, following Francis Bacon, as a system of precise record keeping from which they could retrieve large quantities of detailed information for collaboration.
The virtuosi of the seventeenth century were also able to reach beyond Bacon and the humanists, drawing inspiration from the ancient Hippocratic medical tradition and its emphasis on the gradual accumulation of information over time. By reflecting on the interaction of memory, notebooks, and other records, Yeo argues, the English virtuosi shaped an ethos of long-term empirical scientific inquiry.
Richard Yeo is adjunct professor in the School of Humanities, Griffith University, Australia, and a fellow of the Australian Academy of the Humanities. He is the author or editor of numerous books, including Defining Science and Encyclopaedic Visions. He lives in Brisbane, Australia.
Title:Notebooks, English Virtuosi, And Early Modern ScienceFormat:HardcoverDimensions:384 pages, 9 × 6 × 1.3 inPublished:March 1, 2014Publisher:University of Chicago PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:022610656X

ISBN - 13:9780226106564

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Table of Contents

Editorial Notes


1. Introduction

2. Capacious Memory and Copious Notebooks

3. Information and Empirical Sensibility

4. Taking Notes in Samuel Hartlib's Circle

5. Rival Memories: John Beale and Robert Boyleon Empirical Information

6. Robert Boyle's Loose Notes

7. John Locke, Master Note-taker

8. Collective Note-taking and Robert Hooke's Dynamic Archive

9. Conclusion



Manuscript Sources



Editorial Reviews

"Underlying Yeo's study is the fundamental question: if the project of the English virtuosi was the reform of natural knowledge, and healthy scepticism towards classical authority and received wisdom its watchword, did they approach the methods and processes of humanistic and scholastic learning as cautiously as they did its data? He opens with the classic site of early modern polite learning, the commonplace book. Yeo points to the startling rhetorical continuity that represented the first English encyclopedias and scientific periodicals in the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries as arising from, or extending, personal commonplace books, and his study is a brilliantly detailed account of what the durability of the metaphor represented in practice."