Tag Archives: discovery

The Invention of Discovery
Part 1: Travel and Discovery in Antiquity

[Note: This post is dedicated to my friend Jack Wright, Regents Professor of Geography at New Mexico State University, like Herodotus an inveterate traveler, like Pytheas a curious wanderer.] Humans are by nature discoverers.  Anthropologists tell us that our earliest discoveries, the ones that have been taken to define human nature—the invention of tools, for […]

The Iconography of Scientific Discovery in the Renaissance (Part I)

The Renaissance has long been regarded as the great age of scientific discovery, the beginning of the Scientific Revolution. The repudiation of the received wisdom of the ancients, the rejection of book learning in favor of observation and experiment, and the receptivity to novelty: These were the hallmarks of the origins of modern science. All […]

The Disease Called Curiosity

Nowadays we think of curiosity as an emotion necessary for the advancement of knowledge, indeed as the well-spring of scientific discovery. It was not always so. Saint Augustine, in the fourth century, stated the traditional medieval view of curiosity, and it wasn’t favorable.  In the Confessions, the Bishop of Hippo made inquisitiveness in general the […]

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