Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Limits versus No Limits

We are proceding now from an understanding of a opposition over the concept of limit in science.

Alexander Pope, in Essay on Criticism, admiringly observes that "Nature to all things fix'd the Limits fit, And wisely curb'd proud Man's pretending Wit."

Francis Bacon boasts to the contrary in the New Atlantis that the new science is dedicated to the "enlarging of the bounds of Human Empire, to the effecting of all things possible." Bacon illustrates his concept with a frontispiece to his Instauratio Magna of a ship sailing through the classic ne plus ultra ('no more beyond') of humankind -- the Gates of Hercules -- above the motto (from the Book of Daniel 12:4), "Many will pass through and knowledge will be increased": i.e. plus ultra

(Click on the image to enlarge.)

No comments:

Post a Comment