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09:36 | 09-07-2014 | Culturology, Metaphysics, Science | No Comments

немного истории:

From 1779 to 1785, an English bishop called Samuel Horsley brought out five very large volumes of Isaac Newton’s complete works. The series was called Isaaci Newtoni Opera quae extant Omnia (“Everything that Exists of Isaac Newton’s Works”). This was the first time Newton’s works had ever been collected and it included the books that you’d expect to find, things like his Opticks and the Principia, along with lesser known things like Newton’s commentaries on the Temple of Solomon and his interpretation of the Book of Revelations. What Horsley’s edition notably did not include, and which in length far outnumbered everything Newton ever published, were his magical writings. Horsley didn’t think it seemly to publish what amounted to number mysticism and alchemy alongside the most important works of Enlightenment science. And so he simply put them in a drawer. A hundred and fifty years later in 1936, Newton’s mystical and alchemical writings reemerged at Sotheby’s in London, where they were bought by the economist John Maynard Keynes.

Keynes had eagerly collected Newton’s occult manuscripts all his life and he stated the situation in a very stark way. He said that Newton “was not the first of the age of reason. He was the last of the magicians.”

This is important because scientists and magicians seem to tell very different stories about the world. The stories that science tells are meant to interlock with each other, like Legos. Every scientific story has certain features in common with every other scientific story. These features, like the use of mathematics or logic or the conceit that matter is atomic, allow explicit connections to be made between them, even if their subjects are widely separated. This availability for interconnection is one of the things that makes science a powerful force in our world.

и самое интересное — call it Pynchonesque in a way — чуть дальше:

The stories that magicians tell would seem to be very different. The word occult means “hidden;” this tends to describe the types of stories whose logic is not readily apparent. However, the important thing to remember is not that magical stories “don’t make sense” or that alchemy “doesn’t work,” but that Newton thought they did.

что ж, он бог, ему можно.


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