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" For the wit and mind of man, if it work upon matter, which is the contemplation of the creatures of God, worketh according to the stuff and is limited thereby; but if it work upon itself, as the spider worketh his web, then it is endless, and brings forth... "
The Works of Francis Bacon: Lord Chancellor of England - Page ix
by Francis Bacon - 1825
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Science and the Secrets of Nature: Books of Secrets in Medieval and Early ...

William Eamon - History - 1996 - 514 pages
...dissolved into useless speculation. Like the spider that works on its own web, traditional philosophy "is endless, and brings forth indeed cobwebs of learning,...fineness of thread and work, but of no substance or profit."19 The problem was that philosophy had lost sight of the proper criterion of truth. As in the...
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Early Postmodernism: Foundational Essays

Paul A. Bové - Literary Criticism - 1995 - 318 pages
...drive for a new discourse when Bacon suspects the schoolmen's books reveal that, if the mind works only "upon itself, as the spider worketh his web, then...of thread and work, but of no substance or profit" (III, 285-86). The story is well known: Locke extends Bacon's distrust of "idols of the human mind"...
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Natural Language Processing and Speech Technology: Results of the 3rd ...

Dafydd Gibbon - Computers - 1996 - 1278 pages
...agitation of wit, spin out unto us those laborious webs of learning which are extant in their books. For the wit and mind of man, if it work upon matter, which...of thread and work, but of no substance or profit. (Ill, 285f.; emphases CS). In the Novum Organum he returns to this metaphorical characterization of...
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Knowledge and Postmodernism in Historical Perspective

Joyce Oldham Appleby - Knowledge, Sociology of - 1996 - 578 pages
...agitation of wit spin out unto us those laborious webs of learning which are extant in their books. For the wit and mind of man, if it work upon matter, which...of thread and work, but of no substance or profit. 6. This same unprofitable subtility or curiosity is of two sorts,- either in the subject itself that...
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Encyclopedia of Rhetoric and Composition: Communication from Ancient Times ...

Theresa Enos - Language Arts & Disciplines - 1996 - 836 pages
...Aristotle and the medieval scholastics and that he scornfully characterizes as "cobwebs of learmng, admirable for the fineness of thread and work, but of no substance or profit" (6:122l. Their method of induction is "utterly vicious and incompetent" because it enumerates particular...
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The Ascent of Science

Brian L. Silver - Science - 2000 - 553 pages
...intellect, left to itself, ought always to be suspected." And again: "For the wit and mind of Man ... if it work upon itself, as the spider worketh his...the fineness of thread and work, but of no substance and profit." Like Descartes's vortices. Bacon was particularly contemptuous of Greek philosophy, which...
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Selected Philosophical Works

Francis Bacon, Rose-Mary Sargent - Philosophy - 1999 - 340 pages
...agitation of wit, spin out unto us those laborious webs of learning which are extant in their books. For the wit and mind of man, if it work upon matter, which is the contemplation of the creatures of God, works according to the stuff and is limited thereby. But if it work upon itself, as the spider works...
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The Dream of Reason: A History of Western Philosophy from the Greeks to the ...

Anthony Gottlieb - Philosophy - 2000 - 490 pages
...agitation of wit spin out unto us those laborious webs of learning which are extant in their books - cobwebs of learning, admirable for the fineness of thread and work, but of no substance or profit. Two centuries after Bacon, by which time Descartes was widely seen as the man who had done the most...
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Against Autonomy: Global Dialectics of Cultural Exchange

Timothy J. Reiss - Philosophy - 2002 - 562 pages
...learning" was nothing without attachment to external reference, some correspondence in the world: For the wit and mind of man, if it work upon matter, which...of thread and work but of no substance or profit. (Advancement, 202) Bacon was dismissing the medieval schoolmen. But that dismissal was part of a broader...
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The Waning of the Renaissance, 1550-1640

William James Bouwsma - History - 2002 - 328 pages
...infinite agitation of wit spin out those laborious webs of learning which are extant in their books. For the wit and mind of man, if it work upon matter, which...of thread and work, but of no substance or profit. . . . Instead of a fruitful womb for the use and benefit of man's life, they end in monstrous altercations...
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