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Humanist Archives: March 9, 2020, 8:37 a.m. Humanist 33.662 - mathematics --> ?

                  Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 33, No. 662.
            Department of Digital Humanities, King's College London
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        Date: 2020-03-09 08:17:50+00:00
        From: Willard McCarty 
        Subject: each viewing the other

In the Novum Organum, sive indicia vera de Interpretatione Naturae
(1620, "New organon, or true directions concerning the interpretation of
nature"), Francis Bacon wrote,

> … ita certe ipsa contemplatio rerum prout sunt, sine superstitione
> aut impostura, errore aut confusione, in seipsa magis digna est, quam
> universus inventorum fructus. (“surely the very contemplation of
> things as they are, without superstition or imposture, error or
> confusion, is in itself a nobler thing than a whole harvest of
> invention.”, I.cxxix)

I was alerted to these words by Henri Cartier-Bresson in a documentary,
"Pen, brush and camera"
(https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WsNnJLv1pkk&t=126s), about 1 minute and
40 seconds in. His words slipped into the context of Tom McLeish's
The Poetry and Music of Science (2019),* causing me to wonder where 
else I mmight find a deeply informed and knowledgeable view of the 
natural sciences, physics in particular, that does not take them as 
describing ultimate reality -- however poetic -- or as close to it 
as humankind can get from whatever standing point. Or, if 'ultimate 
reality' simply cannot be unbolted from these sciences, where else we 
find a deeply informed and knowledgeable view of them from the outside, 

Cartier-Bresson, in that documentary, speaks of his deep attention to
the geometry of everyday forms. That's a start.

Comments? Suggestions?

* To be extensively reviewed in the forthcoming issue of
Interdisciplinary Science Reviews 45.1 (2020).

Willard McCarty (www.mccarty.org.uk/),
Professor emeritus, Department of Digital Humanities, King's College
London; Editor, Interdisciplinary Science Reviews
(www.tandfonline.com/loi/yisr20) and Humanist (www.dhhumanist.org)

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