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A discussion of interesting books from my current stock A WordPress.com site

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February 2017

Tracking the Leviathan

Special Collections and Archives / Casgliadau Arbennig ac Archifau

In 1651, Thomas Hobbes published Leviathan, which outlines his theory of moral and political philosophy. The book’s title comes from a metaphor of the state as a giant made up of individuals in the way that an individual is made up of molecules: “For by Art is created that great Leviathan called a Commonwealth, or State, (in latine Civitas) which is but an Artificiall Man; though of greater stature and strength than the Naturall, for whose protection and defence it was intended; and in which, the Soveraignty is an Artificiall soul, as giving life and motion to the whole body.”

engraved_title_detail Detail from the engraved title page of Leviathan (London: Andrew Crooke, 1651) showing the sovereign as the head of a Leviathan composed of citizens of the commonwealth.

In Leviathan, Hobbes hypothesized that in their natural state, without government or societal bonds, people are motivated predominantly by self-interest, especially self-preservation. In such a state, every…

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Some how I managed to take three classes from Huston Smith  (The World’s Religions (originally titled The Religions of Man) has sold over two million copies) I misdeed this story, I was perhaps distracted by  His notion of “”empirical metaphysics” which he writes about in his book Cleansing the Doors of Perception which was more […]

The First English Catholic New Testament in English,printed in England. ……. translated by the papists of the traiterous seminarie at Rhemes

781G The text of the Nevv Testament of Iesus Christ, translated out of the vulgar Latine by the papists of the traiterous seminarie at Rhemes. With arguments of bookes, chapters, and annotations, pretending to discouer the corruptions of diuers translations, and to cleare the controuersies of these dayes. VVhereunto is added the translation out of […]

Travels In divers Parts Edward Browne

887G Edward, M.D. Browne 1644-1708 A Brief Account Of Some of Europe, Viz. Hungaria, Servia, Bulgaria, Macedonia, Thessaly, } { Austria, Styria, Carinthia, Carniola, and Friuli. Through a great part of Germany, And The Low-Countries. Through Marca Trevisana, and Lombardy... Continue Reading →

Horace and Allegory

Horace, Odes 1.14, is a notoriously difficult poem to interpret. It is universally agreed that it is an allegory, but there is no consensus as to what it is an allegory of, and this points up the problems of allegorical... Continue Reading →

The Seven Wonders of the World!

Philo byzantius. De Septem orbis spectaculis, Leonis Allatii opera nunc primum graece et latine prodit, cum notis. We are all familiar with the phrase “The Seven Wonders of the World” , it is even easy to bring up images of them in our minds,but can you name the seven popularly accepted ones, do they still exist,where […]

Athanasius Kircher:The Last Man Who Knew Everything

John J. Burns Library's Blog

Would you rather be knowledgeable on a variety of topics, or an expert on just one topic? Today’s emphasis on academic specialization supports the latter—we rarely encounter someone with multiple PhDs in unrelated fields. Rarely do we go beyond the question or suggest the obvious third option: what if we could be an expert in a range of disciplines?

Modern academic world, meet Athanasius Kircher.

Portrait of Athanasius Kircher Portrait of Athanasius Kircher, Mundus Subterraneus. Amstelodami : Apud Joannem Janssonium & Elizeum Weyerstraten anno MDCLXV. Jesuitica Collection.

Kircher, a Jesuit priest of the German Enlightenment, has been referred to as “The Last Man Who Knew Everything” for attempting to be a polymathic scholar. Kircher published nearly 40 works on a diverse range of subjects, from linguistics and Egyptology to geology and medicine. Despite his powerful resume, however, history has forgotten him for one simple reason: Kircher was wrong about almost everything.

Kircher dedicated his…

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First Edition of Descartes’ Letters 1682

“Thus, all Philosophy is like a tree, of which Metaphysics is the root, Physics the trunk, and all the other sciences the branches that grow out of this trunk, which are reduced to three principals, namely, Medicine, Mechanics, and Ethics. By the science of Morals, I understand the highest and most perfect which, presupposing an […]

The Works of Ben Jonson

683G Benjamin Jonson ca. 1572-1637 The Works of Ben Jonson, which were formerly Printed in Two Volumes, are now Reprinted in One, to which is added a Comedy, called the New Inn, with Additions never before Published. London: Printed by Thomas Hodgkin, for H. Herringman, E. Brewster, T. Bassett, R. Chiswell, M. Wotton, G. Conyers, […]

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