Common sense and wonder: Jacob Bronowski

clear blue evening

I found myself with a free evening last night: a lunch hour trip to the Kingston Buskers’ Festival meant I had no afterwork plans, and the rest of the family inside watching the 1990 horror flick Hardware (no thanks!) gave me the back porch all to myself. Jacob Bronowski’s amazing The Common Sense of Science kept me company for awhile. Bronowski explains the Scientific Revolution in the seventeenth century as one that moves from understanding nature as a series of elemental powers pushing against each other to a series of interrelated events, with precursors and consequences. The book is, in part, about how people have approached the natural world through history. I noticed eventually that while I loved the lessons, its pages kept getting in the way of the clouds and birds above me. I put the book aside and sat in silence.

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