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Monday, December 22, 2008

Custom & Convention

Francis Bacon wrote of the Various Hindrances to the Growth of Knowledge that
The first of these is the extreme affecting of two extremities; the one antiquity, the other novelty ... one of them seeketh to devour and suppress the other; while antiquity envieth there should be new additions, and novelty cannot be content to add but it must deface: surely the advice of the prophet is the true direction in this matter, State super vias antiqas, et videte quaenam sit via recta et bon et ambulate in ea.[FN1]
Google Books Excerpt FN1 "Stand by the ways and see and ask for the ancient paths. Where the good way is, and walk in it; and you will find rest for your souls." Jeremiah 6:16

Random response: I have heard from friends a concern that novelty is not content to add but to deface antiquity. I suppose to know which of the ancient paths is a good way, we have to know the ancient paths.

Anyone else have a random response?

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