Thomas Browne: Pseudodoxia Epidemica: or, Enquiries into very many Received Tenents And commonly presumed Truths

(666 words)

Pseudodoxia Epidemica , a mouthful of a title, can be translated as “popular misconceptions”, or, as it was commonly known in its own time, “vulgar errors”. A detailed examination of folk-beliefs and superstitions, “wisdom” handed down from the ancient authorities, and curiosities in natural philosophy, the book was Thomas Browne's contribution to the scientific project of the seventeenth century whichFrancis Bacon inaugurated in 1605 with The Advancement of Learning . That project might be described as a massive housekeeping operation, a concerted effort by all wise persons of discrimination and open mind to cleanse the structure of western learning of the elaborate and unexamined fallacies which had …

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Citation:
Preston, Claire. "Pseudodoxia Epidemica: or, Enquiries into very many Received Tenents And commonly presumed Truths". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 16 June 2003
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=2527, accessed 25 April 2014.]