The Parochial Mind
Anti-Scientism, Education, Natural History, Observation, Museums, Collecting, Comparative Anatomy
Decries the tendency of the 'anti-parochial mind' which considers that men must 'exhaust a science before breakfast; another science before dinner', and be an authority on a huge range of subjects including 'the distribution of races, [and] the wave theory in shipbuilding' (114). Instead praises books such as Gilbert White's The Natural History of Selbourne, which are produced by 'the labour of earnest, patient men, who despise not the humblest pebble by the roadside' (115). The tendencies of the 'universal mind' are seen most clearly in the organisation of modern museums, which boast 'a motley collection' of disparate 'anatomical wonder[s]' such as 'the tooth of a whale or an elephant, and the skeleton of a crocodile', but do nothing to represent the real experiences of local people (117).
© Science in the Nineteenth-Century Periodical Project, Universities of Leeds and Sheffield, 2005 - 2020
Printed from Science in the Nineteenth-Century Periodical: An Electronic Index, v. 4.0, The Digital Humanities Institute <http://www.sciper.org> [accessed ]