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The Question: Using the documents provided, discuss the ideas these seventeenth-century writers had about the proper methods for establishing knowledge.
Primary Sources:
Harvey, On the Motion of the Heart and Blood (opens in new window) (use the beginning pages, through Ch. II or page 9) available as pdf.
Bacon, The New Organon (https://sites.google.com/ncsu.edu/rise-of-modern-science/home/outline-3/extracts-from-bacons-organon)
Descartes, Discourse on Method (https://sites.google.com/ncsu.edu/rise-of-modern-science/home/outline-3/descartess-method
Redi, Experiments on the Generation of Insects (https://sites.google.com/ncsu.edu/rise-of-modern-science/home/outline-3/redis-experiments-with-meat-maggots-and-fly-eggs)
Papers should be about 5 pages long (in a standard font, in double-spaced format, with 1″ margins). You must explain the issues and yet answer the question precisely and succinctly. You may find it helpful to write it out in a longer draft, and then edit it down to the required length.
Beyond course readings and the on-line course material, you do not need to do additional research for the essay. Your focus should be on analysis and clear explanation, using the primary sources provided. You do not want to simply write a smattering of factual details, nor waste space with information not relevant to the question. Think about it as using the evidence from the documents to explain to someone not in our course — succinctly and convincingly deliver a narrative explanation of the range of views on methods for science in the 1500-1600s.
If you find this unfamiliar, or want some reassurance about what I’m looking for, see the more detailed advice on Writing a History Essay (https://sites.google.com/ncsu.edu/rise-of-modern-science/home/writing-a-history-essay)
The advice page also includes information on properly citing sources. The History Department standard is Chicago “Notes and Bibliography” Style. You must use footnotes. In this short essay with few sources, you do not need to include a Bibliography.
More specifically for these documents, you’ll notice that the Harvey document contains selected extracts that I made from the original (translated) text. In this case, the pagination of the pdf document on the web is not much help as a locator. In your footnote to a passage, you should direct the reader to the precise location for your cited passage by using the Line Numbers provided with the text. Example of a footnote:
1. William Harvey, On the Motion of the Heart and Blood in Animals (1628, translated by Robert Willis, 1847), lines 62-74, HI 322: The Rise of Modern Science, NC State University, https://drive.google.com/file/d/17l0Knnw4Rtvo3zFPXlG67i96QSAdTzfM/view, {insert date of access here}.
After your first, full footnote, you can use the “short form” for subsequent citations to the same source. Much easier for you and on the reader’s eyes!
2. Harvey, On he Motion of the Heart and Blood, lines 84-85.
And what about a source such as Bacon’s New Organon? It’s a webpage with no pagination. You could make a specific citation clear by including mention of which Aphorism you are quoting, as in
3. Francis Bacon, Extracts from The New Organon (1620), Aphorism 95, HI 322: The Rise of Modern Science, NC State University, https://drive.google.com/file/d/17l0Knnw4Rtvo3zFPXlG67i96QSAdTzfM/view, {insert date of access here}.
Finally, be careful with the source on Redi — the webpage includes my own commentary, and I am not interested in having you quote me back to me. My comments are there for your help in contextualizing Redi’s work, and you should focus on what he says as your evidence for your analysis. In this case, a clear footnote would include my authorship as well:
4. Francesco Redi, Experiments on the Generation of Insects (1668), quoted in William Kimler, “Redi’s Experiments with Meat, Maggots, and Fly Eggs,” HI 322: The Rise of Modern Science, NC State University, https://sites.google.com/ncsu.edu/rise-of-modern-science/home/outline-3/redis-experiments-with-meat-maggots-and-fly-eggs, {insert date of access here}.
If you do need to cite one of my claims in the commentary:
5. William Kimler, “Redi’s Experiments with Meat, Maggots, and Fly Eggs,” HI 322: The Rise of Modern Science, NC State University, https://sites.google.com/ncsu.edu/rise-of-modern-science/home/outline-3/redis-experiments-with-meat-maggots-and-fly-eggs, {insert date of access here}.

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