“A matter so obscure, so difficult, and likewise so new …”

Jutta Schickore

in About Method

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print May 2017 | ISBN: 9780226449982
Published online January 2018 | e-ISBN: 9780226450049 | DOI:
“A matter so obscure, so difficult, and likewise so new …”

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Toward the end of his two-volume Treatise on the Venom of the Viper, published in 1781, the Tuscan naturalist Felice Fontana declared: “I have made more than 6000 experiments; I have had more than 4000 animals bit; I have employed upwards of 3000 vipers and may have been deceived; some essential circumstance may have escaped me: I may have neglected some other, not thinking it necessary; my consequences may have been too general, my experiments too few in number. In a word, I may very easily have been mistaken, and it would be almost impossible that I should never have been so in a matter so difficult, so obscure, and likewise so new.”...

Chapter.  3804 words. 

Subjects: History of Science and Technology

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