chapter  8
34 Pages

from The Utility of Pragmatism

In the illustrious monuments of ancient science there was so much incoherence, chance and uselessness that the philosophers had a perfect right to treat this ancient science like an accumulation of meteoric dust coming out of vessels that can be called divine because they are beyond our reason. In the eighteenth century, science was characterized chiefly by the continuity that had recently been procured by some of the most extraordinary intellectual achievements in history; by the richness of the procedures of an infinitesimal analysis that is constantly being improved; by daily examination of questions which concern the prosperity of peoples. In the Middle Ages the workers guilds, which included a few men with talent of the highest order, imposed their building methods, their decorative tastes and their conception of what distinguishes a great work, on the sovereigns, the bourgeoisie and the clergy.