From Biblical Criticism to Archaeology. A revisionist history of the Scientific Revolution

In one of the already classical revisionist narratives of the Scientific Revolution, Mordechai Feingold showed us that Newton’s followers, i.e. rather mathematically-minded natural philosophers who would almost despise natural history (seen as a process of collecting and classifying) in favor of the more theoretical natural philosophy, were actually outnumbered by the ones that, following a Baconian trope, preferred to “put Weights on the Intellect” (and thus, at least for the moment, focused on collecting, exposing, cataloging and experimenting, rather than theorizing). This position, as it is inherited by the Bibliographic historian William Poole, can be formulated in terms of a “mathematicians (geometers)” vs. “naturalists” debate. Poole chooses to tell the story of the latter (xiii, 171) , and thus, both with appealing prose and admirable precision, takes Feingoild’s programme one step further.