This is a course blog for the members of EH236 at the University of South Alabama, Spring 2006.

Friday, January 13, 2006

Importance of Time

In his article “Invention” from the Encyclopedie of Diderot & d’Alembert, Jacourt stresses the importance of time because firstly he is writing about the inventions, not the inventors. He does mention the inventors but this article is about documenting and commemorating these inventions, not praising one person or peoples’ genius. Although he does not praise any inventors, he does give them the credit of inventing or improving an invention.

Basically his argument is that nature decides who and when someone will discover or invent. He says on the third page, “those men who were fortunate enough to be born at the right time, had a perfect knowledge of mechanics and have taken advantage of the sketchy simplicity of early inventions; … they brought them to the degree of perfection where we see them today.” All men have common sense but it takes the right situation, or time to see the answer to the dilemma, and as a result, inventions or modifications of inventions come about.

I am not sure if it is intentional but Jacourt is pushing the all-men-are-created-equal idea. Any person is capable of inventing or contributing to an invention, but only if time permits. Whatever the reason, something is keeping them from seeing the obvious solution. Because that is all an invention is: a solution that could not be seen before. And when it is thought of, it is just like that missing puzzle piece, it fits perfectly.

-Mihee Jones


Blogger brandi crawford said...

great article! you get an A!
Do agree with Jaucour's in saying that nature decides where and when something will be discovered?
Brandi Venable-Crawford

6:24 AM  

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