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

Thursday, January 12, 2006


Brandi Venable-Crawford

In Jacourt's article titled "Invention" from the Encyclopedia of Diderot & d' Alembert, he focuses on the importance of time in invention not merely on genius. Jacourt stated that inventions are the children of time, and that industriousness will only speed the delivery of many new and unseen innovations.

Jaucourt explained that the useful inventions of the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries were not all derived from great philosophers but from the fruit of mechanical instinct that nature bestowed upon men. These inventions for many centuries to follow will be modified and made better to suit the needs of man time and time again. Jacourt stated that everything was discovered in a raw or rough form first and has been gradually perfected. This evolution of invention we owe to time. He went on to explain how often one invention leads to the ideas that provoke the next, often without any direct relationship to one another. Jacourt makes one really appreciate the inventions that we use every day . For example the contact lens that many people wear to improve their vision was derived from the men of the end of the thirteenth centuries, or the beautifully cut diamonds that we wear were first discovered and cut by the hands of the men many centuries ago.

In the words of Jacourt himself " No doubt nature has in her storehouse treasures which are as precious and which she keeps for the right moment when we least expect them; let us always be prepared to take advantage of them." This statement makes the mind marvel at what we do not yet know and what will evolve from the inventions that we call "high tech". We only live this life for a short period but the innovations of our time will live on forever.


Blogger Jillina said...

Your response to the invention article was very interesting. I thought you had a clear understanding of what Jaucourt was trying to say. My favorite part of your response was the last line. It was a really insightful thought.

5:46 PM  

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