Wednesday, October 31, 2007

The first recorded use of the term "Manual Arts" was by Francis Bacon in his first book The Advancement of Learning, published in 1605. As stated by Charles A. Bennett, "Bacons's philosophy of realism... provided the motive force in education that later developed our modern schools of applied science."
“For history of nature wrought or mechanical, I find some collections made of agriculture, and likewise of manual arts; but commonly with a rejection of experiments familiar and vulgar. For it is esteemed a kind of dishonour unto learning to descend to inquiry or meditation upon matters mechanical except they be such as may be thought secrets, rarities and special subtilties which humour of vane and supercilious arrogancy is justly decried in Plato; where he brings Hippias, a vaunting sophist, disputing with Socrates, a true and unfeigned inquisitor of truth; where the subject being touching beauty, Socrates, after his wandering manner of inductions, put first an example of a fair virgin, and then of a fair horse, and then of a fair pot, well glazed, whereat Hippias was offended, and said, More than for courtesy’s sake, he did think much to dispute with any that did allege such base and sordid instances. Whereunto Socrates answereth, You have reason, and it becomes you well, being a man so trim in your testaments, etc. and so goeth on in an irony. But the truth is, they be not the highest instances that give the securest information; as may be well expressed in the tale so common of the philosopher, that while he gazed upwards to the stars, fell into the water; for if he had looked down he might have seen the stars in the water, but looking aloft he could not see the water in the stars. So it cometh often to pass, that mean and small things discover great, better than great can discover the small.”

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