The Art Of Memory Paperback – 8 Oct 1992
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"Frances Yates is that rare thing, a truly thrilling scholar" (Michael Ratcliffe The Times)
"One of those quite remarkable and unclassifiable books on the history of knowledge which suddenly makes sense of three or four issues in terms of one commanding metaphor" (Jonathan Miller Observer)
A revolutionary book about mnemonic techniques, and their relation to culture as a whole, which is itself hard to forget.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
WRONG!!! This is just about the most engrossing scholarly work I have ever read. Quite apart from displaying a masterly grasp of her subject, which is far more interesting than I would have believed before reading the book, Yates throws fascinating light on a number of seemingly unrelated topics: the Roman art of rhetoric, the architecture of the Globe theatre, the foundations of Renaissance syncretism, the rise of the scientific method, the delightful irony of a patron saint of science turning out to be an arch-magician, psychological aspects of imagination... -- the list is a long one.
However, for me, it is Yates' illumination of the profound relationship between the scientific method and earlier attempts at mastering the universe by magical means, that stands out as a single, most important aspect of the book. In fact, I would go as far as to say that no study of history and/or philosophy of science can be complete without acknowledging and exploring the relevant insights of "The Art of Memory".
If you have any interest in human attempts to comprehend and control the universe, a well-thumbed copy of this book should be on your bookshelf!
This book really ought to be read by the philosophers of mind, cognitive scientists and neurobiologists who are seeking to explain mental phenomenon, for it manages to distill the at times quite pertinent thoughts the medieval thinkers proposed about how we use our minds, and how we relate to the world through art and through language, in a way many more recent, and thus more "rigorous", treatments of the topic often cast aside. Yates seems to propose that the advent of Newtonian physics may be indirectly connected to a more spiritualist approach to the world which is now neglected in the abstracting drive of many sciences.
Although it is a tough read at times, it is very rewarding. It is the sort of book which restores one's belief in the value of true scholarship despite all its flaws.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Quick delivery and the book is brand new, as per the product description!Published 4 months ago by Anastia Uys
nice quality printing! the book i just can guess it is good since i already know the quality of Frances Yates :)Published 5 months ago by Tiago
Again an old favourite of mine. This edition I bought for my grandson who is studying at University and claims his memory is not too good. This will put him on the right track. Read morePublished 16 months ago by D. L. Ashcroft-nowicki
Never less than fascinating, a brilliant academic examination of the art of memory in the middle ages and renaissance. Read morePublished on 23 July 2012 by Andy K
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