Zitate von Robert Chambers (publisher, born 1802)

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Robert Chambers (publisher, born 1802)

Geburtstag: 10. Juli 1802
Todesdatum: 17. März 1871

Robert Chambers was a Scottish publisher, geologist, evolutionary thinker, author and journal editor who, like his elder brother and business partner William Chambers, was highly influential in mid-19th century scientific and political circles.

Chambers was an early phrenologist and was the anonymous author of Vestiges of the Natural History of Creation, which was so controversial that his authorship was not acknowledged until after his death. Wikipedia

Photo: Unknown author, British library / Public domain

Zitate Robert Chambers (publisher, born 1802)

„Such is the process which seems to form the destined means for bringing mankind from the darkness of barbarism to the day of knowledge and mechanical and social improvement.“

—  Robert Chambers (publisher, born 1802), buch Vestiges of the Natural History of Creation

Quelle: Vestiges of the Natural History of Creation (1844), p. 321
Kontext: Let us look at the inventive class of minds which stand out amongst their fellows—the men who, with little prompting or none, conceive new ideas in science, arts, morals—and we can be at no loss to understand how and whence have arisen the elements of that civilization which history traces from country to country throughout the course of centuries. See a Pascal, reproducing the Alexandrian's problems at fifteen; a Ferguson, making clocks from the suggestions of his own brain, while tending cattle on a Morayshire heath; a boy Lawrence, in an inn on the Bath road, producing, without a master, drawings which the educated could not but admire; or look at Solon and Confucius, devising sage laws, and breathing the accents of all but divine wisdom for their barbarous fellow-countrymen, three thousand years ago—and the whole mystery is solved at once.... Nations, improved by these means, become in turn foci for the diffusion of light over the adjacent regions of barbarism—their very passions helping to this end, for nothing can be more clear than that ambitious aggression has led to the civilization of many countries. Such is the process which seems to form the destined means for bringing mankind from the darkness of barbarism to the day of knowledge and mechanical and social improvement.

„The evidence of the existence of other astral systems besides our own is much more decided than might be expected“

—  Robert Chambers (publisher, born 1802), buch Vestiges of the Natural History of Creation

Quelle: Vestiges of the Natural History of Creation (1844), p. 6
Kontext: The evidence of the existence of other astral systems besides our own is much more decided than might be expected when we consider that the nearest of them must needs be placed at a mighty interval beyond our own.

„Should we not from that moment be at a stand-still in all the principal movements of our lives?“

—  Robert Chambers (publisher, born 1802)

Quelle: Testimony: its Posture in the Scientific World (1859), p. 7
Kontext: Just suppose for a moment that every fact reported to us by others were viewed in the light of the skeptical system, as to the fallaciousness of the senses and the tendency to self-deception. Should we not from that moment be at a stand-still in all the principal movements of our lives?

„We have seen that the law which causes rotation in the single solar masses, is exactly the same which produces the familiar phenomenon of a small whirlpool or dimple in the surface of a stream.“

—  Robert Chambers (publisher, born 1802), buch Vestiges of the Natural History of Creation

Quelle: Vestiges of the Natural History of Creation (1844), p. 19
Kontext: We have seen that the law which causes rotation in the single solar masses, is exactly the same which produces the familiar phenomenon of a small whirlpool or dimple in the surface of a stream. Such dimples are not always single. Upon the face of a river where there are various contending currents, it may often be observed that two or more dimples are formed near each other with more or less regularity. These fantastic eddies, which the musing poet will sometimes watch abstractedly for an hour, little thinking of the law which produces and connects them, are an illustration of the wonders of binary and ternary solar systems.

„The first chapter of the Mosaic record is“

—  Robert Chambers (publisher, born 1802), buch Vestiges of the Natural History of Creation

Quelle: Vestiges of the Natural History of Creation (1844), p. 155
Kontext: The first chapter of the Mosaic record is not only not in harmony with the ordinary ideas of mankind respecting cosmical and organic creation, but is opposed to them, and only in accordance with the views here taken. When we carefully peruse it with awakened minds, we find that all the procedure is represented primarily and pre-eminently as flowing from commands and expressions of will, not from direct acts.... Thus the scriptural objection quickly vanishes, and the prevalent ideas about the organic creation appear only as a mistaken inference from the text, formed at a time when man's ignorance prevented him from drawing therefrom a just conclusion.

„These creatures are all of them part products of the Almighty Conception“

—  Robert Chambers (publisher, born 1802), buch Vestiges of the Natural History of Creation

Quelle: Vestiges of the Natural History of Creation (1844), p. 235
Kontext: It may be asked, if He, as appears, has chosen to employ inferior organisms as a generative medium for the production of higher ones, even including ourselves, what right have we, his humble creatures, to find fault? There is, also, in this prejudice, an element of unkindliness towards the lower animals, which is utterly out of place. These creatures are all of them part products of the Almighty Conception, as well as ourselves.... Let us regard them in a proper spirit, as parts of the grand plan, instead of contemplating them in the light of frivolous prejudices, and we shall be altogether at a loss to see how there should be any degradation in the idea of our race having been genealogically connected with them.

„It has been among the visions of some dreaming philosophers that human life is capable of almost indefinite extension. The great Condorcet was one of these.“

—  Robert Chambers (publisher, born 1802)

Quelle: Sanitary Economy (1850), p. 28-29
Kontext: It has been among the visions of some dreaming philosophers that human life is capable of almost indefinite extension. The great Condorcet was one of these. He thought that by the removal of the two causes of evil—poverty and superfluity—by destroying prejudices and superstitions, and by various other operations, which he considered the purification of mankind, but which other people would call their pollution, the approach of death would by degrees be farther and farther indefinitely protracted. It is desirable that the practical views entertained by sanitary reformers should be kept widely distinct from any such theories, the character of which has been well drawn by Malthus when he says—"... Though I may not be able in the present instance to mark the limit at which further improvement will stop I can very easily mention a point at which it will not arrive."

„This statistical regularity in moral affairs fully establishes their being under the presidency of law. Man is now seen to be an enigma only as an individual; in the mass he is a mathematical problem.“

—  Robert Chambers (publisher, born 1802), buch Vestiges of the Natural History of Creation

Quelle: Vestiges of the Natural History of Creation (1844), p. 170-171 ( 1846 edition http://books.google.com/books?id=UkoWAAAAYAAJ)
Kontext: This statistical regularity in moral affairs fully establishes their being under the presidency of law. Man is now seen to be an enigma only as an individual; in the mass he is a mathematical problem. It is hardly necessary to say, much less to argue, that mental action, being proved to be under law, passes at once into the category of natural things. Its old metaphysical character vanishes in a moment, and the distinction usually taken between physical and moral is annulled, as only an error in terms. This view agrees with what all observation teaches, that mental phenomena flow directly from the brain.

„But in this lies, perhaps, one of its strongest claims to the faith of mankind.“

—  Robert Chambers (publisher, born 1802), buch Vestiges of the Natural History of Creation

Quelle: Vestiges of the Natural History of Creation (1844), p. 203
Kontext: What mystery is there here—and how shall I proceed to enunciate the conception which I have ventured to form of what may prove to be its proper solution! It is an idea by no means calculated to impress by its greatness, or to puzzle by its profoundness. It is an idea more marked by simplicity than perhaps any other of those which have explained the great secrets of nature. But in this lies, perhaps, one of its strongest claims to the faith of mankind.

„Seeing in our astral system many thousands of worlds in all stages of formation“

—  Robert Chambers (publisher, born 1802), buch Vestiges of the Natural History of Creation

Quelle: Vestiges of the Natural History of Creation (1844), p. 20
Kontext: Seeing in our astral system many thousands of worlds in all stages of formation, from the most rudimental to that immediately preceding the present condition of those we deem perfect, it is unavoidable to conclude that all the perfect have gone through the various stages which we see in the rudimental. This leads us at once to the conclusion that the whole of our firmament was at one time a diffused mass of nebulous matter, extending through the space which it still occupies. So also, of course, must have been the other astral systems. Indeed, we must presume the whole to have been originally in one connected mass, the astral systems being only the first division into parts, and solar systems the second.

„It is remarkable of physical laws, that we see them operating on every kind of scale as to magnitude, with the same regularity and perseverance.“

—  Robert Chambers (publisher, born 1802), buch Vestiges of the Natural History of Creation

Quelle: Vestiges of the Natural History of Creation (1844), p. 24
Kontext: All, we see, is done by certain laws of matter, so that it becomes a question of extreme interest, what are such laws? All that can yet be said, in answer, is, that we see certain natural events proceeding in an invariable order under certain conditions, and thence infer the existence of some fundamental arrangement which, for the bringing about of these events, has a force and certainty of action similar to, but more precise and unerring than those arrangements which human society makes for its own benefit, and calls laws. It is remarkable of physical laws, that we see them operating on every kind of scale as to magnitude, with the same regularity and perseverance.

„But what is this but to say that facts by themselves, however well attested, are wholly useless in such circumstances to the cultivators of physical science, while any kind of vague hypothesis can be brought forward in opposition to them? What is it but to put conjecture or prejudice above fact, and indeed utterly to repudiate the Baconian method?“

—  Robert Chambers (publisher, born 1802)

Quelle: Testimony: its Posture in the Scientific World (1859), p. 10
Kontext: The fall of meteoric stones was occasionally reported by good witnesses during many ages. But science did not understand how stones should be formed in or beyond the atmosphere... The accounts of the fall of meteoric stones were held to be incompatible with the laws of nature, and specimens which had been seen to fall by hundreds of people were preserved in cabinets of natural history as ordinary minerals, 'which the credulous and superstitious regarded as having fallen from the clouds.' A committee of the French Academy of Sciences, including the celebrated Lavoisier, unanimously rejected an account of three nearly contemporary descents of meteorites which reached them on the strongest evidence. After two thousand years of incredulity, the truth in this matter was forced upon the scientific world about the beginning of the present century. There would have been at any time, of course, an instant cessation of skepticism if any one could have shewn, a priori, from ascertained principles in connection with the atmosphere, how stones were to be expected to fall from the sky. But what is this but to say that facts by themselves, however well attested, are wholly useless in such circumstances to the cultivators of physical science, while any kind of vague hypothesis can be brought forward in opposition to them? What is it but to put conjecture or prejudice above fact, and indeed utterly to repudiate the Baconian method?

„We are ignorant of the laws of variety-production; but we see it going on as a principle in nature“

—  Robert Chambers (publisher, born 1802), buch Vestiges of the Natural History of Creation

Quelle: Vestiges of the Natural History of Creation (1844), p. 283
Kontext: We are ignorant of the laws of variety-production; but we see it going on as a principle in nature, and it is obviously favorable to the supposition that all the great families of men are of one stock.

„We advance from law to the cause of law“

—  Robert Chambers (publisher, born 1802), buch Vestiges of the Natural History of Creation

Quelle: Vestiges of the Natural History of Creation (1844), p. 26
Kontext: We advance from law to the cause of law, and ask, What is that? Whence have come all these beautiful regulations? Here science leaves us, but only to conclude, from other grounds, that there is a First Cause to which all others are secondary and ministrative, a primitive almighty will, of which these laws are merely the mandates. That great Being, who shall say where is his dwelling-place or what his history! Man pauses breathless at the contemplation of a subject so much above his finite faculties, and only can wonder and adore!

„There is nothing at all singular or special in the astronomical situation of the earth.“

—  Robert Chambers (publisher, born 1802), buch Vestiges of the Natural History of Creation

Quelle: Vestiges of the Natural History of Creation (1844), p. 32-33
Kontext: There is nothing at all singular or special in the astronomical situation of the earth. It takes its place third in a series of planets, which series is only one of numberless other systems forming one group. It is strikingly-if I may use such an expression-a member of a democracy. Hence, we cannot suppose that there is any peculiarity about it which does not probably attach to multitudes of other bodies—in fact, to all that are analogous to it in respect of cosmical arrangements.

„Geology at first seems inconsistent with the authority of the Mosaic record.“

—  Robert Chambers (publisher, born 1802), buch Vestiges of the Natural History of Creation

Quelle: Vestiges of the Natural History of Creation (1844), p. 389
Kontext: Geology at first seems inconsistent with the authority of the Mosaic record. A storm of unreasoning indignation rises against its teachers. In time, its truths, being found quite irresistible, are admitted, and mankind continue to regard the Scriptures with the same respect as before. So also with several other sciences.

„Now, as the inferior animals were all in being before man, there was language upon earth long ere the history of our race commenced.“

—  Robert Chambers (publisher, born 1802), buch Vestiges of the Natural History of Creation

Quelle: Vestiges of the Natural History of Creation (1844), p. 311
Kontext: Now, as the inferior animals were all in being before man, there was language upon earth long ere the history of our race commenced. The only additional fact in the history of language, which was produced by our creation, was the rise of a new mode of expression—namely that by sound-signs produced by the vocal organs. In other words, speech was the only novelty in this respect attending the creation of the human race.

„If we suppose that similar intervals exist between all the stars,“

—  Robert Chambers (publisher, born 1802), buch Vestiges of the Natural History of Creation

Footnote: By Mr. Henderson Professor of Astronomy in the Edinburgh University and Lieutenant Meadows.
p. 3
Vestiges of the Natural History of Creation (1844)
Kontext: A sensible parallax of about one second has been ascertained in the case of the double star [ Alpha Centauri ] of the constellation of the Centaur, and one of the third of that amount for the double star, 61 Cygni; which gave reason to presume that the distance of the former might be about twenty thousand millions of miles, and the latter of much greater amount. If we suppose that similar intervals exist between all the stars, we shall readily see that the space occupied by even the comparatively small number visible to the naked eye, must be vast beyond all powers of conception.

„Is our race but the initial of the grand crowning type? Are there yet to be species superior to us“

—  Robert Chambers (publisher, born 1802), buch Vestiges of the Natural History of Creation

Quelle: Vestiges of the Natural History of Creation (1844), p. 276
Kontext: Is our race but the initial of the grand crowning type? Are there yet to be species superior to us in organization, purer in feeling, more powerful in device and act, and who shall take a rule over us! There is in this nothing improbable on other grounds. The present race, rude and impulsive as it is, is perhaps the best adapted to the present state of things in the world; but the external world goes through slow and gradual changes, which may leave it in time a much serener field of existence. There may then be occasion for a nobler type of humanity, which shall complete the zoological circle on this planet, and realize some of the dreams of the purest spirits of the present race.

„The style of living is ascertained to have a powerful effect in modifying the human figure in the course of generations“

—  Robert Chambers (publisher, born 1802), buch Vestiges of the Natural History of Creation

Quelle: Vestiges of the Natural History of Creation (1844), p. 280
Kontext: The style of living is ascertained to have a powerful effect in modifying the human figure in the course of generations, and this even in its osseous structure.

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