The Atlantic Vision
Olaus Rudbeck and Baroque Science

Gunnar Eriksson

1994, viii+196pp, Illus., ISBN 0-88135-158-X L/C 94-17997, $27.95

The Atlantic Vision


“…There are many commendable features of Eriksson’s book. The topic is virtually unknown to Anglophone readers and the material is intrinsically fascinating…” Annals of Science

“…Rudbeck lived during the period between ‘renaissance science,’ which interpreted texts, and ‘Newtonian science,’ which observed nature. Despite Cartesian inclinations, he was a man of faith, seeking the meaning of creation. Depicting Rudbeck as close to an ‘ideal type’ who was representative of what he calls ‘baroque science, ‘Eriksson discusses with profound erudition more well-known representatives of the science of the times. He means that the emphasis should be distributed evenly between the two concepts implicit in the central metaphor, ‘the book of nature.’-Technology and Culture

“…Eriksson argues that Rudbeck and others like him, far from being cranks, represent a main current of scientific thought in the seventeenth century. This movement is better characterized as baroque than as revolutionary, inasmuch as there is no clear break between the hermeneutics of the Paracelsians and the Baconians and the rigorous quantitative and experimental method that characterizes Enlightenment science.”-Scandinavian Studies