Decline of Science in England - Charles Babbage - Страница 1 из 202


REFLECTIONS ON THE DECLINE OF SCIENCE IN ENGLAND,
AND ON SOME OF ITS CAUSES.
By Charles Babbage
DEDICATION.
HAD I INTENDED TO DEDICATE THIS VOLUME, I SHOULD HAVE INSCRIBED IT TO
A NOBLEMAN WHOSE EXERTIONS IN PROMOTING EVERY OBJECT THAT CAN ADVANCE
SCIENCE REFLECT LUSTRE UPON HIS RANK. BUT THE KINDNESS OF HIS NATURE
MIGHT HAVE BEEN PAINED AT HAVING HIS NAME CONNECTED WITH STRICTURES,
PERHAPS TOO SEVERELY JUST. I SHALL, THEREFORE, ABSTAIN FROM MENTIONING
THE NAME OF ONE WHO WILL FEEL THAT HE HAS COMMANDED MY ESTEEM AND
RESPECT.
C. BABBAGE.
DORSET STREET, MANCHESTER SQUARE, 29th April, 1830.
PREFACE.
Of the causes which have induced me to print this volume I have little
to say; my own opinion is, that it will ultimately do some service
to science, and without that belief I would not have undertaken so
thankless a task. That it is too true not to make enemies, is an opinion
in which I concur with several of my friends, although I should hope
that what I have written will not give just reason for the permanence of
such feelings. On one point I shall speak decidedly, it is not connected
in any degree with the calculating machine on which I have been engaged;
the causes which have led to it have been long operating, and would have
produced this result whether I had ever speculated on that subject, and
whatever might have been the fate of my speculations.
If any one shall endeavour to account for the opinions stated in these
pages by ascribing them to any imagined circumstance peculiar to myself,


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