18 Greatest Robert Hooke Quotes

Robert Hooke was an English philosopher, architect, and polymath. Hooke is known as one of the greatest experimental scientists of the seventeenth century. With a broad scope of interest ranging from physics and astronomy to chemistry and biology, Hooke invested many historic mechanical components and instruments. Here is a short listing to some of the greatest Robert Hooke quotes from his life.

“By the help of microscopes, there is nothing so small, as to escape our inquiry; hence there is a new visible world discovered to the understanding.”

“By this the Earth it self, which lyes so near us, under our feet, shews quite a new thing to us, and in every little particle of its matter, we now behold almost as great a variety of Creatures, as we were able before to reckon up in the Whole Universe itself.”

“Cut your morning devotions into your personal grooming. You would not go out to work with a dirty face. Why start the day with the face of your soul unwashed?”

“For the Members of the Assembly having before their eyes so many fatal Instances of the errors and falshoods, in which the greatest part of mankind has so long wandred, because they rely’d upon the strength of humane Reason alone, have begun anew to correct all Hypotheses by sense, as Seamen do their dead Reckonings by Cœlestial Observations; and to this purpose it has been their principal indeavour to enlarge and strengthen the Senses by Medicine, and by such outward Instruments as are proper for their particular works.”

“If the finding of Coines, Medals, Urnes, and other Monuments of famous Persons, or Towns, or Utensils, be admitted for unquestionable Proofs, that such Persons or things have, in former Times, had a being, certainly those Petrifactions may be allowed to be of equal Validity and Evidence, that there have been formerly such Vegetables or Animals. These are truly Authentick Antiquity not to be counterfeited, the Stamps, and Impressions, and Characters of Nature that are beyond the Reach and Power of Humane Wit and Invention, and are true universal Characters legible to all rational Men.”

“It all depends on whether you have things, or they have you.”

“It is commonly believed that anyone who tabulates numbers is a statistician. This is like believing that anyone who owns a scalpel is a surgeon.”

“Many a person who started out to conquer the world in shining army has ended up just getting along. The horse got tired, the army rusty. The goal was removed and unsure.”

“Most of these Mountains and Inland places whereon these kind of Petrify’d Bodies and Shells are found at present, or have been heretofore, were formerly under the Water, and that either by the descending of the Waters to another part of the Earth by the alteration of the Centre of Gravity of the whole bulk, or rather by the Eruption of some kind of Subterraneous Fires or Earthquakes, great quantities of Earth have been deserted by the Water and laid bare and dry.”

“Nature … is, as it were, a continual circulation. Water is rais’d in Vapour into the Air by one Quality and precipitated down in drops by another, the Rivers run into the Sea, and the Sea again supplies them.”

“Not meddling with Divinity, Metaphysicks, Moralls, Politicks, Grammar, Rhetorick, or Logick.”

“Say and do something positive that will help the situation; it doesn’t take any brains to complain.”

“The business and design of the Royal Society is: To improve the knowledge of naturall things, and all useful Arts, Manufactures, Mechanic practices, Engines and Inventions by Experiments-(not meddling with Divinity, Metaphysics, Moralls, Politicks, Grammar, Rhetoric or Logick).”

“The footsteps of Nature are to be trac’d, not only in her ordinary course, but when she seems to be put to her shifts, to make many doublings and turnings, and to use some kind of art in endeavouring to avoid our discovery.”

“The truth is, the Science of Nature has been already too long made only a work of the Brain and the Fancy: It is now high time that it should return to the plainness and soundness of Observations on material and obvious things.”

“There is scarce any one invention, which this nation has produced in our age, but it has some way or other been set forward by his assistance. … He is indeed a man born for the good of mankind, and for the honour of his country. … So I may thank God, that Dr. Wilkins was an Englishman, for wherever he had lived, there had been the chief seat of generous knowledge and true philosophy.”

“We dribble away our life, little by little, in small packages – we don’t throw it away all at once.”

“We have the opportunity of observing her through these delicate and pellucid teguments of the bodies of Insects acting according to her usual course and way, undisturbed, whereas when we endeavour to pry into her secrets by breaking open the doors upon her, and dissecting and mangling creatures whil’st there is life yet within them, we find her indeed at work, but put into such disorder by the violence offer’d, as it may easily be imagined how differing a thing we should find, if we could, as we can with a Microscope, in these smaller creatures, quietly peep in at the windows, without frighting her out of her usual byas.”

Check out this video for an introduction to Robert Hooke’s Micrographia. This historically significant book outlines many of Hooke’s observations through various lenses. It is noted for being the first book of its kind that visually represents insects and plants as seen through a microscope.

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