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September 1958


AMA Arch Intern Med. 1958;102(3):501-506. doi:10.1001/archinte.1958.00030010501027

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Basic Books has done contemporary science, physicians, and historians a handsome favor by bringing out John Baptista Porta's book on "Natural Magick," a facsimile reprint of the London Edition of 1658. It is one of the Collectors Series in Science, edited by Derek Price. Among scientists, at least, "science" is accepted as a satisfactory, indeed an essential, state of mind. How did science get that way? How did it begin? It is difficult to visualize the hodgepodge of fact, fantasy, and pure fabrication which was subscribed to and endorsed by the most learned men three hundred years ago, when science was providing the impetus under which the age-old belief in natural magic was starting to crack. Man's fallibility and gullibility are old stories, old and new. Unhappily today some masquerading as scientists cannot separate the chaff from the chaffers. In this copy of an edition with handset type and all

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