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Record 21343

Reading Experience:

'He [Johnson] attacked Lord Monboddo's strange speculation on the primitive state of human nature; observing, "Sir, it is all conjecture about a thing useless, even were it known to be true. Knowledge of all kinds is good. Conjecture, as to things useful, is good; but conjecture as to what it would be useless to know, such as whether men went upon all four [sic], is very idle." '
Century: 1700-1799
Date: Until: 10 May 1773
Country: England
Time: n/a
Place: n/a
Type of Experience (Reader):
silent aloud unknown
solitary in company unknown
single serial unknown
Type of Experience (Listener):
solitary in company unknown
single serial unknown

Reader/Listener/Reading Group:

Reader:Samuel Johnson
Age Adult (18-100+)
Gender Male
Date of Birth 18 Sep 1709
Socio-economic group: Professional / academic / merchant / farmer
Occupation: writer
Religion: Anglican
Country of origin: England
Country of experience: England
Listeners present if any:
(e.g. family, servants, friends, workmates)
Additional comments: n/a


Text Being Read:

Author: James Burnett, Lord Monboddo
Title: Of the Origin and Progress of Language
Genre: Science
Form of Text: Print: Book
Publication details: only first volume had been published at this time (1773), another 5 appeared by 1792
Provenance: unknown


Source Information:

Record ID: 21343  
Source - Print  
  Author: James Boswell
  Editor: R.W. Chapman
  Title: Life of Johnson
  Place of Publication: Oxford
  Date of Publication: 1980
  Vol: n/a
  Page: 547
  Additional comments: n/a

Citation: James Boswell, R.W. Chapman (ed.), Life of Johnson (Oxford, 1980), p. 547,, accessed: 23 May 2024

Additional comments:

Originally published 1791. Probably the text in question, though it could have been an earlier essay



Reading Experience Database version 2.0.  Page updated: 27th Apr 2016  3:15pm (GMT)