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Philosophy - Philosophical Traditions | Cartesian Empiricisms

Cartesian Empiricisms

Dobre, Mihnea, Nyden, Tammy (Eds.)

2013, XIII, 326 p. 7 illus.

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  • The only full-length study on the topic of Cartesian Empiricism  
  • Provides a comprehensive guide to over twenty-five seventeenth century Cartesians for whom experiment and observation played a key role
  • Spans a wide range of Cartesian sciences, including physics, chemistry, medicine and psychology
  • Spans a wide range of national contexts, including French, Dutch, German, and English
  • Written by leading and emerging international scholars in the field
  • Represents the most up-to-date research in the history of early modern philosophy
Cartesian Empiricisms considers the role Cartesians played in the acceptance of experiment in natural philosophy during the seventeenth century. It aims to correct a partial image of Cartesian philosophers as paradigmatic system builders who failed to meet challenges posed by the new science’s innovative methods. Studies in this volume argue that far from being strangers to experiment, many Cartesians used and integrated it into their natural philosophies. Chapter 1 reviews the historiographies of early modern philosophy, science, and Cartesianism and their recent critiques. The first part of the volume explores various Cartesian contexts of experiment: the impact of French condemnations of Cartesian philosophy in the second half of the seventeenth century; the relation between Cartesian natural philosophy and the Parisian academies of the 1660s; the complex interplay between Cartesianism and Newtonianism in the Dutch Republic; the Cartesian influence on medical teaching at the University of Duisburg; and the challenges chemistry posed to the Cartesian theory of matter. The second part of the volume examines the work of particular Cartesians, such as Henricus Regius, Robert Desgabets, Jacques Rohault, Burchard de Volder, Antoine Le Grand, and Balthasar Bekker. Together these studies counter scientific revolution narratives that take rationalism and empiricism to be two mutually exclusive epistemological and methodological paradigms. The volume is thus a helpful instrument for anyone interested both in the histories of early modern philosophy and science, as well as for scholars interested in new evaluations of the historiographical tools that framed our traditional narratives.

Content Level » Research

Keywords » Advent of Newtonianism - Cartesian Empiricisms - Cartesian Experimentalism in 1660’s France - Cartesian Natural Philosophers - Cartesian Physics and Experimental Pedagogy - Chemical Philosopher - Dutch Cartesian Empiricism - Empiricism Without Metaphysics - Living Beings in German Medical Cartesianism - Rohault’s Cartesian Physics - Scientific Revolution - The Spread of Cartesianism

Related subjects » History of Science - Philosophical Traditions

Table of contents 

Acknowledgments.- Abbreviations List.- List Of Contributors.- Table of Contents.- 1. Introduction; Mihnea Dobre and Tammy Nyden.- Part I: Cartesian Natural Philosophy: Receptions and Context.- 2. Censorship, Condemnations, and the Spread of Cartesianism; Roger Ariew.- 3. Was there a Cartesian Experimentalism in 1660’s France?; Sophie Roux.- 4. Dutch Cartesian Empiricism and the Advent of Newtonianism; Wiep van Bunge.- 5. Heat, Action, Perception: Models of Living Beings in German Medical Cartesianism; Justin Smith.- 6. Could a Practicing Chemical Philosopher be a Cartesian?; Bernard Joly.- Part II: Cartesian Natural Philosophers.- 7. Empiricism Without Metaphysics: Regius’ Cartesian Natural Philosophy; Delphine Bellis.- 8. Robert Desgabets on the Physics and Metaphysics of Blood Transfusion; Patricia Easton.- 9. Rohault’s Cartesian Physics; Mihnea Dobre.- 10. De Volder’s Cartesian Physics and Experimental Pedagogy; Tammy Nyden.- 11. The Cartesian Psychology of Antoine Le Grande; Gary Hatfield.- 12. Mechanical Philosophy in an Enchanted World: Cartesian Empiricism in Balthasar Bekker’s Radical Reformation; Koen Vermeir.- Bio-Bibliographical Appendix for Cartesians Discussed in Part II.- Index.

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