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Boston Studies in the Philosophy and History of Science

What Does it Mean to be an Empiricist?

Empiricisms in Eighteenth Century Sciences

Editors: Bodenmann, Siegfried, Rey, Anne-Lise (Eds.)

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  • Inventive papers which shed new light on 18th Century empiricism as a constitutive moment of European science
  • Constructive dialog between experienced scholars and up-and-coming researchers​
  • An international collection of authors
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Hardcover $149.99
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  • ISBN 978-3-319-69858-8
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  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
Softcover $149.99
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  • ISBN 978-3-030-09917-6
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About this book

This book begins with an observation: At the time when empiricism arose and slowly established itself, the word itself had not yet been coined. Hence the central question of this volume: What does it mean to conduct empirical science in early modern Europe? How can we catch the elusive figure of the empiricist?

Our answer focuses on the practices established by representative scholars. This approach allows us to demonstrate two things. First, that empiricism is not a monolith but exists in a plurality of forms. Today’s understanding of the empirical sciences was gradually shaped by the exchanges among scholars combining different traditions, world views and experimental settings. Second, the long proclaimed antagonism between empiricism and rationalism is not the whole story. Our case studies show that a very fruitful exchange between both systems of thought occurred. It is a story of integration, appropriation and transformation more than one of mere opposition.

We asked twelve authors to explore these fascinating new facets of empiricisms. The plurality of their voices mirrors the multiple faces of the concept itself. Every contribution can be understood as a piece of a much larger puzzle. Together, they help us better understand the emergence of empiricism and the inventiveness of the scientific enterprise.

About the authors

Siegfried Bodenmann teaches early modern history at the University of Zurich. He was trained as an historian and philosopher, with emphasis on the history of science and knowledge. He is currently researching the forms and rhetorical styles of scholarly communication in the eighteenth century. He has published several articles on the subject in the Revue d’Histoire des Sciences and in Dix-Huitième Siècle, but also, for a broader audience, in Physics Today. Other publications investigate the emergence of a scientific identity like his miscellany on myths, heroes, and symbols in the history of science. He is one of the scientific editors of the correspondence of the eighteenth-century mathematician Leonhard Euler. He has been an advisory board member of the Swiss Society for the History of Medicine and Sciences and the 2006 prize winner of the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Geschichte der Medizin, Naturwissenschaften und Technik (DGGMNT) among other memberships and distinctions.

Anne-Lise Rey, agrégée in Philosophy, is associate professor of history and philosophy of science at the University of Lille I. In 2003, she defended her thesis on Leibniz’s dynamics at the Sorbonne, Paris, under the direction of Michel Fichant. She defended her habilitation thesis on the epistemological practices and natural philosophy un the eighteenth century, supervised by P.-F. Moreau, at the Lyon ENS in 2013. She has published numerous articles on the relations between science and philosophy in Leibniz and on eighteenth century natural philosophy. She has also edited a collective work entitled Méthode et Histoire, dealing with methods in history and philosophy of science. She was a member of the School of Historical Studies at the Institute for Advanced Study (Princeton) in 2012-2013. In 2016, she published a French translation of the correspondence between Leibniz and De Volder, including an extended introduction on the notion of action in Leibniz’s dynamical thought.

Table of contents (13 chapters)

Table of contents (13 chapters)
  • Introduction

    Pages 1-11

    Bodenmann, Siegfried (et al.)

  • Four Methods of Empirical Inquiry in the Aftermath of Newton’s Challenge

    Pages 15-30

    Schliesser, Eric

  • Fictitious Empiricism, Material Experiments. Conditions for Thinking the Enlightenment “Issue of Empiricism”

    Pages 31-43

    Ratcliff, Marc

  • Experimentum crucis: Newton’s Empiricism at the Crossroads

    Pages 47-69

    Hamou, Philippe

  • The Experiments of Willem Jacob ’s Gravesande: A Validation of Leibnizian Dynamics Against Newton?

    Pages 71-85

    Rey, Anne-Lise

Buy this book

eBook $109.00
price for USA in USD (gross)
  • ISBN 978-3-319-69860-1
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: PDF, EPUB
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover $149.99
price for USA in USD
  • ISBN 978-3-319-69858-8
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
Softcover $149.99
price for USA in USD
  • ISBN 978-3-030-09917-6
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
What Does it Mean to be an Empiricist?
Book Subtitle
Empiricisms in Eighteenth Century Sciences
Editors
  • Siegfried Bodenmann
  • Anne-Lise Rey
Series Title
Boston Studies in the Philosophy and History of Science
Series Volume
331
Copyright
2018
Publisher
Springer International Publishing
Copyright Holder
Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature
eBook ISBN
978-3-319-69860-1
DOI
10.1007/978-3-319-69860-1
Hardcover ISBN
978-3-319-69858-8
Softcover ISBN
978-3-030-09917-6
Series ISSN
0068-0346
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
IX, 297
Number of Illustrations
7 b/w illustrations
Topics