One year ago today, we published our first post to present our research project to the world. We were new to blogging and we weren’t quite sure how effective it would be. After twelve months and 58 posts, there is no trace of those initial doubts. Forcing ourselves to publish a new piece on our work in progress (nearly) each week has been a good exercise. It has helped us to be productive, to keep each other abreast of each other’s research, and to grow as a team. Most of all, it has been great to receive the attention and feedback of our readers. Today we’d like to thank you for being on board, to look back at where we’ve come from, and to ask for a bit more of your helpful advice.
First of all, we are most grateful for our readers’ emails, comments and posts on our project elsewhere on the Net. You have taught us about the notion of experience in early modern Aristotelianism (1 to 8), outlined the evidence for Hume’s knowledge of Berkeley better than we possibly could, expanded on our reflections on the usefulness or uselessness of the notion of empiricism, alerted us to many sources that we had not taken into account, and provided plenty of other input that helped shaping the directions of our research. We may not have succeeded to persuade you all that ESP is best yet (it is just a matter of time), but we’re learning from your objections. Keep them coming! As you will have guessed, we are all working on research projects that are related to the topics of our posts. It’s helpful to get an early idea of the weak points and potential criticisms of the arguments we’re trying to articulate.
We are especially grateful to the many colleagues whose guest posts broadened and deepened our research on a number of fronts. They taught us about Galileo, De Volder, Sturm, seventeenth-century Dutch physicians, experiment and culture in the historiography of philosophy, in addition to providing critical discussions of many of our own ideas. Stay tuned for more stimulating guest-posts!
For our part, here’s a summary of our first year of blogging:
The Big Picture
We claimed that it’s much better to interpret early modern authors as early modern experimental philosophers than as empiricists. For the details, you can read our 20 theses, tour through our images of experimental philosophy, or head towards these posts:
- Experimental Philosophy and the Origins of Empiricism
- Is x-phi old hat?
- On the Proliferation of Empiricisms
- Lost in translation
- Early modern x-phi:-a genre free zone
Seventeenth Century Britain, plus a new find
In addition to providing the big picture in the above posts, Peter blogged on the origins of x-phi and its impact on seventeenth-century natural philosophy:
- Who invented the Experimental Philosophy?
- Locke’s Master-Builders were Experimental Philosophers
- Two Forms of Natural History
- Baconian versus Newtonian experimental philosophy
- A New Hume Find (Hume’s copy of Berkeley’s Theory of Vision turned up at our uni!)
Newton’s Experimental Philosophy
Moving towards the eighteenth century, Kirsten has explored the new form of the experimental philosophy that took shape in Newton’s mathematical method and its impact on his natural philosophy, especially his optics:
- Should we call Newton a ‘Structural Realist’?
- Newton’s Early Queries are not Hypotheses
- Newton’s ‘Crucial Experiment’
- Newton on Certainty
- Does Newton feign an hypothesis?
X-phi in Eighteenth Century Scotland: Ethics and Aesthetics
Juan has traced the presence of experimental philosophy in Scottish philosophy throughout the eighteenth century, including Turnbull, Fordyce, Reid, and the Edinburgh Philosophical Society. He has focused especially on the experimental method in ethics and aesthetics:
- Experimenting with taste and the rules of art
- Paintings as Experiments in Natural and Moral Philosophy
- Turnbull’s Treatise on Ancient Painting and the Experimental/Speculative Distinction
- Experimental Method in Moral Philosophy
German Thinkers from X-Phi to Empiricism
Alberto has looked at the influence of x-phi in Germany, especially on Leibniz, Wolff, Tetens, and Kant’s contemporaries. He then explored the development of the traditional narrative of early modern philosophy based on the distinction between empiricism an rationalism in Kant, Reinhold, and Tennemann.
For those readers who have followed us from the early days, we hope that a coherent narrative has emerged. We’d love to hear if you think that we’re up to something interesting or that we’re going off track. What better way to celebrate our anniversary than to give us some more feedback! Also, please do let us know if you have any suggestions on topics to study and directions in which we could pursue our research. You can reach us via email, Facebook, and Twitter. As always, you can keep updated via the mailing list or the RSS feed. We still have much to study and to blog about. Thanks for coming along, and we hope you’ll enjoy our future posts.