A colloquium at the Institute for Research in the Humanities, University of Bucharest & The Center for the Logic, History and Philosophy of Science, Faculty of Philosophy, University of Bucharest:
CFP: Bucharest Colloquium in Early Modern Science
6th-7th November 2015
Daniel Garber (Princeton University)
Paul Lodge (University of Oxford)
Arianna Borrelli (Technical University, Berlin)
We invite papers by established and young scholars (including doctoral students) on any aspects of early modern philosophy/early modern science. Abstracts no longer than 500 words, to be sent to Doina-Cristina Rusu (email@example.com ) by September 10. Authors will be notified by September 15.
A master-class at the Institute for Research in the Humanities, University of Bucharest:
Isaac Newton’s Philosophical Projects
6th-11th October 2015
The purpose of this master-class is to discuss and to set in context some of Newton’s philosophical, scientific and theological projects. It aims to address a number of well-known (and difficult) questions in a new context, by setting them comparatively against the natural philosophical and theological background of early modern thought. By bringing together a group of experts on various aspects of Newton’s thought with experts on Descartes, Bacon and Leibniz, the master-class facilitates interdisciplinary and cross-disciplinary perspectives
The activities of the master-class will consist of lectures, reading groups and seminars, as well as more informal activities (tutorials, and discussions). The master-class will be set within the interdisciplinary environment of the Institute of Research in the Humanities, University of Bucharest. It aims to bring together 15 students (post-docs and graduate students) coming from different fields and willing to spend 5 days working together within the premises of the Institute, and under the supervision of leading experts.
Rob Illiffe (Sussex), Niccolo Guicciardini (Bergamo), Andrew Janiak (Duke University)
Dana Jalobeanu, Kirsten Walsh
There is no participation cost, but there are limited places available. In order to apply for the master-class send a CV and a letter of intention to Dana Jalobeanu (firstname.lastname@example.org) by August 15, 2015. The final list of participants will be announced on the web-site of the institute by August 30, 2015. If you want to present a short paper in the master-class, please send an extended abstract (no longer than 800 words).
A one-day workshop at the Institute of Advanced Study, Durham University:
The Experimental Philosophy, the Mechanical Philosophy, and the Scientific Revolution
9:30am-5:30pm, Thursday 5th June 2014
The Scientific Revolution is often presented as involving the replacement of an Aristotelian world view by the Mechanical Philosophy. Another common theme is that central to the Scientific Revolution is a special emphasis on empirical observation and experiment as providing the basis for science, a theme often captured by the phrase ‘The Experimental Philosophy’. In the seventeenth century and thereafter, the terms ‘The Mechanical Philosophy’ and ‘The Experimental Philosophy’ were sometimes taken to be synonymous. If the Mechanical Philosophy is interpreted as an encouragement to search for explanations that appeal to mechanisms, as in the workings of a clock, then a close link with experiment seems plausible. On the other hand, if that philosophy is understood as a change in the ultimate ontology of the material world, with the replacement of Aristotelian forms by nothing other than moving corpuscles of matter possessing shape and size, then a link with experiment is less plausible. The aim of this workshop is to explore the range of theses that were involved in the Mechanical and Experimental Philosophies, and to explore the relationship between them.
Speakers and titles:
Prof. Alan F. Chalmers (University of Sydney) ‘Qualitative Novelty in Seventeenth-Century Science: Hydrostatics from Stevin to Pascal’.
Prof. Robert Iliffe (University of Sussex) Title to be confirmed
Prof. David M. Knight (Durham University) ‘Clockwork, Chemistry and the Scientific Revolution’.
Mr. Thomas Rossetter (Durham University) ‘No Mechanism for Miracles: John Keill vs. the World Makers’.
Dr. Sophie Weeks (University of York) ‘Experiment and Matter Theory in the Work of Francis Bacon’.
Prof. David Wootton (University of York) ‘In Defence of the Mechanical Philosophy’.
The workshop is open to all but there are limited places available so please email email@example.com to reserve a place.
There will be a registration fee of £10 to cover lunch and refreshments.
The VUB’s Centre for Logic and Philosophy of Science and the National Committee for Logic, History and Philosophy of Science are proud to announce the international workshop:
Early Eighteenth-century Experimental Philosophy in the Dutch Republic.
Date: 7 July 2014
Organizers: Steffen Ducheyne and Jip van Besouw
8.15-8.40 a.m.: Welcome and coffee
8.40-8.45 a.m.: Introduction by Steffen Ducheyne (Free University Brussels)
8.45-9.30 a.m.: Lecture by Gerhard Wiesenfeldt (University of Melbourne): ‘Local traditions in the making of Dutch Newtonianism’
9.30-10.15 a.m.: Lecture by F. J. Dijksterhuis (University of Twente): ‘German traces in Dutch experimental philosophy’
10.15-10.45 a.m.: Coffee break
10.45-11.30 a.m.: Lecture by Steffen Ducheyne (Free University Brussels) ‘Aspects of Petrus van Musschenbroek’s appropriation of Newton’s natural-philosophical methodology’
11.30-12.00 a.m.: Presentation by Jip van Besouw (Free University Brussels) of the FWO-funded research project ‘In the footsteps of Isaac Newton? W. J. ’s Gravesande’s scientific methodology’
12.00-13.45 p.m.: Lunch break
13.45-14.30 p.m.: Lecture by Anne-Lise Rey (Université de Lille I): ‘Probability, moral certainty and evidence in Willem ’s Gravesande’s natural philosophy’
14.30-15.15 p.m.: Lecture by Tammy Nyden (Grinnell College, Iowa) ‘Experiment’s journey at Leiden: From compromise to justified scientific method’
15.15-15.45 p.m.: Coffee break
15.45-16.30 p.m.: Lecture by Ad Maas and Tiemen Cocquyt (Boerhaave Museum, Leiden): ‘The truth in a layer of clay: A replication of ’s Gravesande’s vis viva experiment’
16.30-17.00 p.m.: Concluding remarks by Eric Jorink (Huygens Institute for the History of the Netherlands and Leiden University)
Abstracts: download PDF here.
Attendance is free, but registration is mandatory. To register please send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org before 1 July.
University of Sydney
20 March, 2014
- 9.15 Katherine Dunlop (Texas): ‘Christian Wolff on Newtonianism and Exact Science’
- 10.45 Coffee
- 11.00 Peter Anstey (Sydney): ‘From scientific syllogisms to mathematical certainty’
- 12.30 Lunch
- 2.00 Kirsten Walsh (Otago): ‘Newton’s method’
- 3.30 Stephen Gaukroger (Sydney): ‘D’Alembert, Euler and mid-18th century rational mechanics: what mechanics does not tell us about the world’
- 5.00 Wind up
Contact: Prof Peter Anstey
Phone: 61 2 9351 2477
Juan Gomez writes…
A few weeks ago the Early Modern Thought Research Theme here at Otago hosted a colloquium on “Practical Knowledges and Skill in Early Modern England.” After two days of great talks postgraduate students were able to take part in an ANZAMEMS sponsored workshop on “Interdisciplinarity in Medieval and Early Modern Research.” I took part in the workshop and in today’s post I want to share my thoughts on what turned out to be an outstanding event.
The main purpose of the workshop was to give postgraduate students tools to enhance current and future research projects. With this in mind the speakers shared how they had each in their own way been engaged with this interdisciplinary aspect of the Early Modern period. The talks were followed by practical sessions where we had the opportunity to think about and develop our research projects from an interdisciplinary perspective. The whole workshop was a huge success and I am sure I am not the only one that now has a better idea of how beneficial it is for research in the early modern period to look at/borrow from/collaborate with other disciplines.
Of special interest to me were the talks given by Peter Harrison on “Disciplinary boundaries in intellectual history: science, religion & philosophy” and Andrew Bradstock on “Religious language in early modern texts.” Harrison’s talk was a very clear and nice example of the interdisciplinary nature of the Early Modern period. It highlighted how the three disciplines that to our modern eyes seem very distinct drew on each other constantly. As readers of this blog know, I have done some research on George Turnbull’s work on Jesus Christ and miracles that exemplify this interaction between science, religion, and philosophy in the eighteenth century.
Andrew Bradstock’s talk made me think about how my research on Turnbull can me tremendously enhanced by drawing on the purely religious context of the time. For example,Turnbull’s Principles of Christian Philosophy draws heavily on passages from the bible, some of them that I am not that familiar with or might not know it’s significance at the time. By working with someone working on the history of religion or acquiring knowledge of it I can add another layer to my research that will enrich our understanding of Turnbull’s thought.
The workshop made it clear that crossing the boundaries of a particular discipline is not only fruitful but even necessary when engaged in early modern research. Given that there is a natural characteristic of interdisciplinarity to the early modern period we must leave the comfort zone of our own discipline if we want to carry out our research projects properly. Most of us have actually done this without noticing that we are engaged in interdisciplinary research. The workshop brought this to my attention and I started thinking about the many ways in which my research would have been improved if I had consciously made an effort to enrich my understanding of any given topic by allowing myself to explore what other disciplines have to offer. And this enrichment of knowledge works both ways; there are projects stationed in other disciplines that would be enhanced by what I have to offer as a researcher from a specific discipline, with a specific skill set.
This is not to say that early modern research cannot be carried out other than in an interdisciplinary manner, but rather that through interdisciplinarity we can enhance tremendously the research projects we are all developing from our specific discipline. Borrowing a phrase by Michael Cop at the Early Modern at Otago blog, the workshop showed that through interdisciplinarity “the future of early modern and medieval research looks promising indeed.”
From the Zeta Books website:
The Journal of Early Modern Studies is seeking contributions for its second issue (Spring 2013). It will be a special issue, devoted to the theme:
Heuristic and Exploratory Experimentation in Early Modern Science
Editor: Dana Jalobeanu
The past decade has seen a renewed interest in multiple aspects of early modern experimentation: in the cognitive, psychological and social aspects of experiments, in their heuristic and exploratory value and in the complex inter-relations between experience, observation and experiment. Meanwhile, comparatively little has been done towards a more detailed, contextual and specific study of what might be described, a bit anachronistically, as the methodology of early modern experimentation, i.e. the ways in which philosophers, naturalists, promoters of mixed mathematics and artisans put experiments together and reflected on the capacity of experiments to extend, refine and test hypotheses, on the limits of experimental activity and on the heuristic power of experimentation. So far, the sustained interest in the role played by experiments in early modern science has usually centered on ‘evidence’- related problems. This line of investigation favored examination of the experimental results but neglected the “methodology” that brought about the results in the first place. It has also neglected the more creative and exploratory roles that experiments could and did play in the works of sixteenth and seventeenth century explorers of nature.
JEMS is an interdisciplinary, peer-reviewed journal of intellectual history, dedicated to the exploration of the interactions between philosophy, science and religion in Early Modern Europe. It is edited by the Research Centre “Foundations of Modern Thought”, University of Bucharest, and published and distributed by Zeta Books. For further information on JEMS, please visit http://www.zetabooks.com/journal-of-early-modern-studies.html.
We are seeking for articles no longer than 10,000 words, in English or French, with an abstract and key-words in English. Please send your contribution by the 1st of October 2012 to email@example.com.
The workshop is part of the 13th International Conference of the International Society for the Study of European Ideas which will take place in Cyprus on 2-6 July 2012.
The workshop focuses on letters written in the seventeenth century on themes at the border between art, science, and philosophy. A presentation of the workshop topic can be found here.
Abstracts of up to 500 words should be sent to the workshop organiser, Filip Buyse, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Peter Anstey writes…
While the ‘Experimental Philosophy: Old and New’ exhibition was under construction, the Special Collections Librarian at Otago, Dr Donald Kerr, happened to notice that the copy of George Berkeley’s An Essay Towards a New Theory of Vision (2nd edn, 1709) that we were about to display, had the bookplate of David Hume Esquire. It has long been known that this book was in the library of the philosopher David Hume’s nephew Baron David Hume, but until now its whereabouts have been unknown. We are very pleased to announce, therefore, that it is in the Hewitson Library of Knox College at the University of Otago, New Zealand (for full bibliographic details see the online exhibition).
The question naturally arises: did the book belong to the philosopher or the Baron? What complicates matters is that David Hume the philosopher left his library to his nephew of the same name and that the latter also used a David Hume bookplate.
Now the David Hume bookplate exists in two states, A and B. They are easily distinguished because State A has a more elongated calligraphic hood on the second stem of the letter ‘H’ than that of State B. Brian Hillyard and David Fate Norton have pointed out (The Book Collector, 40 , 539–45) that all of the thirteen items that they have examined with State A are on laid paper and are in books that predate the death of David Hume the philosopher. This is not the case for books bearing the State B bookplate. They propose the plausible hypothesis that all books bearing the bookplate in State A belonged to Hume the philosopher. Happily, we can report that the bookplate that here at Otago is State A on laid paper. It is almost certain, therefore, that this copy of George Berkeley’s New Theory of Vision belonged to the philosopher David Hume.
The provenance of the book provides important additional evidence that Hume was familiar with Berkeley’s writings, something that was famously denied by the historian of philosophy Richard Popkin in 1959. Popkin claimed that ‘there is no actual evidence that Hume was seriously concerned about Berkeley’s views’. He was subsequently proven wrong and retracted his claim. However, until now there has been no concrete evidence that Hume owned a copy of a work by Berkeley, let alone one as important as the New Theory of Vision.
This volume came into the possession of the Hewitson Library in 1948. Its title page bears a stamp from the ‘Presbyterian Church of Otago & Southland Theological Library, Dunedin’. So far attempts to ascertain which other books were in this theological library and when and how it arrived in New Zealand have proven fruitless. (Though the copy of William Whiston’s A New Theory of the Earth, 1722 on display bears the same stamp.) If any reader can supply further leads on these matters we would be most grateful. Meanwhile please take time to examine the images of the bookplate and title page, which are included in our online exhibition available here.
Over the last few months, we have been working with Dr Donald Kerr, the Special Collections Librarian at the University of Otago, to prepare a rare book exhibition on the history of experimental philosophy. We have brought together classic works of the past and cutting-edge books of the present, to illustrate the theme of experimental philosophy as it was understood and practised 350 years ago and as it is understood today.
- Our exhibition, ‘Experimental Philosophy: Old and New’, was launched a few weeks ago, to coincide with the annual conference of the Australasian Association of Philosophy (AAP). It will run until 23 September 2011, so if you are coming to Dunedin, be sure to stop by and see it.
For those who cannot come to Dunedin, we are thrilled to announce the launch of the online version of our exhibition. Notable items on display include a second edition of Isaac Newton’s Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica (1713), Francis Bacon’s Of the Advancement Learning (1640), poet Abraham Cowley’s ‘A Proposition for the Advancement of Experimental Philosophy’ (1668), and an exciting new discovery* concerning the philosopher David Hume!
A couple of months ago, I requested your help: we needed an image for our exhibition poster. We received some excellent feedback – so thank you everyone! We eventually settled on a modified version of the frontispiece to 1640 translation of Bacon’s ‘De Augmentis Scientiarum’.
We hope you enjoy our exhibition!
* On Monday Peter Anstey will tell us all about this new discovery regarding Hume.