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Early Science and Medicine

Mordechai Feingold
This essay offers a more dynamic, and historically grounded, context to explain how and why various individuals and groups in England adopted the term "experimental philosophy." Before the foundation of the Royal Society, I contend, the term had been utilized promiscuously, its modern signification conspicuously absent. Building on this insight, I examine the seemingly deliberate decision by future members of the Royal Society to avoid using the term--and the subsequent shift in their attitude c. 1660. My aim is to demonstrate that while only in England did the fixed conceptual and polemical term "experimental philosophy" become popularized and its (supposed) practice institutionalized, English natural philosophers did not view themselves as engaged in a practice that was fundamentally different than that pursued by their counterparts on the Continent...
2016: Early Science and Medicine
Anna Marie Roos
Before Newton's seminal work on the spectrum, seventeenth-century English natural philosophers such as Robert Boyle, Robert Hooke, Nehemliah Grew and Robert Plot attributed the phenomenon of color in the natural world to salts and saline chymistry. They rejected Aristotelian ideas that color was related to the object's hot and cold qualities, positing instead that saline principles governed color and color changes in flora, fauna and minerals. In our study, we also characterize to what extent chymistry was a basic analytical tool for seventeenth-century English natural historians...
2015: Early Science and Medicine
Tawrin Baker
This essay investigates the relationship between color and contingency in Robert Boyle's Experiments and Considerations Touching Colours (1664) and his essays on the unsuccessfulness of experiments in Certain Physiological Essays (1661). In these two works Boyle wrestles with a difficult practical and philosophical problem with experiments, which he calls the problem of contingency. In Touching Colours, the problem of contingency is magnified by the much-debated issue of whether color had any deep epistemic importance...
2015: Early Science and Medicine
Romana Sammern
Alongside Richard Haydocke's translation of Giovanni Paolo Lomazzo's treatise on painting (1598), the article examines concepts of color concerning cosmetics, painting and complexion as they relate to aesthetics, artistic and medical practice in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Beginning with white and red as ideal colors of beauty in Agnolo Firenzuola's Discourse on the beauty of women (1541), the essay places color in relation to major issues in art, medicine and empiricism by discussing beauty as a quality of humoral theory and its colors as visual results of physiological processes...
2015: Early Science and Medicine
Valentina Pugliano
Famed for his collection of drawings of naturalia and his thoughts on the relationship between painting and natural knowledge, it now appears that the Bolognese naturalist Ulisse Aldrovandi (1522-1605) also pondered specifically color and pigments, compiling not only lists and diagrams of color terms but also a full-length unpublished manuscript entitled De coloribus or Trattato dei colori. Introducing these writings for the first time, this article portrays a scholar not so much interested in the materiality of pigment production, as in the cultural history of hues...
2015: Early Science and Medicine
Doris Oltrogge
Renaissance painters used a number of inorganic color materials. The development of mineralogy as a discipline opened a new discourse on mineral pigments. Agricola and other naturalists were familiar with the contemporary writings on art technology, but their focus was different. Therefore, the exchange of knowledge between these two color worlds remained selective. One possible meeting point was the Kunstkammer where the study of natural objects and materials was combined with an interest in the manual execution of a painting...
2015: Early Science and Medicine
Tawrin Baker, Sven Dupré, Sachiko Kusukawa, Karin Leonhard
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
2015: Early Science and Medicine
Henry Zepeda
The Almagestum parvum, a summary of Ptolemy's Almagest written around the year 1200, provided a new stylistic framework for the content of theAlmagest's first six books. The author of the Almagestum parvum used a narrower range of types of mathematical writing and supplied his work with principles, which were listed at the beginning of each book and which were followed by propositions and demonstrations. Specific values were to a large extent replaced by general quantities, which would stand for a class of particulars...
2015: Early Science and Medicine
Brad Berman
This paper offers an interpretation of Aristotle's treatment of the homoeomerous, or like-parted, bodies. I argue that they are liable to be far more complexly structured than is commonly supposed. While Aristotelian homoeomers have no intrinsic macrostructural properties, they are, in an important class of cases, essentially marked by the presence and absence of microstructural ones. As I show, these microstructural properties allow Aristotle to neatly demarcate the non-elemental homoeomers from the elements...
2015: Early Science and Medicine
Olivier Dubouclez
This article argues that an original debate over the relationship between time and the intellect took place in Northern Italy in the second half of the sixteenth century, which was part of a broader reflection on the temporality of human mental acts. While human intellectual activity was said to be 'above time' during the Middle Ages, Renaissance scholars such as Marcantonio Genua (1491-1563), Giulio Castellani (1528-1586), Antonio Montecatini (1537-1599) and Francesco Piccolomini (1520-1604), greatly influenced by the Simplician and Alexandrist interpretations of Aristotle's works, proposed alterna- tive conceptions based on the interpretation of De anima 3...
2015: Early Science and Medicine
C Philipp E Nothaft
A frequently overlooked aspect of the knowledge transfer from Arabic into Latin in the twelfth century is the introduction of the Islamo-Arabic calendar, which confronted Western computists with a radically different scheme of lunar reckoning that was in some ways superior to the 19-year lunar cycle of the Roman Church. One of the earliest sources to properly discuss this new system and compare it to the old one is the anonymous Collatio Compoti Romani et Arabici, found in a manuscript from Tewkesbury Abbey, Gloucestershire...
2015: Early Science and Medicine
Anthony Turner
The Sun, in the early seventeenth century was, as it always had been, the ultimate arbiter of time-measurement In the last quarter of the century however this role was called into question as the new precision of post-Huygenian clocks revealed that natural time and the artificial mean time of the clock were not the same. Initially the question was little understood by the general public. The paper examines some early attempts to explain why "Sun-time" in 1700 was no longer "true-time."
2015: Early Science and Medicine
James Wilberding
Embryology was a subject that inspired great cross-disciplinary discussion in antiquity, and Plato's Timaeus made an important contribution to this discussion, though Plato's precise views have remained a matter of controversy, especially regarding three key questions pertaining to the generation and nature of the seed: whether there is a female seed; what the nature of seed is; and whether the seed contains a preformed human being. In this paper I argue that Plato's positions on these three issues can be adequately determined, even if some other aspects of his theory cannot...
2015: Early Science and Medicine
Orly Lewis, Pavel Gregoric
This paper underlines the importance of the Pseudo-Aristotelian treatise De spiritu for our knowledge of early Hellenistic anatomical and physiological theories. We claim that the treatise verifies reports on certain 4th- and 3rd-century conceptions and debates otherwise attested only in later sources, and offers invaluable information on otherwise unknown ideas and discussions. Our claim is based on ten case-studies in which we explore the relation between the views found in De spiritu and known to us from other ancient sources, regarding ten specific topics...
2015: Early Science and Medicine
Pavel Gregoric, Orly Lewis, Martin Kuhar
The aim of this paper is to depict the anatomical and physiological doctrines of the treatise entitled Περι πνευματος, or De spiritu. By closely examining the contents of the treatise on its own accord, rather than through its Aristotelian or Hellenistic contexts, we attempt to overcome the aporetic and often disconnected style of the author, and to present a coherent picture of his doctrine of pneuma, its roles in the body, the anatomical structures in which it acts, and its relation to the soul...
2015: Early Science and Medicine
Matyáš Havrda
This paper concerns the lost treatise On Demonstration (DD) written by Galen of Pergamum (129 - ca. 215 AD). Its aim is to reconstruct the purpose of this treatise, especially the question of how, in Galen's view, it was supposed to be useful for doctors. While showing that the methods described in DD were designed to settle disagreements among doctors, the paper argues that the choice of topics discussed there was partly determined by Galen's worry about a mode of reasoning, exemplified by scepticism, that leads people into believing that plain phenomena, such as those on which both medical practice and theory are based, do not exist...
2015: Early Science and Medicine
Andrea Bréard
Attitudes towards diagrammatic reasoning and visualization in mathematics were seldom spelled out in texts from pre-modern China, although illustrations figure prominently in mathematical literature since the eleventh century. Taking the sums of finite series and their combinatorial interpretation as a case study, this article investigates the epistemological function of illustrations from the eleventh to the nineteenth century that encode either the mathematical objects themselves or represent their related algorithms...
2015: Early Science and Medicine
Spencer J Weinreich
This paper seeks to explore how culturally and religiously significant animals could shape discourses in which they were deployed, taking the crocodile as its case study. Beginning with the textual and visual traditions linking the crocodile with Africa and the Middle East, I read sixteenth- and seventeenth-century travel narratives categorizing American reptiles as "crocodiles" rather than "alligators," as attempts to mitigate the disruptive strangeness of the Americas. The second section draws on Ann Blair's study of "Mosaic Philosophy" to examine scholarly debates over the taxonomic identity of the biblical Leviathan...
2015: Early Science and Medicine
Picciotto Joanna, Kathleen M Crowther
No abstract text is available yet for this article.
2014: Early Science and Medicine
Davide Cellamare
This article addresses the use of anatomical knowledge in Renaissance works on the soul produced at northern European universities, as well as the notions of 'body' and 'soul' that emerge from them. It examines specifically Philip Melanchthon's and Rudolph Snell van Royen's treatises on the soul. This analysis shows that a number of Protestant professors of arts and medicine generally considered the anatomical study of the body--which they conceived of as a teleologically organised machina (machine)--to be instrumental in studying the human soul...
2014: Early Science and Medicine
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