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Grant number: FT-60768-13

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Tammy Nyden
Grinnell College (Grinnell, IA 50112-2227)

The New Physics at Leiden

This book project, The New Physics at Leiden studies shifts in the concept of scientia through the work of four Leiden professors who were critical to the acceptance and spread of experimental physics in Europe: the Cartesian Burchard de Volder, his Aristotelian colleague, Wolferd Senguerd, and their Newtonian successors Herman Boerhaave and Willem J 's Gravesande. This book challenges two master narratives which assume an incommensurability between so-called 'paradigms': Kuhn's characterization of the scientific revolution as a gestalt switch from the Scholastic worldview to the Newtonian and the characterization of early modern philosophy as an epistemological divide between Continental Rationalism and British Empiricism. During the grant period I will write the chapter on Boerhaave, who argues that the Cartesian focus on first principles led physicians to neglect the investigation of phenomena and praises the Newtonian method of combining experiment with mathematical reasoning.

Project fields:
History of Philosophy

Summer Stipends

Research Programs

Total amounts:
$6,000 (approved)
$6,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
6/1/2013 – 7/31/2013