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1. Journal of Early Modern Studies: Volume > 1 > Issue: 1
Book received
2. Journal of Early Modern Studies: Volume > 1 > Issue: 1
Robert Arnăutu Descartes among the Scholastics by Roger Ariew
3. Journal of Early Modern Studies: Volume > 1 > Issue: 1
D. C. Andersson On Borrowed Time: Internationalism and its Discontents in a Late Sixteenth-Century University Library
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An analysis of the accession history, together with a few refinements thereto, of the Báthory Jesuit College in Transylvania tells us much about the internationaland local buying practices of a humanistic reading community in a period of confessional strife. This short article makes a few corrections to our current knowledge of this library, together with a few obiter comments on Transylvanian book pricing and on the second-hand usage of student works. The Republic ofLetters depended, naturally enough, on the inculcation of a worldview that was not wholly parochial. Accordingly, the article also considers the nature of the intellectual culture that the partial reconstruction suggests and, finally, the division of labour between international and local markets for the sourcing of books.
4. Journal of Early Modern Studies: Volume > 1 > Issue: 1
Alexander Douglas A Worldlier Spinoza: Susan James on the Tractatus Theologico-Politicus
5. Journal of Early Modern Studies: Volume > 1 > Issue: 1
Andrea Sangiacomo Principe de la philosophie chez Hobbes. L’expérience de soi et du monde by Arnaud Milanese
6. Journal of Early Modern Studies: Volume > 1 > Issue: 1
Guidelines for Authors
7. Journal of Early Modern Studies: Volume > 1 > Issue: 1
Noël Golvers “Savant” correspondence from China with Europe in the 17th-18th centuries
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In this survey I describe the practice of letter writing in the Jesuit society in the Early Modern times, especially focusing on its role in the diffusion of scholarly information on China and its role in the construction of knowledge on China in Europe. After a description of the general background, I analyse consecutively: (1) some distinctive characteristics of the correspondence from China compared to the common Jesuit practices; (2) the historical communication and transfer routes between China and Europe; (3) the identity of a series of correspondents; (4) the scholarly topics discussed in these letters; (5) the present location of the main collections. I will finish (6) with a presentation of some major individual collections and (7) the impact of this correspondence on the contemporary European reading public, with an overall assessment of these letters as a source for 17th–18th–century European and world history.
8. Journal of Early Modern Studies: Volume > 1 > Issue: 1
Anne Davenport English Recusant Networks and the Early Defense of Cartesian Philosophy
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Following the publication of Descartes’s mechanistic explanation of transubstantiation in 1641, proponents of Galileo’s cosmology and of mechanistic principles of philosophy found themselves vulnerable to a concerted attack by theological authorities. This article calls attention to an early written defense of Cartesian transubstantiation and argues that the “weak” ties of English Catholic networks played a key role in mounting a targeted defense, beyond Mersenne’s immediate circle, of the autonomy of natural philosophy.
9. Journal of Early Modern Studies: Volume > 1 > Issue: 1
Michael Deckard Acts of admiration: Wondrous Women in Early Modern Philosophy
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This paper examines three sets of correspondence in the early modern tradition in order to bridge natural philosophy and practical philosophy by means of the notion of admiration, which Descartes mentions in article 53 of Traité des Passions de l’âme as “the first of all the passions”. I will thus first look at the correspondence of Princess Elisabeth of Bohemia (1618-1680) and René Descartes (1596–1650) in which Elisabeth is a cause of wonder, and who herself inspires Descartes to understand passions better than he had before. Not only does she challenge his mind/body dualism, but she also attempts to instill an appreciation of the personal in philosophy. Wonder is thus not only physiological and passive, but also inspiring and active. Second, the correspondence of Henry More (1614–1687) and Viscountess Anne Conway (1631–1679) spell out further depths of friendship and love. In their interaction, the active life is as much about their care for each other, and Henry’s concern for Anne’s health in particular, as the philosophical content of their relationship. Third, the correspondence between John Norris (1657–1711) and Mary Astell (1668–1731) reveal the transition from abstract philosophy to practical philosophy and, in their interaction, the young wonder Astell teaches Norris about the importance of loving others. This is not a mere curiosity in the history of wonder, but a real and lasting relationship in whichAstell inspires Norris to better himself.
10. Journal of Early Modern Studies: Volume > 1 > Issue: 1
Koen Vermeir The Dustbin of the Republic of Letters: Pierre Bayle’s “Dictionaire” as an encyclopedic palimpsest of errors
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Pierre Bayle’s Dictionnaire Historique et Critique, a landmark in intellectual history, is a curious text. Originally intended as a collection of all errors, it became an encyclopedia of everything, enfolding rampantly growing footnotes that commented on every imaginable topic. Instead of looking at Bayle’s theoretical statements in the Dictionnaire, I explore Bayle’s writing practice, his critical method and his practice of forming judgments. A close study of the textual, paratextual and contextual characteristics of the first entry of the Dictionnaire (the entry “Abaris”) allows me to find out how Bayle made up his mind at every stage during a contemporaneous controversy on divination. In this way, we are able to see Bayle’s mind in action while he is judging the contradictory information he receives and the to-and-fro movement of changing opinions he is confronted with. This examination yields new insights to Bayle’s practical attitudes towards key issues in his oeuvre, including scepticism, rationalism, superstition and tolerance. At the same time, the article clarifies how Bayle was involved in the Republic of Letters and how he related to his local context in Rotterdam.
11. Journal of Early Modern Studies: Volume > 1 > Issue: 1
Roger Ariew Descartes’ Correspondence before Clerselier: Du Roure’s La Philosophie
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Episodes of the wide diffusion of Galileo’s letters prompts me to consider whether the same thing could be demonstrated for Descartes. The question that interests me most is the circulation of Descartes’ correspondence before the publication of Clerselier’s edition of it, in three volumes, 1657–1667. Thus I examine the influence of Descartes’ unpublished correspondence in Jacques Du Roure’s La Philosophie divisée en toutes ses parties (Paris, 1654). It contains paraphrases of some letters by Descartes and a number of Descartes’ views whose contents were not available in the published corpus. I discuss in particular: 1. To Clerselier, June or July 1646 (about fi rst principles); 2. To Elisabeth, August 4, 1645 (about happiness); 3. To Mersenne?, May 27, 1641?, or To Mesland?, February 9, 1645? (about freedom of indifference). I also examine the evidence of a missing letter: To Mesland, February 9, 1645 (about transubstantiation and individuation). As with the case of the wide diffusion of Galileo’s unpublished letters, we can see a rather quick dissemination of Descartes’ correspondence. Th ree of four letters were circulated, if not by Descartes’ correspondents, at least by Clerselier just after Descartes’ death, even before the publication of his Lettres de Mr. Descartes.
12. Journal of Early Modern Studies: Volume > 1 > Issue: 1
J.B. Shank A French Jesuit in the Royal Society of London: Father Louis-Bertrand de Castel, S.J. and Enlightenment Mathematics, 1720–1735
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Is it possible for a Parisian Jesuit to be considered an embodiment of Enlightenment? Th is paper argues yes using the case of Louis Betrand de Castel, S.J. Castel is the only French Jesuit ever to be made a fellow of the Royal Society of London, and this paper argues that his admission in 1730 illustrates the shared currents of Enlightenment that brought together this Jesuit with this institution of Enlightenment science. Challenging intellectualist definitions of Enlightenment that defi ne it in terms of philosophical “isms” or alleged unities of belief, I argue that Enlightenment is better described as a new critical spirit born of the changing mediascape of the eighteenth century, and the new patterns of intellectual engagement and sociability that this environment spawned. Castel was a figure of Enlightenment through his work as a journalist and active critic in the mathematical debates of the period. His ideas defy classification under any single label, but his admission to the Royal Society, I argue, was made because of, rather than in spite of, his idiosyncratic scientific positions. Castel, therefore, illustrates an Enlightenment rooted less in any single scientific position or intellectual point view, and more in the new patterns of public critical engagement about all intellectual matters, including mathematics, characteristic of eighteenth-century Europe.
13. Journal of Early Modern Studies: Volume > 2 > Issue: 1
Sebastian Mateiescu Histories of Scientific Observation by Lorraine Daston and Elizabeth Lunbeck (eds.)
14. Journal of Early Modern Studies: Volume > 2 > Issue: 1
Cesare Pastorino Francis Bacon and the Institutions for the Promotion of Knowledge and Innovation
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This paper analyzes Francis Bacon’s observations on institutions for the advancement of knowledge and technical innovation. Early references to establishments for the promotion of knowledge can be found initial in Bacon’s early works, in the 1590s. Bacon’s journey to France in the second half of the1570s played a role in shaping these early conceptions. In particular, Bacon was likely acquainted with Jaques Gohory’s Lycium philosophal and Nicholas Houel’s Maison de Charité Chrétienne. In the period following the composition of The Advancement of Learning (1605), Francis Bacon focused his attention on the foundation of a college for inventors. Practical plans for the establishment of a college were discussed in the Commentarius solutus (1608). Bacon’s proposals addressed his general concerns for the production of technological innovation in Stuart society; both the college of the Commentarius and the imaginary institution of Salomon’s House in the New Atlantis (1626) can be seen as inventor’s utopias, where innovators are freed from the pressures of the world of crafts. Analogous continental project likely inspired such institutions. Again, the case of France may be relevant; around the time of Bacon’s proposals for his college, Henri IV was actively fostering collaboration among skilled inventors under royal patronage, and outside the strict control of the guild system.
15. Journal of Early Modern Studies: Volume > 2 > Issue: 1
Jonathan Regier Method and the a priori in Keplerian metaphysics
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I will analyze how a natural philosopher, according to Johannes Kepler (1571-1630), can move from phenomena to knowledge of a priori causes, those causes included in the divine “idea” of the world. By doing so, I hope to enlarge upon recent studies that discuss the influence of regressus-style logic on Kepler’s natural philosophy. The first part of this article will focus on Kepler’s influences at Tübingen and on the preface to the first edition of the Mysterium Cosmographicum (1596). The preface is an important document. In it, Kepler presents his own narrative of discovery. In the second half of the article, I will jump to his last a priori works, those published around 1620. I will argue that these add a level of detail and precision to the a priori method first presented in the Mysterium. I will end by considering the 1621 edition of the Mysterium, showing how Kepler strongly clarifies the limits of geometry in his natural philosophy.
16. Journal of Early Modern Studies: Volume > 2 > Issue: 1
Iovan Drehe Defending Hypatia: Ramus, Savile, and the Renaissance Rediscovery of Mathematical History by Robert Goulding
17. Journal of Early Modern Studies: Volume > 2 > Issue: 1
Laura Georgescu One Experiment, Different Uses: Floating Magnetic Bodies in Peregrinus, Norman and Gilbert
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This paper argues that local epistemic aims shape and transform the function played by an experiment. It shows that different uses of the same experimental context change the status of the experiment in the larger knowledge scheme. I deal with this problem in the context of early modern science, where experiments were often transferred from one domain of knowledge or from one problem to another. Thus, I assess how the technique of freely floating magnetic bodies was used experimentally in the following treatises: Peter Peregrinus’ Epistola de magnete, Robert Norman’s The Newe Attractive and William Gilbert’s De magnete. If the thesis is correct, then context-sensitive analyses of the transfer of experiments across domains (or problems) are necessary in order to understand both the function of the experiment in each knowledge context and what legitimizes the transfer.
18. Journal of Early Modern Studies: Volume > 2 > Issue: 1
Book received
19. Journal of Early Modern Studies: Volume > 2 > Issue: 1
Claudio Buccolini Mersenne Translator of Bacon?
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Several scholars, such as Corneliis de Waard (1933) and Frances Amalia Yates (1947), have suggested that Marin Mersenne may have translated some parts (or even the whole) of Francis Bacon’s Sylva Sylvarum. This supposed translation, into Latin, according to De Waard, or into French, according to Yates, has not yet come to light. This paper presents the identification of a partial French translation of Century II of the Sylva Sylvarum in a manuscript by Mersenne, written between 1626 and 1629. This partial translation was probably realized by Marin Mersenne himself, for his own use. It consists of a part of Sylva Sylvarum concerning sounds, the subject Mersenne was working on in that period.
20. Journal of Early Modern Studies: Volume > 2 > Issue: 1
Benedino Gemelli Isaac Beeckman as a Reader of Francis Bacon’s Sylva Sylvarum
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The Journal of the Dutch natural philosopher and scientist Isaac Beeckman (1588-1637) is an important document of the new science; it gives us important insights into corpuscularian physics, mechanical philosophy, and the physico-mathematical project. It is also valuable for documenting Beeckman’s sustained interest in ancient and contemporary authors and his strategies as a reader. This paper discusses Beeckman’s reading of Francis Bacon’s Sylva Sylvarum (1626), an important source for Beeckman’s science of nature. I do not propose here a thorough reading of Beeckman’s annotations to Sylva but I mainly concentrate on a number of yet unexplored fragments of Beeckman’s journal. I discuss these fragments in the wider context of Beeckman’s reading of Sylva, but I also assess their value as elements in a larger natural philosophical debate over the nature of light and sounds taking place in the mid-seventeenth century.