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THE ORIGINS OF EARLY MODERN EXPERIMENTAL PHILOSOPHY

THE ORIGINS OF EARLY MODERN EXPERIMENTAL PHILOSOPHY Intellectual History Review 22(4) December 2012: 499–518 Peter Anstey and Alberto Vanzo One of the most important developments in early modern thought was the emergence of exper- imental philosophy in the mid-seventeenth century, and yet its origins are not particularly well understood. This paper argues that experimental philosophy emerged as the dominant member of a pair of methods in natural philosophy, the speculative versus the experimental, and that this pairing derives from an overarching distinction within philosophy in general that can be traced back through the Renaissance to Aquinas and ultimately to Aristotle. While our concern is with the emergence of experimental philosophy, we contend that this cannot be understood apart from the distinction between experimental and speculative philos- ophy. This paper then aims to reconstruct the origins of the distinction between experimental and speculative philosophy, a distinction that pervaded early modern thought, from the famous natural philosophical debate between Robert Boyle and Thomas Hobbes to the first reception of Kant’s Critical philosophy. Where did the experimental/speculative distinction come from and how was it established? It is only by answering these questions that we can explain the emer- gence of early modern experimental philosophy. The first section of the http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Intellectual History Review Taylor & Francis

THE ORIGINS OF EARLY MODERN EXPERIMENTAL PHILOSOPHY

Intellectual History Review , Volume 22 (4): 20 – Dec 1, 2012
20 pages

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References (33)

Publisher
Taylor & Francis
Copyright
Copyright International Society for Intellectual History
ISSN
1749-6985
eISSN
1749-6977
DOI
10.1080/17496977.2012.725552
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Intellectual History Review 22(4) December 2012: 499–518 Peter Anstey and Alberto Vanzo One of the most important developments in early modern thought was the emergence of exper- imental philosophy in the mid-seventeenth century, and yet its origins are not particularly well understood. This paper argues that experimental philosophy emerged as the dominant member of a pair of methods in natural philosophy, the speculative versus the experimental, and that this pairing derives from an overarching distinction within philosophy in general that can be traced back through the Renaissance to Aquinas and ultimately to Aristotle. While our concern is with the emergence of experimental philosophy, we contend that this cannot be understood apart from the distinction between experimental and speculative philos- ophy. This paper then aims to reconstruct the origins of the distinction between experimental and speculative philosophy, a distinction that pervaded early modern thought, from the famous natural philosophical debate between Robert Boyle and Thomas Hobbes to the first reception of Kant’s Critical philosophy. Where did the experimental/speculative distinction come from and how was it established? It is only by answering these questions that we can explain the emer- gence of early modern experimental philosophy. The first section of the

Journal

Intellectual History ReviewTaylor & Francis

Published: Dec 1, 2012

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