The scattered and pervasive variability of material objects, being a conspicuous part of the very experience of early-modern and modern science, challenges its purely theoretic character in many ways. Problems of this kind turn out in such different scientific contexts as Galilean physics, chemistry, and physiology. Practical answers are offered on the basis of different approaches, among which, in particular, two can be singled out. One is made out by what is often called an ‘art’ (thus not a science, rather an informed practice) of experiments. From the Renaissance until J. H. Lambert’s writings of the 1750–1760s, we can follow a train of reflections on the art of making experiments that deal precisely with the persistence of contingency in the material objects of pure science. The other is the analysis of contingency in probabilistic terms. They develop subsequently and eventually meet, as it can be seen precisely in Lambert’s work: among the first to pursue this path are Jakob Bernoulli and Leibniz.

Ars experimentandi et conjectandi. Laws of Nature, Material Objects, and Contingent Circumstances

Pasini, Enrico
2019

Abstract

The scattered and pervasive variability of material objects, being a conspicuous part of the very experience of early-modern and modern science, challenges its purely theoretic character in many ways. Problems of this kind turn out in such different scientific contexts as Galilean physics, chemistry, and physiology. Practical answers are offered on the basis of different approaches, among which, in particular, two can be singled out. One is made out by what is often called an ‘art’ (thus not a science, rather an informed practice) of experiments. From the Renaissance until J. H. Lambert’s writings of the 1750–1760s, we can follow a train of reflections on the art of making experiments that deal precisely with the persistence of contingency in the material objects of pure science. The other is the analysis of contingency in probabilistic terms. They develop subsequently and eventually meet, as it can be seen precisely in Lambert’s work: among the first to pursue this path are Jakob Bernoulli and Leibniz.
Contingency and Natural Order in Early Modern Science
Springer International
Boston Studies in the Philosophy and History of Science
332
317
342
978-3-319-67376-9
978-3-319-67378-3
Contingency, Experimental Science, Early-Modern Science, Early-Modern Philosophy,
Pasini, Enrico
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/2318/1719913
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