David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Intellectual History Review 22 (4):499-518 (2012)
This paper argues that early modern 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 between speculative and operative philosophy that can be ultimately traced back to Aristotle. The paper examines the traditional classification of natural philosophy as a speculative discipline from the Stagirite to the seventeenth century; medieval and early modern attempts to articulate a scientia experimentalis; and the tensions in the classification of natural magic and mechanics that led to the introduction of an operative part of natural philosophy in the writings of Francis Bacon and John Johnston. The paper concludes with a summary of the salient discontinuities between the experimental/speculative distinction of the mid-seventeenth century and its predecessors and a statement of the developments that led to the ascendance of experimental philosophy from the 1660s.
|Keywords||experimental philosophy early modern natural philosophy speculative philosophy|
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Peter R. Anstey (2015). Experimental Pedagogy and the Eclipse of Robert Boyle in England. Intellectual History Review 25 (1):115-131.
Peter R. Anstey (2014). D'Alembert, the “Preliminary Discourse” and Experimental Philosophy. Intellectual History Review 24 (4):495-516.
Kirsten Walsh & Adrian Currie (2015). Caricatures, Myths, and White Lies. Metaphilosophy 46 (3):414-435.
Gregory Dawes (2016). Experiment, Speculation, and Galileo's Scientific Reasoning. Perspectives on Science 24 (3):343-360.
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