Pierre gassendi

Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (2008)
  Copy   BIBTEX

Abstract

Pierre Gassendi (b. 1592, d. 1655) was a French philosopher, scientific chronicler, observer, and experimentalist, scholar of ancient texts and debates, and active participant in contemporary deliberations of the first half of the seventeenth century. His significance in early modern thought has in recent years been rediscovered and explored, towards a better understanding of the dawn of modern empiricism, the mechanical philosophy, and relations of modern philosophy to ancient and medieval discussions. Through an arch-empiricism—tempered by adherence to key elements of Church doctrine—Gassendi views metaphysics as a realm for speculation grounded in the possibility of empirical confirmation, logic as a psychologistic and probabilistic enterprise, knowledge of the external world as built on and subject to sensory-based evidence, and ethics in quasi-hedonist, possibly quantifiable terms. His philosophy is a constant review of other sources, a thorough consideration of the landscape into which his own empiricism fits and represents an alternative to contrasting claims, past and present. Other hallmarks of his thought include an atomist matter theory, explorations and defenses of the new physics, objections to the Meditations, and refutations of contemporary Aristotelians and mystical thinkers. His presentation of an empiricism, atomism, and new cosmology in historical and philosophical context greatly advanced the community of scholarship in his day, and represents a then-new model of research and exposition.

Links

PhilArchive



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 74,509

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Analytics

Added to PP
2009-01-28

Downloads
32 (#362,084)

6 months
1 (#417,896)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?