Experiments and the Arts of Discovery in the Early Modern Europe

12-14 May 2013

Center for the Logic, History and the Philosophy of Science

Faculty of Philosophy, University of Bucharest

Recent research has been oriented towards the exploration of experiments, experimental methodologies and experimental practices in the early modern period. On the one hand, traditional histories of science and philosophy have been challenged by an increased number of examples that were not easily adapted to the existing categories (e.g., numerous observational practices and ways to note the reports of experiments). On the other hand, these historiographical categories have been criticized for their limited explanatory possibilities (e.g., quite often they described experiment in a way that was much closer to its development in the 18th and 19th centuries). Such problems revealed an urgent need to re-evaluate and change our traditional views concerning the experimental practice.

With our workshop on Experiments and the arts of discovery in early modern Europe, we are interested to put together researchers interested in the study of the multiple uses of experimentation in the 16th and 17th centuries (e.g., natural philosophy, natural history, mixed-mathematics, medicine, moral philosophy, theology etc.). Here is a non-exhaustive list of such points of interest: (a) The creative value(s) of early modern experiments; (b) The use of experiments in analogical thinking and the use of experiments in ‘grounding’ analogies; (c) The methodologically driven experimentation.



 Sunday, May 12, 2013

Chair: Dana Jalobeanu (Bucharest)

10:00-11:00 Peter Anstey (Sydney), Experimental natural history (keynote lecture)

11:00-11:30 Coffee Break

11:30-12.30 Sergius Kodera (Vienna), The Laboratory as Stage: Giovanni Battista della Porta’s Experiments

12.30-13.30 Lunch Break

Chair: Cesare Pastorino (Sussex)

13.30-14.30 Arianna Borrelli (Wuppertal), The invisible technique: the emergence of transparent glass and the development of Giovan Battista Della Porta’s optical experiments

14.30-15:00 Coffee break

15:00-16:00 Evan Ragland (Alabama), Making Trials in Sixteenth and Early Seventeenth-Century Medicine

16:00-16:30 Coffee break

16:30-17:30 Jonathan Regier (Paris), Mathematics and experiment in Kepler’s De stella nova (1604)

17:30-18:00 Coffee break

18:00-19:00 Round-up discussion: Experiments in Early Modern Philosophy.


Monday, May 13, 2013

Chair: Roger Ariew (South Florida)

10:00-11:00 Daniel Garber (Princeton), Merchants of Light and Mystery Men: Bacon’s Last Projects in Natural History

11:00-11.30 Cofee break

11:30-12.30 Sorana Corneanu (Bucharest), Experimenting with the Operations of the Mind: Medicine and the ‘Intellectual Arts’

12:30-13:30 Lunch break

Chair: Richard Serjeantson (Cambridge)

13:30-14.30 Kathryn Murphy (Oxford), Strategies of Experimental Reading in Francis Bacon and Dean Christopher Wren

14.30-15:00 Coffee break

15:00-16:00 Vlad Alexandrescu (Bucharest), Descartes et le rêve (baconien) de “la plus haute et plus parfaite science”

16:00-16:30 Coffee break

16:30-19:00 Round-up discussion: Baconian experimentation (Proponents: Dana Jalobeanu, Cesare Pastorino, Mihnea Dobre, Oana Matei, Sebastian Mateiescu, Claudia Dumitru)


Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Chair: Daniel Garber (Princeton)

10:00-11:00 Mordechai Feingold (Caltech), What was the “Experimental Philosophy’? (keynote lecture)

11:00-11:30 Coffee break

11:30-12:30 Albrecht Heeffer (Ghent), The use of material models in physico-mathematics

12:30-13:30 Lunch break

Chair: Peter Anstey (Sydney)

13:30-14:30 Koen Vermeir (Paris),  John Wilkins’ mathematical experiments and the perpetuity of discovery

14:30-15:00 Coffee break

15:00-16:00 Benedino Gemelli (Bellinzona), Francis Bacon in Isaac Beeckman’sJournal

16:00-16:30 Coffee break

16:30-17:30 Alberto Vanzo (Warwick), Experimental philosophy in late seventeenth-century Italy

17:30-18:00 Coffee break

18:00-19:00 Round-up discussion (Cesare Pastorino)



Dana Jalobeanu (University of Bucharest) and Cesare Pastorino (Essex University)

This international colloquium is organized in the framework of the project From natural history to science, CNCS grant PN-II-ID-PCE-2011-3-0719, contract no. 294/05/10/2011 (http://blogs.ub-filosofie.ro/pce/)