Collaborative research, technological advancement and experimental philosophy in the 17th century: The Hartlib Circle and the rise of the “new science”
Our project intends to investigate a set of important but less explored sources of the scientific revolution, bringing to the fore a group of experimental projects with a significant contribution to the emergence of experimental philosophy and to the rise of “new science” in the second half of the seventeenth century. This is the case of the experimental projects elaborated between 1640-1650 and connected to what is called the Hartlib Circle (a network of correspondents spread almost all over Europe). We will show that the Hartlib Circle has influenced the multiple dimensions associated first with natural philosophy and then with modern science. Our claim is to advance and demonstrate that the type of experimentalism discovered in the Hartlib Circle has been very particular, and not general. This particular Baconianism is to be found in the practice of experimentation and it is to be seen at both deontological (through the use of collaborative mechanisms of communication) and methodological (using the experimental set-ups, investigation and experimental techniques, and translations from one domain into another) levels. And above all, this particular type of experimentation contributed to the rise of modern science.
- Exploring the way in which the practice of experimentation in the Hartlib Circle, from both deontological (through the use of collaborative mechanisms of communication) and methodological (using the experimental set-ups, investigation and experimental techniques, translations from one domain into another) perspectives, and, particularly, experiments with plants related to the type of experimentation practiced in the early stages of the Royal Society and contributed to the emergence of modern science.
- Investigating the way in which members of the Hartlib Circle inherited the husbandry traditions and how they integrated them in a technological and operational science, that of experiments with plants.
- Exploring the way in which Samuel Hartlib used the Baconian theme of “the advancement of learning” in order to promote collaboration and communication inside his Circle.
- Continuing the research activity started in previous projects.
- Opening up a novel and interdisciplinary avenue of research that joins, thorough historical research, history of science and intellectual history with political thought and history of philosophy in a cross-disciplinary approach. If successful, my investigation can give hints for further interpretation in more than one field of research (such as history of technology, history of medicine, history of ethics and political thought).
Specific objectives (stages of research)
- Identifying the texts– six research stages at the British Library, the Warburg Institute, Académie Françaises.
- Participating to at least eight international conferences in order to disseminate the results of my research (four conferences for postdocs and four for docs). e.g. British Society for History of Science Conference, European Society for the History of Science Conference, International Society for Intellectual History Conference, European Society for the History of Science Conference.
- Publishing six articles (four BDI/ISI papers- postdocs; two BDI papers – docs).
- Editing a collective volume of articles sent for publication to a prestigious foreign publishing house or editing a special thematic issue of a BDI journal.
- Organizing a transdisciplinary research seminar together with the project team members on the mentioned topic.
Conferences and Events
Early Modern Intersections: Science, Experiments, Methodologies
April 18, 2016
The Centre for Social and Humanistic Research (Vasile Goldis Western University of Arad)
Ovidiu Babeș, Mihnea Dobre, Oana Matei, Alex Mexi
Manipulating Flora. Gardens as laboratories in the Renaissance and Early Modern Europe
The Centre for Social and Humanistic Research (Vasile Goldis Western University of Arad) and The Institute for Research in the Humanities (University of Bucharest)
Fabrizio Baldassarri, Dana Jalobeanu, Oana Matei
One objective included in this project agenda is to organize a research transdisciplinary seminar on the theme of the advancement of knowledge in the 17th century England. BA and MA students are encouraged to translate and comment some relevant texts connected with the research topic.
The schedule of meetings will be announced starting with January 2016.
Oana Matei, “Intellectual Pathways: From Early Modern French Philosophy to Contemporary Political Thought”, Philobiblon, XX, 2 (2015), acceptat spre publicare decembrie 2015.
Ovidiu Babeș, „Descartes’ Complete Correspondence”, Society and Politics, 9, 2/18 (2015): 84-85.