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Vital Spaces, Vital Forces: Life in Renaissance and Early Modern Physics

According to the common narrative, the early, critical development of classical physics was a turning-away from the living and retreat to the inanimate. The success of classical physics has convinced us of this narrative; my project will demonstrate that this narrative is wrong. I will show that medical and biological ideas were crucial in the formation of science’s basic presuppositions: that of a homogenous matter, force, and space whose characters are essentially mathematical. The majority of my three-year project will be dedicated to a monograph on how mathematical natural philosophy was constructed and justified within a framework where spaces, bodies and forces were vital and formative. The project will represent a major reevaluation of the most important turn in the history of modern science. Considering a wide range of authors and works, most of which remain untranslated, the project will provide a new understanding of how networks of physicians, philosophers, and astronomers used biological and medical ideas to build a new physical order. 

Date:1 Jan 2017 →  1 Oct 2017
Disciplines:Other philosophy, ethics and religious studies not elsewhere classified, Philosophy, Theory and methodology of philosophy