Virtues and the Scientific Revolution
Experimental philosophers of 17th-century England recognized a complex relationship between scientific values and civic virtues. Francis Bacon, motivated by his desire to promote the common good by producing useful knowledge, noted that the advancement of learning required a cooperative research effort guided by civility, charity, toleration, and intellectual modesty. This essay examines how the founders of the Royal Society of London, including Robert Boyle, put his advice into action by their efforts to establish an expanded and inclusive society of investigators that would strengthen the habits of discourse in a civil society, while furthering the economic, political, and social benefits of scientific inquiry.
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