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The Emergence of a Scientific CultureScience and the Shaping of Modernity 1210-1685$
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Stephen Gaukroger

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780199296446

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2007

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199296446.001.0001

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Reconstructing the Natural Philosopher

Reconstructing the Natural Philosopher

(p.196) 6 Reconstructing the Natural Philosopher
The Emergence of a Scientific Culture

Stephen Gaukroger (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

The development of the persona of the natural philosopher is the key to understanding how natural philosophy becomes inserted into European culture in the 16th and 17th centuries. This chapter shows in detail that notions of truth and justification turn just as much on conceptions of intellectual honesty as they do on notions of method. It looks primarily at the standing of the natural philosopher in Bacon, Galileo, Descartes, Boyle, and Royal Society apologists, focusing on claims that the natural philosopher requires a kind of intellectual honesty lacking in scholastic natural philosophy. This is closely tied in with one of the distinctive features of early-modern natural philosophy: that questions that had earlier been seen in terms of truth are now discussed instead in terms of impartiality and objectivity.

Keywords:   Francis Bacon, Robert Boyle, René Descartes, Galileo, persona, natural philosopher, Royal Society

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