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Scientific Values and Civic Virtues$
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Noretta Koertge

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780195172256

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: July 2005

DOI: 10.1093/0195172256.001.0001

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 Virtues and the Scientific Revolution

 Virtues and the Scientific Revolution

(p.71) 5 Virtues and the Scientific Revolution
Scientific Values and Civic Virtues

Rose‐Mary Sargent

Oxford University Press

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.

Keywords:   Francis Bacon, Robert Boyle, Royal Society, experimental philosophy, useful knowledge, cooperative research, common good, civility

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