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William PettyAnd the Ambitions of Political Arithmetic$
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Ted McCormick

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780199547890

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199547890.001.0001

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From Romsey to Paris

From Romsey to Paris

(p.14) CHAPTER 1 From Romsey to Paris
William Petty

Ted McCormick (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines Petty's early life and apprenticeship in England, education at a Jesuit collège in Normandy, and studies in philosophy and medicine in Utrecht, Leiden, Amsterdam and Paris during the early and mid‐1640s. It was during these years that Petty first came into contact with several important influences on his later work: among the Jesuits, pure and mixed (applied) mathematics; in the Low Countries, Cartesianism, Harveian mechanistic physiology, and iatrochemistry (alchemical medicine); in Paris, such natural philosophers as Pierre Gassendi, Marin Mersenne and, most importantly, Thomas Hobbes. While still just developing his own philosophical persona, Petty was exposed in these years to some of the main currents of the new natural philosophy, and some of the major participants in the Scientific Revolution.

Keywords:   Jesuits, education, Cartesianism, Scientific Revolution, natural philosophy, medicine, mathematics, Thomas Hobbes, alchemy

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