Scientia in Early Modern Philosophy

Seventeenth-Century Thinkers on Demonstrative Knowledge from First Principles

  • Tom Sorell
  • G.A. Rogers
  • Jill Kraye

Part of the Studies in History and Philosophy of Science book series (AUST, volume 24)

Table of contents

About this book


Scientia is the term that early modern philosophers applied to a certain kind of demonstrative knowledge, the kind whose starting points were appropriate first principles. In pre-modern philosophy, too, scientia was the name for demonstrative knowledge from first principles. But pre-modern and early modern conceptions differ systematically from one another. This book offers a variety of glimpses of this difference by exploring the works of individual philosophers as well as philosophical movements and groupings of the period. Some of the figures are transitional, falling neatly on neither side of the allegiances usually marked by the scholastic/modern distinction. Among the philosophers whose views on scientia are surveyed are Hobbes, Descartes, Spinoza, Gassendi, Locke, and Jungius. The contributors are among the best-known and most influential historians of early modern philosophy.


John Locke René Descartes Spinoza knowledge natural philosophy

Editors and affiliations

  • Tom Sorell
    • 1
  • G.A. Rogers
    • 2
  • Jill Kraye
    • 3
  1. 1.EdgbastonUnited Kingdom
  2. 2.Department of PhilosophyUniversity of KeeleKeele, StaffsUnited Kingdom
  3. 3.School of Advanced StudiesUniversity of LondonLondonUnited Kingdom

Bibliographic information