Early Modern Empiricism and the Discourse of the Senses

  • Alan Salter
Part of the Studies in History and Philosophy of Science book series (AUST, volume 25)

Abstract

The relationship between science and literary texts in the early seventeenth century has only rarely been examined by scholars yet it is of immense importance in explaining the achievement of scientists in the period. The emergence of a language of empiricism and its usage in genres as eclectic as cosmography and drama shaped the practice of science by providing expressions and concepts that could be applied by investigators to their inquiries. But it was not just the language that took effect. Empiricism and the senses became topics in their own right and the works they appeared in displayed energy and intensity and an excitement at the possibilities of using new narrative ideas to explain the world. It is my contention that without this discourse of the senses the empirical practices that enabled the physiologist William Harvey to discover the circulation of the blood and the generation of the animal could not have been devised.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alan Salter
    • 1
  1. 1.Unit for History and Philosophy of ScienceUniversity of SydneySydneyAustralia

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