Encyclopedia of Early Modern Philosophy and the Sciences

Living Edition
| Editors: Dana Jalobeanu, Charles T. Wolfe

Novatores: Rejecting Aristotle and Forging a New Philosophy in the Seventeenth Century

Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-20791-9_496-1



The early modern period was a time of innovation and change, generally considered the beginning of science and philosophy as we now understand it. There have been numerous historical debates about how this happened. In the popular literature, the textbooks, and the classroom, the focus has been on certain great figures like Kepler and Galileo, Descartes and Bacon, and Hobbes and Harvey, among others, who are taken to be principally responsible for the emergence of the new ideas and perspectives. But in the early seventeenth century, things looked somewhat different. When the figures we now consider the first moderns emerged, it was in the context of a host of other figures, called by their contemporaries the “novatores” or “innovators.” When this historiographical category emerged in the early seventeenth century, though, it was not intended as a compliment. Though it will become something positive later in the century, when first...

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Reformation Scientific revolution 
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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PhilosophyPrinceton UniversityPrincetonUSA

Section editors and affiliations

  • Dana Jalobeanu
    • 1
  • Charles T. Wolfe
    • 2
  1. 1.Faculty of PhilosophyUniversity of BucharestBucharestRomania
  2. 2.Department of Philosophy and Moral Sciences, Sarton Centre for History of ScienceGhent UniversityGhentBelgium