Programme - The Losers of the Scientific Revolution

Bucharest-Princeton Seminar in Early Modern Philosophy

Bran, 5–10 July 2012

The Losers of the Scientific Revolution


Friday, 5 July

9.30 Departure to Bran from Hotel Flowers, Plantelor str. 2, Bucharest  (lunch on the way in Brașov)

17.00 Arrival in Bran (Vila Andra)

19.00 Dinner

Saturday, 6 July

9.30-10.30 Conference: Vlad Alexandrescu (Bucharest): Descartes et le rêve (baconien) de “la plus haute et plus parfaite science”

10.30-10.45 Coffee break

10.45-13.00 Reading group (I): Baconianism and Cartesianism. On Method
Convenors: Mihnea Dobre, Igor Agostini
Texts: Descartes's Regulae, the Discourse, and the Objections; (fragments)
a chapter on Bacon from Mersenne's La verité de sciences, pp. 206-224; Nicolas Poisson's Commentaire ou remarques sur la methode de Descartes, pp. 54-72

13.00-15.00 Lunch break

16.00-16.35 Fabrizio Baldassarri (Parma): Useless Victories and Useful Losses. Descartes and Losers in Scientific Revolution

16.35-16.50 Coffee break

16.50-19.00 Reading group (II): Baconianism and Cartesianism. On experiments
Convenors: Mihnea Dobre, Sophie Roux
Texts: Rochon, Lettre d'un philosophe à un cartésien de ces amis, p. 119-129, p. 141-55, p. 194-202; Mariotte, Essai de logique, p. 8-33, p. 110-149); Jacques Rohault, System of Natural Philosophy, On Void, p. 56-68.

19.30 Dinner

Sunday, 7 July

9.15-9.50 Igor Agostini (Universita degli studi del Salento): What does it mean to edit an Index scolastico-cartésien today?

9.50-10.40 Stefano Di Bella (Scuola Normale Superiore di Pisa), Idolon naturae. Seventeenth-century discussions on the concept of nature

10.40-10.55 Coffee break

10.55-13.00 Reading group (III): Vitalism vs. the Scientific Revolution (1)
Convenors: Emanuela Scribano, Stefano Di Bella
Texts: Cureau de La Chambre, Le Système de l'âme 1664, Livre III ("Corpus des oeuvres de philosophie en langue française"); Cudworth's digression on 'plastick nature' in the True Intellectual System 

13.00-15.00 Lunch break

16.00-16.35: Rodolfo Garau (Torino), Descartes’ reception of the late-scholastic concept of conatus

16.35-16.50 Coffee break

16.50-17.25 Mihai-Dragoş Vadana (Bucharest), On the shivery separation between philosophy and theology: Descartes, Wittich and Meijer

17.25-18.00 Andrea Sangiacomo (Groningen): Explaining superstition: Spinoza’s conatus doctrine and its evolution between 1661 and 1670

19.00 Dinner

Monday, 8 July

9.30-10.05 Charles Wolfe (Ghent): Vitalism between ontology and scientific pursuit-worthiness in the wake of the Scientific Revolution

10.05-10.20 Coffee break

10.20-12.35 Reading group (IV): Vitalism vs. the Scientific Revolution (2)
Convenors: Charles Wolfe, Sorana Corneanu
Texts: Glisson, excerpt from De natura substantiae energetica, 1672 (trans. G. Giglioni); excerpts from the Leibniz-Stahl debate (Animadversiones circa Assertiones aliquas Theoriae Medicae Verae clarii Stahlii … Or Negotium otiosum, seu Schiamachia, 1708) (trans. J.E.H. Smith and F. Duchesneau); A. von Haller, A Dissertation on the Sensible and Irritable Parts of Animals, 1752/1753; excerpts from Bordeu (1751), Ménuret (1765) and Diderot (1769) on the ‘beeswarm’ (trans. C.T. Wolfe); Ménuret, article “Oeconomie animale” from the Encyclopédie (1765)

13.00-15.00 Lunch break

16.00-16.35 Ohad Nachtomy (Tel Aviv): “Ce qu’il vient de dire de la double infinité n’est qu’une entrée dans mon système” – Leibniz’s Response to Pascal on the Nature of Living Beings

16.35-16.50 Coffee break

16.50 -17.25 Lucian Petrescu (Ghent): Bartholomaeus Des Bosses’ Eucharistic Key

17.25-18.00 Sebastian Mateiescu (Bucharest): Francis Bacon on the Stability and Transmutation of Species

19.00 Dinner

Tuesday, 9 July

9.15-9.50:  Ian Lawson (Sydney): 'This Brittle Art': Margaret Cavendish and the Microscope

9.50-10.25 Ofer Gal (Sydney): The Jesuits and the telescope

10.25-10.40 Coffee break

10.40-12.55 Reading group (V): Mechanical philosophy vs. the spirit of nature: Henry More.
Convenors: Daniel Garber, Stefano Di Bella, Grigore Vida
Henry More, Immortality of the Soul, fragment
Kenelm Digby, Discourse on the powder of symathy, or The weapon salve, fragment

13.00-15.00 Lunch

16.00-16.35 Grigore Vida (New Europe College): Newton’s De Gravitatione and the Descartes-More Correspondence

16.35-16.50 Coffee break

16.50-17.25 Monica Solomon (Notre Dame), Newton, Huygens, and the (truly?) Rotating Globes

17.25-18.00 Claudia Dumitru (Bucharest): Robert Hooke's “Baconian Method”: Memory and Natural History

19.00 Dinner

Wednesday, 10 July

9.30 Departure to Bucharest

This Seminar is supported by a grant of the Romanian National Authority for Scientific Research, CNCS-UEFISCDI, project number PN-II-ID-PCE-2011-3-0998: Models of Producing and Disseminating Knowledge in Early Modern Europe: the Cartesian Framework.