Lessi, Galileo and Viviani
Lessi, Galileo and Viviani

Conclusion

In this week, you have looked at the fate of the Aristotelian notions of matter and form. In particular, you have

  • become acquainted with the role of forms in Aristotelian natural philosophy,
  • seen some of the criticism the matter-form framework received in authors such as Descartes,
  • learned about the corpuscular and mechanistic alternative, to form, and
  • explored the way in which the biology of animal generation presented a special difficulty for the new scientists of the seventeenth century.

Next week, we will look more closely at the notion of a scientific experiment. Nowadays, we may think it goes without saying that scientists perform experiments to test their hypotheses, but the notion of a scientific experiment has not been around forever. Indeed, it was around the seventeenth century that we see the rise of experimental approaches to science, and it is to this development that we will turn now.

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The Scientific Revolution: Understanding the Roots of Modern Science

University of Groningen

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