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The problematic case of animal generation

In the previous step, you have seen that thinkers such as the English biologist, William Harvey, doubted whether living organisms could be the result of the mere motion and collision …

Descartes, Boyle, and Le Grand on forms

In the last step, you have read three exerpts from authors criticising the notion of form. Here, we will see in some detail on what grounds these authors criticised the …

Problems for Aristotelianism

In this video we take a closer look at the critique of the Aristotelian notion of form in thinkers such as Descartes, and explore what, according to them, proper explanations …

Forms and the analysis of change

You have just provided Aristotelian analyses in terms of matter and form of two natural phenomena yourself: a piece of wood reducing to ashes, and a red apple turning brown. …

Aristotelian natural philosophy

If there was a scientific revolution in the seventeenth century, the tradition that it aimed to turn over and replace, was that of medieval Aristotelian science. In order to better …

Science and pseudoscience

You have been trying to formulate ways of distinguishing between scientific disciplines, such as astronomy, and pseudoscience such as astrology. One difference between the two that you might have noted, …

The course ‘finale’

In this last video Andrea Sangiacomo points out some of the most important concepts and ideas that have emerged during the whole course.

What is secularisation?

In this video Andrea Sangiacomo will explain to you the different meanings that the notion of ‘secularisation’ might have when referred to early modern science. By distinguishing these meanings we …

Koyré on secularisation

Alexandre Koyré (1892-1964) was an influential historian of science who contributed to the narrative about the seventeenth-century “Scientific Revolution”. In his famous book From the Closed World to the Infinite …

Science and religion

In this video Andrea Sangiacomo will introduce you to the complex (and often controversial) relationship that links science and religion in the early modern period. You’ll learn how to distinguish …

Efficient and final causes

In this video Andrea Sangiacomo explains how early modern philosophers and scientists discussed the notions of ‘efficient’ and ‘final’ causes. You’ll be introduced to the theological implications that the notion …

Check-point: science and society

Let us see what we discussed so far. Today, science and society are deeply connected. If you look at the word cloud produced in the first step of Week 3, …