, Volume 6, Issue 1, pp 1–28 | Cite as

Seized by the spirit of modern science

  • James Franklin
  • Stephen Gaukroger
  • John Schuster
  • Alan Taylor
Review Symposia


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  1. Peter Dear,Discipline and Experience: The Mathematical Way in the Scientific Revolution. Chicago: Chicago University Press, 1995. Pp. xiii + 290. US$60 HB, $24.00 PB.Google Scholar


  1. 1.
    A. B. H.Taylor, ‘The Early Royal Society of London’, Ph.D diss. Univ of Melbourne, 1991.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    For example, we can read Paolo Rossi as having described how a body of non-natural philosophical literature on practical arts and its values — itself articulated upon structural changes in sixteenth-century Europe — was co-opted and redeployed by Bacon and Descartes into core debates inside the natural philosophical field, as part of their respective strategies of advancing their overall claims in the natural philosophical agon. cf Dear’s remarks on Rossi [156 fn15] unfacilitated by a field model of discourse.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    We are developing here (1) the Foucaultian notion that in large measure a field of discourse is continuously defined by discourse about and upon its boundaries; and (2) the Bourdieuian insight that an agonistic field is continuously defined by the play of the contending actors as they acquire and expend field-specific resources.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    S. Gaukroger,Descartes, An Intellectual Biography (Oxford, 1995).Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    M. Clavelin,The Natural Philosophy of Galileo (Cambridge, Mass., 1974);Google Scholar
  6. 5a.
    S. Gaukroger,Explanatory Structures (Hassocks, 1978).Google Scholar
  7. 6.
    P.K. Feyerabend, ‘Classical Empiricism’ in R. E. Butts and J. W. Davis (eds)The Methodological Heritage of Newton (Oxford, 1970), pp.150–70.Google Scholar
  8. 7.
    J. A. Schuster and G. Watchirs, ‘Natural Philosophy, Experiment and Discourse in the 18th Century: Beyond the Kuhn/Bachelard Problematic’ in H. E. Legrand (ed.)Experimental Inquiries (Dordrecht, 1990), pp. 1–47.Google Scholar
  9. 8.
    B. Latour and S. Woolgar,Laboratory Life (1979) pp.49–50; cf J. R. Ravetz,Scientific Knowledge and its Social Problems (Harmondsworth, 1971, 1996), pp.78, 83, on ‘data’ and ‘information’ in the process of construction arguments for new scientific claims.Google Scholar
  10. 9.
    Dear p.109ff. Before he had an adequate telescope Kepler wished to endorse Galileo’s findings, which he did in part by praising Galileo as a gentleman (and as an expert). Dear’s account typically leaves out what we would term the natural philosophical grammar of positioning that frames this entire performance: Kepler needs Galileo to be broadly correct in his Copernican findings, since his own astronomy, celestial mechanics and hence entire natural philosophical project turn upon evidence such as this. The deployment of rhetoric of gentlemanliness, or expertise, is secondary to the structure and dynamics of the player’s tactical positionings in the field, and is motivated by it. We could cite a least a half dozen examples of Dear’s interesting cases, a number involving the Scholastic Aristotelian players, which require such contextualising to field dynamics. Cf note 2 above.Google Scholar
  11. 10.
    Shapin says of Boyle and the Royal Society: ‘The later founding of the Royal Society of London, and its effective international exchange system, distributed Boyle’s example throughout the world’ (A Social History of Truth, p.143). Boyle’s approach reigned at the Royal Society until his death in 1691 (ibid., p.291) until replaced by Newtonian mathematicised natural philosophy (ibid., p. 185)Google Scholar
  12. 11.
    Also, ‘This book is an attempt to understand that Wilkin’s term as a summary of themes, that during the course of the seventeenth-century, had developed into a powerful formulation of ways to address and to know nature.’Google Scholar
  13. 12.
    J. A Schuster and A. B. H. Taylor, ‘Blind Trust: Shapin’s Tale of the Gentlemanly Origins of Experimental Science’,Social Studies of Science, forthcoming.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Australasian Association for the History, Philosophy and Social Studies of Science 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • James Franklin
    • 1
  • Stephen Gaukroger
    • 2
  • John Schuster
    • 3
  • Alan Taylor
    • 3
  1. 1.School of MathematicsThe University of New South WalesUK
  2. 2.School of PhilosophyUniversity of SydneyAustralia
  3. 3.Program in History & Philosophy of ScienceThe University of WollongongUSA

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