© 2020

Real, Mechanical, Experimental

Robert Hooke's Natural Philosophy

  • Presents a unified view of Hooke’s published and unpublished works

  • Challenges the traditional views of British restoration science

  • Includes a selection of Hooke’s unpublished papers

  • Offers a ground-breaking general synthesis of Robert Hooke’s natural philosophy

  • Focuses on the pre-Newtonian interaction between mechanical and experimental philosophy


Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xiv
  2. Francesco G. Sacco
    Pages 1-16
  3. Francesco G. Sacco
    Pages 17-45
  4. Francesco G. Sacco
    Pages 47-68
  5. Francesco G. Sacco
    Pages 69-91
  6. Francesco G. Sacco
    Pages 93-117
  7. Francesco G. Sacco
    Pages 119-144
  8. Francesco G. Sacco
    Pages 145-171
  9. Francesco G. Sacco
    Pages 173-184
  10. Francesco G. Sacco
    Pages 185-201
  11. Back Matter
    Pages 203-266

About this book


This original work contains the first detailed account of the natural philosophy of Robert Hooke (1635-1703), leading figure of the early Royal Society. From celestial mechanics to microscopy, from optics to geology and biology, Hooke’s contributions to the Scientific Revolution proved decisive. Focusing separately on partial aspects of Hooke’s works, scholars have hitherto failed to see the unifying idea of the natural philosophy underlying them. Some of his unpublished papers have passed almost unnoticed. Hooke pursued the foundation of a real, mechanical and experimental philosophy, and this book is an attempt to reconstruct it. The book includes a selection of Hooke's unpublished papers.

Readers will discover a study of the new science through the works of one of the most known protagonists. Challenging the current views on the scientific life of restoration England, this book sheds new light on the circulation of Baconian ideals and the mechanical philosophy in the early Royal Society. This book is a must-read to anybody interested in Hooke, early modern science or Restoration history.


Real, mechanical, experimental Robert Hooke Philosophical algebra Restoration science Royal Society Scientific revolution Baconians Virtuosi Scientific instruments Gresham college

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.Humanities DepartmentCATS CollegeCanterburyUK

About the authors

Francesco G. Sacco teaches modern history at CATS College, Canterbury (UK). He has previously been visiting lecturer at Salisbury University in the United States, and post-doctoral research fellow at the Warburg Institute, University of London, and the University of Calabria, Italy. His research interest is primarily in the emergence of experimental sciences in early modern Europe. His latest publications include ‘Bacon and the Virtuosi: Experimental Contingency and Mechanical Laws in the Early Royal Society,’ in Contingency and Natural Order in Early Modern Science, edited by Pietro D. Omodeo and Rodolfo Garau.

Bibliographic information

  • Book Title Real, Mechanical, Experimental
  • Book Subtitle Robert Hooke's Natural Philosophy
  • Authors Francesco G. Sacco
  • Series Title International Archives of the History of Ideas Archives internationales d'histoire des idées
  • Series Abbreviated Title Int.Arch.of History Ideas
  • DOI
  • Copyright Information Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020
  • Publisher Name Springer, Cham
  • eBook Packages History History (R0)
  • Hardcover ISBN 978-3-030-44450-1
  • Softcover ISBN 978-3-030-44453-2
  • eBook ISBN 978-3-030-44451-8
  • Series ISSN 0066-6610
  • Series E-ISSN 2215-0307
  • Edition Number 1
  • Number of Pages XIV, 266
  • Number of Illustrations 8 b/w illustrations, 0 illustrations in colour
  • Topics History of Science
    History of Philosophy
    Modern Philosophy
  • Buy this book on publisher's site