Honoré Fabri and the Concept of Impetus: A Bridge between Paradigms

  • Michael Elazar

Part of the Boston Studies in the Philosophy of Science book series (BSPS, volume 288)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xxix
  2. Basic Concepts

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 1-1
    2. Michael Elazar
      Pages 3-7
    3. Michael Elazar
      Pages 9-16
    4. Michael Elazar
      Pages 17-29
    5. Michael Elazar
      Pages 31-45
  3. Natural Motion

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 61-61
    2. Michael Elazar
      Pages 63-66
    3. Michael Elazar
      Pages 67-78
    4. Michael Elazar
      Pages 79-86
    5. Michael Elazar
      Pages 87-96
    6. Michael Elazar
      Pages 97-105
    7. Michael Elazar
      Pages 107-117
  4. Violent Motion

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 119-119
    2. Michael Elazar
      Pages 121-125
    3. Michael Elazar
      Pages 135-155
    4. Michael Elazar
      Pages 157-168

About this book


This book discusses the impetus-based physics of the Jesuit natural philosopher and mathematician Honoré Fabri (1608-1688), a senior representative of Jesuit scientists during the period between Galileo's death (1642) and Newton's Principia (1687). It shows how Fabri, while remaining loyal to a general Aristotelian outlook, managed to reinterpret the old concept of “impetus” in such a way as to assimilate into his physics building blocks of modern science, like Galileo’s law of fall and Descartes’ principle of inertia. This account of Fabri’s theory is a novel one, since his physics is commonly considered as a dogmatic rejection of the New Science, not essentially different from the medieval impetus theory. This book shows how New Science principles were taught in Jesuit Colleges in the 1640s, thus depicting the sophisticated manner in which new ideas were settling within the lion’s den of Catholic education.


Galileo Galilei Honoré Fabri Inertia Jesuits René Descartes

Authors and affiliations

  • Michael Elazar
    • 1
  1. 1.History of ScienceMax Planck Institute for theBerlinGermany

Bibliographic information

  • DOI https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-007-1605-6
  • Copyright Information Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011
  • Publisher Name Springer, Dordrecht
  • eBook Packages Humanities, Social Sciences and Law
  • Print ISBN 978-94-007-1604-9
  • Online ISBN 978-94-007-1605-6
  • Series Print ISSN 0068-0346
  • About this book