Experimental Innovation

  • Marie Boas Hall
Part of the The Documentary History of Western Civilization book series (DHWC)


Perhaps the most familiar aspect of the scientific revolution was its remarkable progress in experimental discovery. So much was this the case that Englishmen—long to be leading empiricists in science—commonly spoke indifferently of “the new learning” and “the new experimental philosophy” as if the two were identical (which they were not). By the 1660’s experimental investigation often assumed the name “Baconian”; certainly Bacon had stressed, perhaps overstressed, the importance of experiment in science, but experiment was to be found before Bacon’s influence was felt, and in other countries than England. As Bacon had rightly foreseen, experimental science was democratic and leveling; anyone could experiment, given a subject or a new instrument. It nevertheless remained the case that only the exceptional scientist made original discoveries.


Left Ventricle Pulmonary Vein Cervical Artery Experimental Innovation Experimental Philosophy 
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  2. SOURCE: Henry Power, Experimental Philosophy (London, 1664), pp. 25, 32–36.Google Scholar
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© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited 1970

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  • Marie Boas Hall

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