Natural Particulars: Nature and the Disciplines in Renaissance Europe

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Overview

This volume examines the transformation in ways of studying nature that took place in
Western Europe during the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. Some of the essays trace particular textual traditions, while others follow the development of scholarly and professional communities.
Some concentrate on the internal analysis of primary sources, while others examine the spread of practices to larger groups. Central to all is the search for a context for the increased fascination with nature, and especially with natural particulars--the details of natural forms, plants, and animals--that characterized this period. The essays also discuss how older theories and methods continued to exist; how the renewed study of classical sources introduced new problems and theories into the study of nature; how the structure of disciplines, both old and new, shaped approaches to the natural world; and how the material and practical means of disseminating knowledge helped to shape its content.Recently the history of science in early modern Europe has been both invigorated and obscured by divisions between scholars of different schools. One school tends to claim that rigorous textual analysis provides the key to the development of science, whereas others tend to focus on the social and cultural contexts within which disciplines grew. This volume challenges such divisions, suggesting that multiple historical approaches are both legitimate and mutually complementary.Contributors : Michael J. B. Allen, Ann Blair, Daniela Mugnai Carrara, Brian P.
Copenhaver, Chiara Crisciani, Luc Deitz, Paula Findlen, James Hankins, Thomas DaCosta Kaufmann, John
Monfasani, William Newman, Vivian Nutton, Katharine Park.

The MIT Press

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Product Details

Meet the Author

Anthony Grafton is Henry Putnam University Professor of History at Princeton
University.
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Table of Contents

Preface
Contributors
Introduction 1
1 Number, Shape, and Meaning in Pico's Christian Cabala: The Upright Tsade, the Closed Mem, and the Gaping Jaws of Azazel 25
2 The Study of the Timaeus in Early Renaissance Italy 77
3 Marsilio Ficino: Daemonic Mathematics and the Hypotenuse of the Spirit 121
4 Space, Light, and Soul in Francesco Patrizi's Nova de Universis Philosophia (1591) 139
5 The Problemata as A Natural Philosophical Genre 171
6 The Pseudo-Aristotelian Problemata and Aristotle's De animalibus in the Renaissance 205
7 Epistemological Problems in Giovanni Mainardi's Commentary on Galen's Ars parva 251
8 "A Diet for Barbarians": Introducing Renaissance Medicine to Tudor England 275
9 From the Laboratory to the Library: Alchemy According to Guglielmo Fabri 295
10 The Homunculus and His Forebears: Wonders of Art and Nature 321
11 Natural Particulars: Medical Epistemology, Practice, and the Literature of Healing Springs 347
12 The Formation of a Scientific Community: Natural History in Sixteenth-Century Italy 369
13 Empiricism and Community in Early Modern Science and Art: Some Comments on Baths, Plants, and Courts 401
Index 419
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