A. C. Crombie - The History of Science From Augustine to Galileo

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V E N E T I I S , Apud Thomam Baglionum. M DC X. Superiorum Permiffu, & Privilegio. Galileo Galilei, Sidereus mincius (1610): title page. This little book marks a turning-point in Galileo's life. Here he published his first telescopic discoveries, notably of the mountainous surface of the Moon and the satellites of Jupiter, which he named the Medicean stars after the Grand Duke of Tuscany. Here also he showed a serious commitment to the Gopernican system.






Published by Hambledon Press 1996 102 Gloucester Avenue, London NW1 8HX (UK) PO Box 102, Rio Grande, Ohio 45674 (USA) ISBN 1 85285 067 1 © Alistair Cameron Crombie 1996 A description of this book is available from the British Library and from the Library of Congress

Printed on acid-free paper and bound in Great Britain by Cambridge University Press


Acknowledgements Illustrations Preface Further Bibliography of A.C. Crombie 1 Designed in the Mind: Western visions of Science, Nature and Humankind 2 The Western Experience of Scientific Objectivity 3 Historical Perceptions of Medieval Science 4 Robert Grosseteste (c. 1168-1253) 5 Roger Bacon (c. 1219-1292) [with J.D. North] 6 Infinite Power and the Laws of Nature: A Medieval Speculation 7 Experimental Science and the Rational Artist in Early Modern Europe 8 Mathematics and Platonism in the Sixteenth-Century Italian Universities and in Jesuit Educational Policy 9 Sources of Galileo Galilei's Early Natural Philosophy 10 The Jesuits and Galileo's Ideas of Science and of Nature [with A. Carugo] 11 Galileo and the Art of Rhetoric [with A. Carugo] 12 Galileo Galilei: A Philosophical Symbol 13 Alexandre Koyré and Great Britain: Galileo and Mersenne 14 Marin Mersenne and the Origins of Language 15 Le Corps à la Renaissance: Theories of Perceiver and Perceived in Hearing 16 Expectation, Modelling and Assent in the History of Optics: i, Alhazen and the Medieval Tradition; ii, Kepler and Descartes 17 Contingent Expectation and Uncertain Choice: Historical Contexts of Arguments from Probabilities 18 P.-L. Moreau de Maupertuis, F.R.S. (1698-1759): Précurseur du Transformisme 19 The Public and Private Faces of Charles Darwin 20 The Language of Science

vii ix xi xiii

1 13 31 39 51 67 89 115 149 165 231 257 263 275 291 301 357 407 429 439


Science, Art and Nature in Medieval and Modern Thought

21 Some Historical Questions about Disease 22 Historians and the Scientific Revolution 23 The Origins of Western Science

443 451 465

Appendix to Chapter 10: 479 (a) Sources and Dates of Galileos Writings [with A. Carugo] (b) Pietro Redondi, Galileo eretico (Torino, 1983) [with A. Carugo] (c) Mario Biagioli, Galileo, Courtier (Chicago, 1993) Corrections to Science, Optics and Music in Medieval and Early Modern Thought (1990) 495 Index 497


The articles reprinted here first appeared in the following places and are reprinted by kind permission of the original publishers. 1

History of Science, xxvi (1988), pp. 1-12.


Proceedings of the 3rd International Humanistic Symposium 1975: The Case of Objectivity (Athenai: Hellenistic Society for Humanistic Studies, 1977), pp. 428-55.


In Italian in Federico II e le Scienze: Proceedings of the International Seminar on Frederick II and the Mediterranean World (1990), a cura di A. Paravicini Bagliani (Palermo: Sellerio, 1995).


Dictionary of Scientific Biography, ed. C.C. Gillispie, v (New York: Charles Scriber's Sons, 1972), pp. 548-54.


Ibid., i (1970), pp. 377-85.


L'infinito nella scienza, a cura di G. Toraldo di Francia (Roma: Enciclopedia Italiana, 1987), pp. 223-43.


Daedalus, cxv (1986), pp. 49-74.


Prismata: Naturwissenschaftsgeschichtliche Studien: Festchrift fur Willy Hartner, hrsg. Y. Maeyama aund W.G. Salzer (Wiesbaden: Franz Steiner Verlag GmbH, 1977), pp. 63-94.


Reason, Experiment and Mysticism in the Scientific Revolution, ed. M.L. Righini Bonelli and W.R. Shea (New York: Science History Publications, 1975), pp. 157-75.

10 Annali dell' Istituto e Museo di Storia della Scienza di Firenze, viii.2 (1983), pp. 1-68. 11 Nouvelles de la république des lettres (1988) ii, pp. 7-31. 12 Actes du VIIle Congrés International d'Histoire des Sciences (Florence, 1956), pp. 1089-95.


Science, Art and Nature in Medieval and Modern Thought

13 The Renaissance of a History: Proceedings of the International Conference Alexandre Koyré, Paris, 1986, ed. P Redondi: History and Technology, iv (London, 1987), pp. 81-92. 14 In French in Nature, histoire, société: Essais en hommage à Jacques Roger, éd. C. Blanckaert, J.-L. Fischer, R. Rey (Paris: Editions Klincksieck, 1995); Appendix: The Times Literary Supplement, 2 October 1992, p. 23. 15 Le Corps à la Renaissance: Actes du XXXe Colloque de Tours 1987, sous la direction de J. Céard, M.M. Fontaine, J.-C. Margolin (Paris: Aux Amateurs de Livres, 1990), pp. 379-87. 16 Studies in History and Philosophy of Science, xxi (1990), pp. 605-32, xxii (1991), pp. 89-115. 17 The Rational Arts of Living, ed. A.C. Crombie and N.G. Siraisi, Smith College Studies in History, vol. 50 (Northampton, Mass., 1987), pp. 53101; first version published in French in Médecine et Probabilités: Actes de la Journée d'Etudes du 15 December 1979, éd. A. Fagot (Paris: I'Université Paris-Val de Marne, 1982). 18 Revue de synthèse, lxxviii (1957), pp. 35-56. 19 First published as 'Darwin's Scientific Method' in Actes du IXe Congrès International d'Histoire des Sciences, Barcelona-Madrid 1959 (Barcelona/ Paris, 1960), pp. 354-62; reprinted in The Listener (London: B.B.C., November 1959). 20 Presented at the Forum de la communication scientifique et technique: Quelles langues pour la science?, organise a l'initiative du Ministère de la Francophonie; published in French in Alliage: Culture - Science Technique, no. 4 (Eté, 1990), pp. 39-42. 21 Sida: Epidémies et sociétés, 20 et 21 juin 1987, éd. C. Mérieux (Lyon, 1987), pp. 115-21. 22 Physis, xi (1969), pp. 167-80. 23 Metascience, n.s.ii (1993), pp. 1-16.


Galileo Galilei, Sidereus nuncius (1610): title page


Figure illustrating Roger Bacon's fifth rule


Galileo Galilei, from // Saggiatore (1623) : frontispiece


The beginning of Galileo's autograph Disputationes


Autograph page of Galileo's Tractatio de Caelo


Watermark showing a backward-looking lamb


Diagram of the Copernican system, with the Sun in the centre, from Galileo's Dialogo (1632)


Pope Urban VIII facing Galileo


Galileo Galilei by Mario Leoni (1624)


Galileo Galilei, Dialogo (1632): title page


Vincenzo Galilei, Dialogo della musica antica (1581): title page


Rene Descartes, by an unknown artist


Euclid: the geometry of vision


Euclidian vision: from Robert Fludd, Utriusque cosmi. . . historia: Microcosmus (Oppenheim, 1618)


The anatomy of the eye (1572)


Diagram of the eye, from Roger Bacon, Opus Majus


Light rays and the eye, from Roger Bacon, Opus Majus


Alberti's grid (1435)


A painting of a cross-section of the visual pyramid: from Fludd (1618)



Science, Art and Nature in Medieval and Modern Thought

Leonardo da Vinci, Codex Atlanticus, f. 337, illustrating his comparison of the eye with a camera obscura


Leonardo da Vinci, Codex D, f. 3v


Observing a solar eclipse in a camera obscura (1545)


Kepler, Ad Vitellionem paralipomena (Frankfurt, 1604), after Plater, De corporis humani structura et usu (Basel, 1583)


Descartes, La dioptrique (Leiden, 1637), illustrating Kepler's ocular dioptrics


Kepler, Ad Vitellionem paralipomena (Frankfurt, 1604), vol. 3, prop, xxiii


Scheiner, Rosa ursina (Bracciani, 1630), comparing the eye and a camera obscura with a lens system, and the effects on each of using further lenses


Descartes, La dioptrique (Leiden, 1637), illustrating the transmission of light


Scheiner, Oculus (Oeniponti, 1619), showing the structure of the eye



This second volume of essays forms a coherent set of studies like the first volume Science, Optics and Music in Medieval and Early Modern Thought published in 1990. Both volumes complement my books Augustine to Galileo: Medieval and Early Modern Science and Robert Grosseteste and the Origins of Experimental Science 1100-1700 and lead into my Styles of Scientific Thinking in the European Tradition: The History of Argument and Explanation Especially in the Mathematical and Biomedical Sciences and Arts (3 volumes, published by Gerald Duckworth & Co. Ltd, London, 1994), and forthcoming Galileo's Arguments and Disputes in Natural Philosophy (with the collaboration of Adriano Carugo), and Marin Mersenne: Science, Music and Language. The history of Western science is the history of a vision and an argument, initiated by the ancient Greeks in their search for principles at once of nature and of argument itself. This scientific vision, explored and controlled by argument, and the diversification of both vision and argument by scientific experience and by interaction with the wider contexts of intellectual culture, constitute the long history of European scientific thought. Underlying that development have been specific commitments to conceptions of nature and of science with its intellectual and moral assumptions, accompanied by a recurrent critique. Their diversification has generated a series of different styles of scientific thinking and of making theoretical and practical decisions. These styles are described and analysed in the opening chapter and exemplified in more detail in those that follow. These deal with scientific objectivity, the historiography of medieval science, Robert Grosseteste and Roger Bacon (Chapter 5 in collaboration with John North), the medieval conception of laws of nature, and the historical relation between rational design in scientific experimentation and in the arts exemplified especially by perspective painting. After a chapter on the place of mathematics in sixteenthcentury Italian universities and in Jesuit educational policy, there are five substantial studies of Galileo and his ideals of scientific demonstration and experimentation, of his use of rhetoric, and of his reputation. Two of them, Chapters 10 and 11, were written in collaboration with my colleague Adriano Carugo. Central to them are our discoveries of the use by Galileo of works by Jesuit philosophers at the Collegio Romano or associated therewith, which


Science, Art and Nature in Medieval and Modern Thought

have thrown an entirely new and very influential light on Galileo's intellectual biography. These chapters contain the original and authentic account of these discoveries. Next come studies of Mersenne and the origins of language, and of the role of hypothetical modelling in the investigation of hearing and more particularly of vision, with a detailed analysis of the theories and researches of Alhazen, Kepler and Descartes. These complement and bring up to date my long monograph on the subject (1967) republished in Science, Optics and Music. There is a further substantial analysis of historical contexts of arguments from probabilities, from the qualitative treatment found in ancient medicine, ethics and law, through the quantification of probabilities initiated with insurance and commerce in fifteenth-century Italy, given mathematical elegance especially by Pascal, Huygens and Leibniz, developed further in the fields of demography and economics, and applied to a form of evolution by natural selection in the eighteenth century by Maupertuis and finally in crucial detail by Darwin. Concluding chapters deal with scientific language, conceptions of disease, and the historiography of science. Some of the papers included in this volume (chs. 3,10 appendix (a), 14, 20) have not been published in English before. The others have been left as they were first printed except for minor corrections. Thus they record stages in the process of discovery and interpretation, as in the chapters on Galileo, especially when dealing with problems of dating, many of them still unsolved. They have been reprinted with continuous pagination, with footnotes at the bottom of the page, and with appropriate revision of internal references. Immediately relevant further bibliography has been added as required at the ends of chapters. An extensive bibliography for the whole subject is included in my Styles of Scientific Thinking. Additions to my own publications, beyond those included in the bibliography of my writings in Science, Optics and Music, are listed below. Finally, once again it is a pleasure to thank all those who provided the occasions for these papers, in Belagio, Athens, Erice, Rome, Cambridge, Mass., Capri, Florence, Paris, Tours, Smith College, Barcelona and Annecy. A.C. Crombie 30 November 1994 Trinity College, Oxford

Further Bibliography of A.C. Crombie

Acknowledgements should have been made in Science, Optics and Music to the bibliography published in The Light of Nature: Essays in the History and Philosophy of Science Presented to A.C. Crombie, ed. J.D. North and J.J. Roche. Dordrecht, Martinus Nijhoff Publishers, 1985. (a) Books on the History of Science


Stili di pensiero scientifico agli inizi dell' Europa moderna. Napoli, Bibliopolis. Spanish translation by J.L. Barona, Valencia, 1994.


Styles of Scientific Thinking in the European Tradition: The History of Argument and Explanation Especially in the Mathematical and Biomedical Sciences and Arts, 3 vols. London, Gerald Duckworth & Co. Ltd., 1994. (b) Papers on the History of Science


'Le corps a la Renaissance: Theories of Perceiver and Perceived in Hearing' in Le Corps a la Renaissance: Actes du xxxe Colloque de Tours 1987, sous la direction de J. Céard, M.M. Fontaine, J.-C. Margolin. Paris, Aux Amateurs de Livres, pp. 379-87. 'Expectation and Assent in Seventeenth-Century Scientific Argument: Galileo and Others' (Banfi Lecture, 1989), Istituto Antonio Banfi Annali, iii (1989-90), pp. 11-54 'La Langue maternelle de la science', Alliage: Culture - Science Technique, no. 4 (Eté, 1990), pp. 39-42. Review of E. Grant and J.E. Murdoch (ed.), Mathematics and its Applications to Science and Natural Philosophy in the Middle Ages (Cambridge, 1987) in English Historical Review, cv (1990), pp. 1007-8.

1990/91 'Expectation, Modelling and Assent in the History of Optics, i: Alhazen and the Medieval Tradition; ii: Kepler and Descartes',


Science, Art and Nature in Medieval and Modern Thought Studies in History and Philosophy of Science, xxi (1990), pp. 605-32, xxii (1991), pp. 89-115


Review of Nicolas-Claude Fabri de Peiresc, Lettres à Claude Saumaise et à son entourage (1620-1637), éd. Agnes Bresson. Firenze, Leo S. Olschki, 1992, Times Literary Supplement, 2 October 1992, p. 23.


The Origins of Western Science', Metascience, n.s. ii, pp. 1-16. Presentation of Lessico filosofico dei secoli xvii e xviii, Sezione latina, a cura di Marta Fattori con la collaborazione di M.L. Bianchi, fasc.i (Roma, 1992) at the Warburg Institute, London, 3 May 1993, in Nouvelles de la Republique des Lettres, (1993)-ii, 102-4.


Reviews of Elspeth Whitney, Paradise Restored: The Mechanical Arts from Antiquity through the Thirteenth Century (Philadelphia: American Philosophical Society, Transactions lxxx.1, 1990) and Georges Minois, L'Eglise et la Science: Histoire d'un malentendu. De Saint Augustine a Galilee (Paris, 1990) in English Historical Review, cix (1994), pp. 136-8; and of Guiseppe Olmi, L'inventario del mondo: Catalogazione della natura a luoghi delsapere nella prima etá moderna (Bologna, 1992) in Journal of the History of Collections, forthcoming. 'The Greek Origins of European Scientific Styles', Ad familiares: The journal of the Friends of Classics, vii (1994), pp. xii-xiv. 'The History of European Science', New European: European Business Review, xciv (1994), pp. ii-v. 'Historical Perceptions of Medieval Science' in Federico II e le Scienze: Proceedings of the International Seminar on Frederick II and the Mediterranean World, a cura di A. Paravicini Bagliani. Palermo, Sellerio, pp. 15-24. 'Marin Mersenne et les origines du langage' in Nature, histoire, société: Essais en hommage a Jacques Roger, prés. par C. Blanckaert, J.-L. Fischer, J. Rey. Paris, Editions Klincksieck, pp. 35-46.


'Boundaries of normality' in Malatia i cultura: Seminari d'Estudis sobre la Ciència, ed. J.L. Barona (Valencia, 1995), pp. 11-17. 'Per una antropologia històrica del saber científic', interview by Marc Borràs in Mètode: Revista de difusió de la investigació de la Universitat de València, ix (1995), pp. 14-17. 'Commitments and Styles of European Scientific Thinking' in History of Science, xxiii (1995), pp. 225-38.

'Univers' (with J.D. North) in Les caractères originaux de I'Occident medieval, éd. J. Le Goff, J.-C. Schmitt. Paris, Librairie Arthème Fayard, forthcoming.



"Philosophical Commitments and Scientific Progress" in The Idea of Progress (Academia Europea conference 1994), forthcoming. (c) Editorships Editor, 1949-54 of The British Journal for the Philosophy of Science. Joint founder and editor of History of Science: A Review of Literature, Research and Teaching, Cambridge, W. Heffer and Sons, 1962-72; Science History Publications 1973- . (d) Scientific Papers Papers on (i) interspecific competition (an experimental and mathematical analysis on some aspects of ecology and natural selection) and (ii) the physiology of the chemical sense-organs in insects. 1941

On Oviposition, Olfactory Conditioning and Host Selection in Rhizopertha dominica Fab. (Insecta, coleoptera)', Journal of Experimental Biology, 18, pp. 62-79.


'The Effect of Crowding upon the Oviposition of Grain-Infesting Insects',/. Exp. Biol., 19, pp. 311-40.


'The Effect of Crowding upon the Natality of Grain-Infesting Insects', Proceedings of the Zoological Society of London, A, 113, pp. 77-98.


'On Intraspecific and Interspecific Competition in Larvae of Graminivorous Insects', 7. Exp. BioL, 20, pp. 135-51. 'On the Measurement and Modification of the Olfactory Responses of Blow-Flies', /. Exp. BioL, 20, pp. 159-66. 'Sensillae of the Adults and larvae of the Beetle Rhizopertha dominica Fab. (Bostrichidae)', Proceedings of the Royal Entomological Society of London A, 19, pp. 131-2.


'On Competition between Different Species of Graminivorous Insects', Proceedings of the Royal Society, B, 132, pp. 362-95.


'Further Experiments on Insect Competition', Proc. Roy. Soc., B, 133, pp. 76-109.


'The Behaviour of Wireworms in Response to Chemical Stimulation' [with W.H. Thorpe, R. Hill and J.H. Darrah], /. Exp. BioL, 23, pp. 234-66. 'The Chemoreceptors of the Wire worm (Agriotes spp.) and the Relation of Activity to Chemical Composition' [with J.H. Darrah], J. Exp. Biol. 24, pp. 95-109. 'Interspecific Competition', Journal of Animal Ecology, 16, pp. 44-73.

In nature's infinite book of secrecy A little I can read. (Shakespeare, Antony and Cleopatra i.l 1)

1 Designed in the Mind: Western Visions of Science, Nature and Humankind When we speak today of natural science we mean a specific vision created within Western culture, at once of knowledge and of the object of that knowledge, a vision at once of natural science and of nature.1 We may trace the characteristically Western tradition of rational science and philosophy to the commitment of the ancient Greeks, for whatever reason, to the decision of questions by argument and evidence, as distinct from custom, edict, authority, revelation, rule-of-thumb, on some other principle or practice. They developed thereby the notion of a problem as distinct from a doctrine, and the consequent habit of envisaging thought and action in all situations as the perception and solving of problems. By deciding at the same time that among many possible worlds as envisaged in other cultures, the one world that existed was a world of exclusively self-consistent and discoverable rational causality, the Greek philosophers, mathematicians and medical men committed their scientific successors exclusively to this effective direction of thinking. They closed for Western scientific vision the elsewhere open questions of what kind of world people found themselves inhabiting and so of what methods they should use to explore and explain and control it. They introduced in this way the conception of a rational scientific system, a system in which formal reasoning matched natural causation, so that natural events must follow exactly from scientific principles, just as logical and mathematical conclusions must follow from their premises. Thus they introduced, in parallel with their conception of causal demonstration, the equally fundamental conception of formal proof. From these two conceptions all the essential character and style of Western philosophy, mathematics and natural science have followed. The exclusive rationality so defined supplied the presuppositions and came to supply the methods of reasoning alike in purely formal discourse and in the experiential exploration of nature. Hence it offered rational control of subjectmatters of all kinds, from mathematical to material, from ideas to things. A similar characteristic style is evident over the whole range of Western intellectual and practical enterprise. We have then in Western scientific culture, as an object of study to which we its students at the same time inextricably belong, a highly intellectualized and integrated whole, designed in


Science, Art and Nature in Medieval and Modern Thought

the mind like a work of art, not all at once but over many generations of interaction between creative thinking and testing, between programmes and their realization or modification or rejection. But if we insist upon the cultural specificity of the Western scientific tradition in its origins and initial development, and upon its enduring identity in diffusion to other cultures, we do not have to look far below the surface of scientific inquiry and its immediate results to see that the whole historical process has gone on in a context of intellectual and moral commitments, expectations, dispositions and memories that have varied greatly with different periods, societies and also individuals. These have affected both the problems perceived and the solutions found acceptable, and also the evaluations of desirable or undesirable ends and their motivations. The whole historical experience of scientific thinking is an invitation to treat the history of science, both in its development in the West and in its complex diffusion through other cultures, as a kind of comparative historical anthropology of thought. An historical anthropology of science must be concerned before all with people and their vision. The scientific movement offers an invitation to examine the,identity of natural science within an intellectual culture, to distinguishrihat from the identities of other intellectual and practical activities in the arts, scholarship, philosophy, law, government, commerce and so on, and to relate them all in a taxonomy of styles. It is an invitation to analyse the various elements that make up an intellectual style in the study and treatment of nature: conceptions of nature and of science, methods of scientific inquiry and demonstration diversified according to the subject-matter, evaluations of scientific goals with consequent motivations, and intellectual and moral commitments and expectations generating attitudes to innovation and change. The scientific thinking found in a particular period or society or individual gets its vision and style from different but closely related intellectual or moral commitments or dispositions. We may distinguish three. (1) First there have been conceptions of nature within the general scheme of existence and of its knowability to man. These in turn have been conditioned by language. The original Greek commitment entailed the replacement of conceptions of nature as an arbitrary sociological order maintained by personified agents, found in all ancient cosmologies and cosmogonies, with the conception of an inevitable order established by an exclusive natural causality. In the succession competing for dominance in subsequent Western thought, nature has been conceived as a product of divine economy or art with appropriate characteristics of simplicity and harmony, as a consequence of atomic chance, as a causal continuum, as a workshop of active substantial powers, as a passive system of mechanisms, as an evolutionary generation of novelty, as a manifestation of probabilities.

Western Visions of Science, Nature and Humankind


Any language itself embodies a theory of meaning, a logic, a classification of experience in names, a conception of both perceiver and perceived and their relation, and of relations in space and time. Philology can be an indispensable guide to theoretical ideas and real actions. The expression of a system of science in a language may not entail an immediate critique of the fundamental structure of that language, yet its vocabulary and syntax may have to be modified to provide for the conceptual and technical precision required by the science developing within it. Thus a new terminology had to be devised in medieval and early modern Latin to accommodate the new kinematic and dynamic conceptions, especially of functions, of instantaneous change and of rates of change, which could scarcely be expressed in the classical logic and syntax of subject and predicate. Terminology may have had to be revised to detach its specific scientific meaning from its source in common but inadequate or misleading analogies. "The word current", wrote Michael Faraday,2 "is so expressive in common language that when applied in the consideration of electrical phenomena, we can hardly divest it sufficiently of its meaning, or prevent our minds from being prejudiced by it". For the same reason he replaced "pole", inconveniently suggesting attraction, with the neutral "electrode", in a new terminology devised with the aid of William Whewell to fit the precise context of electro-chemistry. John Tyndall3 in his attractive account of Faraday as a discoverer exemplified a familiar historical process when he described how, in this new science, "prompted by certain analogies we ascribe electrical phenomena to the action of a peculiar fluid, sometimes flowing, sometimes at rest. Such conceptions have their advantages and their disadvantages; they afford peaceful lodging to the intellect for a time, but they also circumscribe it, and by-and-by, when the mind has grown too large for its lodging, it often finds difficulty in breaking down the walls of what has become its prison instead of its home." Thus a radically new technical language may be made up, precisely symbolized as first for mathematics and music and later for many other sciences and arts. The result may be a special language fundamentally different in intention from that implicit in the common language of the society from which it originated, but still a language that may be learned and understood in any society and may convey to it objectively communicable knowledge. Must science in different linguistic cultures always acquire differences of logical form, and must the grammatical structure of a language always impose its ontological presuppositions on the science developing within it? While the technical language of science has often been developed partly to escape from just such impositions, philology can be an accurate guide to implicit or explicit intellectual commitments of this kind and to their changes. The West learnt from the Greeks to look for causal continuity in events both physical and moral, and this has structured its natural and moral philosophy


Science, Art and Nature in Medieval and Modern Thought

alike and its whole tradition of dramatic literature and music since Antiquity. Japanese thinking, now in exemplary possession of Western science and music, seems traditionally by contrast to have accepted events in their individual existential discontinuity, impressionistically unrelated to before and after, with no general abstract term for nature, but each thing the subject of personal knowledge and companionship, not of mastery either by thought or action. The whole question might throw an interesting light in our philosophical anthropology upon a question central to the whole Western debate: that of distinguishing the argument giving rational control of subject-matter from an implication of the existence of entities appearing in the language used, or, more generally, that of distinguishing a rational structure of nature from that of the organizing human mind. (2) A second kind of intellectual commitment affecting scientific style has been to a conception of science and of the organization of scientific inquiry. Two different traditions of scientific organization and method began in Antiquity. The dominant Greek mathematicians saw as their goal the reduction of every scientific field to the axiomatic model of their most powerful intellectual invention, geometry. At once alternative and complementary to this was the much older medical and technological practice of exploring and recording by piecemeal observation, measurement and trial. The medieval and early modern experimental natural philosophers combined both traditions, to transform the geometrical pattern by an increasing preoccupation with quantitative experimental analysis of causal connections and functional relations. Yet a different pattern came from intellectual satisfaction in mathematical harmonies rather than causal processes. Other modes of intellectual organization assimilated analysis for scientific investigation to that for artistic construction, or looked for probabilities or for genetic origins and derivations. All generated scientific systems made up of theories and laws and statements of observations, providing particular explanations and solutions of problems within the framework of a general conception of nature and science, along with scientific methods diversified by the diversity both of general commitments and of particular subject-matters of varying complexity. The commitments of a period or group or individual to general beliefs about nature and about science, combined with the technical possibilities available, have regulated the problems seen, the questions put to nature, and the acceptability of both questions and answers. Such commitments have directed research towards certain types of problem and towards certain types of discovery and explanation, but away from others. They have both guided inquiry and supplied its ultimate irreducible explanatory principles. By taking us beneath the surface of immediate scientific results, they help us to identify the conceptual and technical conditions, frontiers and horizons making certain discoveries possible and explanations acceptable to a generation or group, but

Western Visions of Science, Nature and Humankind


others not, and the same not to others. More specifically a discovery or a theory or even a presentation of research may open fresh horizons but at the same time close others hitherto held possible. Dominant intellectual commitments have made certain kinds of question appear cogent and given certain kinds of explanation their power to convince, and excluded others. They established, in anticipation of any particular research, the kind of world that was supposed to exist and the appropriate methods of inquiry. Such beliefs, taken from the more general intellectual context of natural science, have regulated the expectations both of questions and of answers, the form of theories and the kinds of explanatory entities taken into them, and the acceptability of the explanations they offered. They established in advance the kind of explanation that would give satisfaction when the supposedly discoverable had been discovered. They have been challenged not usually by observation, but by re-examining the metaphysics or theology or other general beliefs assumed. In this process the cogency of such worlds might change from generation to generation as each nevertheless added to enduringly valid scientific knowledge. (3) A third kind of intellectual and moral commitment has concerned what could and should be done. This in its diverse modes has followed from diverse evaluations of the nature and purpose of existence and hence of right human action. It has been linked with dispositions generating an habitual response to events, both internally within scientific thinking itself, and externally in the responses of society: dispositions to expect to master or to be mastered by or simply to contemplate events, to change or to resist change, to anticipate innovation or conservation, to be ready or not to reject theories and to rethink accepted beliefs and to alter habits. Such dispositions have been both psychological and social. They may be specified by habitual styles and methods both of opposition and of acceptance. They may characterize a society over the whole range of its intellectual and moral behaviour, of which its natural science is simply a part. The primary focus, for example, of medieval and early modern Christian as of Islamic culture and society on the teaching and preservation of theological truth could scarcely fail to condition all human inquiries. Sensitive implications of natural philosophical and metaphysical questions and doctrines placed the whole of intellectual life within the political framework and control of a moral cosmology.The medieval Christian theological hierarchy of dignity within that cosmology, as also Islamic attitudes to the visual representation of natural objects, took that control as far as aesthetic style. Given the dual source of human knowledge in the divine gifts of true reason and of undeniable revelation, the whole enterprise made an urgent issue then of error, of the possibility of error in good faith, of the attitude to be taken to


Science, Art and Nature in Medieval and Modern Thought

unpersuadable infidels and irredeemable heretics, of the commitments and expectations of disagreement as well as agreement. In all this, and in the whole scientific movement considered in the context of society and of communication, persuasion has been as important as proof. The use of persuasive arguments to reinforce or to create the power of ideas to convince, especially when the ideas were new and the audience uncertain or unsympathetic, has been well understood by some of the greatest scientific innovators. Galileo and Descartes were both masters of the current rhetorical techniques of persuasion. Galileo devoted at least as much energy to trying to establish the identity of natural science within contemporary intellectual culture as to solving particular physical problems. He conducted all his controversies at two levels: one was concerned with the particular physical problem in question; the other was concerned with an eloquent advocacy of his conception of natural science as an enterprise in solving problems and finding scientific explanations distinct from the philosophical or theological exegesis of authorities and texts, from a literary exercise, from a commercial or legal negotiation, from magic, and so on. His test of a general explanation was its ability to incorporate the solution of particular problems. Descartes argued likewise at two levels, and this indeed was a general necessity in a period when the intellectual identity of the contemporary scientific movement was still open to misunderstanding by the learned world at large and when its methods and accepted styles of reasoning were still to some extent being established. Again, Charles Lyell, himself a lawyer, set out like a skilful lawyer to present his uniformitarian conception of geology as the only acceptable one and to discredit its hitherto accepted catastrophic rival. Charles Darwin similarly set out his argument in the Origin of species for evolution by natural selection like a legal brief: marshalling the evidence, demolishing rival explanations, proposing his own solution, raising difficulties against it, meeting them one by one, and finally concluding that his was the only plausible and acceptable explanation that could account for all the various categories of fact that had to be considered. By presenting his arguments in the wake of the statistical analysis of human economics which provided the persuasive analogy, Darwin was able to establish at one and the same time his scientific explanation by natural selection and a statistical conception of the economy of nature which belief in providential design had hitherto made widely unacceptable in biology. Persuasion has obviously been aimed at the diffusion of scientific ideas, both at the sophisticated level of the scientific community and also among the general public. Change in ideas has come about more easily in some scientific situations, periods and societies than in others. It has been easier to reject particular theories within an accepted system of general doctrine than to take the drastic step of rejecting the whole doctrine. The disposition to change, which has been

Western Visions of Science, Nature and Humankind


so marked a characteristic of the whole modern history of the West, became within the same culture an essential part of the scientific movement over a period when innovation and improvement were also becoming the intellectual habit in art, theology, philosophy, law, government, commerce and many other activities. It was a matter of individual as well as collective behaviour: Kepler, for example, contrasts notably with some of his contemporaries and opponents in controversy by his readiness to sacrifice a favourite theory to contrary evidence. The conscious cultivation and reward of a disposition towards innovation began in Western society perhaps first in the technical arts and philosophy, but it has been transmitted elsewhere mainly with Western commerce and science. A comprehensive historical inquiry into the sciences and arts mediating man's experience of nature as perceiver and knower and agent would include questions at different levels, in part given by nature, in part made by man. These correspond to the three kinds of commitment. Thus at the level of nature there is historical ecology: the reconstruction of the physical and biomedical environment and of what people made of it. The sources and problems of historical ecology, both human and physical, range from those of archaeology and palaeopathology to those of the history of climate, technology, medicine, agriculture, travel and art. Historical problems at all levels require scientific and linguistic knowledge to control the view of any present recorded through the eyes and language of those who saw it. They may require also historical knowledge of religion and of artistic style, economic theory, and other analytical disciplines. At all levels comparative historical studies of the intellectual and social commitments, dispositions and habits, and of the material conditions, that might make scientific activity and its practical applications intellectually or socially or materially easy for one society, but difficult or impossible for another, have an immediate relevance for the diverse cultures brought into contact with the science, medicine, technology and commerce of our contemporary world. It is only comparatively recently, and only in highly industrialized societies, that science and technology have risen to a dominant position among the vastly various concerns and interests that throughout history have moved men to thought and action. What have been the numbers, social position, education, occupations, institutions, private and public habits, motives, opportunities, persuasions and means of communication of the individuals taking part in scientific activities in different periods and societies? What critical audience has there been to be convinced by, use, transmit, develop, revise or reject their arguments? Where scientific and analogous inquiries have interested only a scattered minority, what opportunities have existed for establishing agreement on principles and methods, or even continuity between generations? How, for example, were these maintained in the ancient Mediterranean, or in China or


Science, Art and Nature in Medieval and Modern Thought

India? In comparison, what intellectual or moral or practical commitments motivated the teaching and learned institutions of medieval Islam and of medieval and early modern Christendom, and came in the last to establish effective conditions of education and research for an explicit scientific community? How have the conditions for science and for technology differed? What intellectual needs or habits or intentions or social pressures have there been within different philosophical or scientific or technical groups to bring about a consensus of opinion in favour of innovation or of conservation? How have scientific ideas and activities been located within the values of society at large? What has been the intellectual or moral or practical value given to science in different societies, within a range of interests so divergent as those indicated, for example, by a predominant concern with a theological scheme of human responsibility and destiny, by the cultivation of the arts or of literary learning or of logic and philosophy, by the pressures and expediencies of politics, by the needs of war, trade, industry, transport or medicine? What has been the appeal of pure intellectual curiosity and philosophical satisfaction, of a religious search for God in nature, of a desire for intellectual or moral or social or political reform, of utility in the senses either of the material improvement of the human condition or of industrial or commercial or political or military power or gain? What social or commercial or political interests have promoted or resisted scientific research and technical innovation, and the diffusion and application of ideas, discoveries and inventions? To what extent does innovation breed innovation? What was the costeffectiveness of the inventions described in histories of technology, who used them, and with what consequences? It would be relevant to compare the criteria of evidence and decision used in science or in medical diagnosis and prognosis with those used in commerce and industry, in law courts, and in choice of policies by governments. Relevant also are mentalities indicated by philosophical and social programmes and responses in relation to their social, economic and sometimes military context. So too are the intellectual and social responses of society at large to making man an object of scientific inquiry and treatment. Likewise what external pressures and internal dispositions have operated in the intellectual and practical responses of one culture to another, of Islam to Greek thought, of medieval Western Christendom to Islam and to farther Asia, of early modern Europe to China and Japan and India and the New World, of Japan in its early history to China and in the sixteenth and nineteenth centuries to the West, of China throughout its history to any other culture, of the so-called developing countries now to the industrially developed? The essence of effective scientific thinking has been the advancement of knowledge through the identification of soluble problems. What have been the

Western Visions of Science, Nature and Humankind


sources of new intellectual perceptions? How have the intellectual commitments or dispositions or habits or the technical potentialities of an individual or a group or period either promoted or discouraged creative discovery and technical invention? How have these interacted with the conditions for intellectual change or conservation in the philosophical, technical, social and materal ambience of science? To what extent has the internal logic of science taken over from features of this ambience, accidental analogies, or suggestions for new hypotheses or styles of thinking? What has been the part played in the initiation of progress by breaches of conceptual frontiers leading to asking new questions, seeing new problems, accepting new criteria of valid demonstration and cogent, satisfactory explanation? Scientific thinking has commonly progressed through periods of critical analysis bringing novel forms of speculation about the discoverable in nature in anticipation of technical inquiry. Obvious examples are the critique of the Aristotelian doctrine of qualities and causation preceding the new science of motion established from Galileo to Newton, the atomic speculations preceding the quantitative atomic theory promoted by John Dalton, and the evolutionary speculations preceding the scientific organization of the evidence and theory finally achieved by Charles Darwin. The older conceptions were discarded and the new first entertained by rethinking; but the new ideas became established as scientific knowledge only by technical scientific research. Only after that were their speculative precursors given a retrospective scientific significance. Of the essence of the Western scientific tradition, and of the evidence for its history, have been the self-conscious assessments of its presuppositions, performance and prospects that have continued through many changes of context from Archytas and Aristotle down to the latest disputes among scientists, philosophers and historians. The critical historiography of science has been an integral part of the scientific movement itself. Such assessments both of current science and of the history of science have had various purposes. Those made in medieval and early modern Europe aimed usually to monitor the identity and intellectual orientation of the contemporary scientific movement and to define its methods and criteria of acceptability of questions and answers. They were made during a long period when increasing scientific experience, historical scholarship, and awareness of other contemporary cultures enabled Europeans to measure their own scientific orientations and potentialities against those of diverse earlier and contemporary societies. The range of modern assessments points to the range of sources for an interpretation. The radical variations in contemporary assessments and their changes with time and context and individual disposition provide unique and indispensable primary evidence in historically taking the measure of the intellectual and technical and moral equipment available in any scientific situation. An habitual search during this period at once for the best form of


Science, Art and Nature in Medieval and Modern Thought

science, and for its best ancient model, projected the earlier into the contemporary tradition but with extended power. Through the variations of the scientific movement there has run a consistency of development in conceptions of explanation and method. The growth of particular scientific knowledge has carried in its wake a growth of general understanding of scientific thinking and its varieties. This consistency clarifies the historical variety of accepted explanations and methods diversified by intellectual commitments and subject-matters. Both in the perception and solution of problems within the theoretical and technical possibilities available, and in the justification of the enterprise whether intellectual or practical or moral, the history of science has been the history of argument. Scientific argument forms the substance of the scientific movement, a discourse using experiment and observation, instruments and apparatus, mathematical reasoning and calculation, but with significance always in relation to the argument. The scientific movement brought together in its common restriction to answerable questions a variety of scientific methods, or styles of scientific inquiry and demonstration, diversified by their subject-matters, by general conceptions of nature, by presuppositions about scientific validity, and by scientific experience of the interaction of programmes with realizations. Throughout, methods of yielding accurately reproducible results were required equally by the practical commitment of technology and the arts to the control of materials, and by the theoretical commitment of science to establishing regularities or causal connections within a common form of demonstration. An historian needs to ask both what theories of scientific method contributed to science, and what methods were used by scientists. We may distinguish in the classical scientific movement six styles of scientific thinking, or methods of scientific inquiry and demonstration. Three styles or methods were developed in the investigation of individual regularities, and three in the investigation of the regularities of populations ordered in space and in time. Each arose in a context in which an assembly of cognate subject-matters was united under a common form of argument. Thus (i) the simple method of postulation exemplified by the Greek mathematical sciences originated within the common Greek search for the rational principles alike of the perceptible world and of human reasoning. This was the primary ancient model, uniting all the mathematical sciences and dependent arts, from optics and music to mechanics, astronomy and cartography, (ii) The deployment of experiment, both to control postulation and to explore by observation and measurement, was required by the scientific search for principles in the observable relations of more complex subject-matters. Starting with the Greeks, the strategy of experimental argument was elaborated in medieval and early modern Europe as a form of reasoning by analysis

Western Visions of Science, Nature and Humankind


and synthesis in which the point at which experiment was brought into the argument, either for control or for exploration, was precisely defined. Moves towards quantification in all sciences may be traced to the general European growth both of mathematics and of the habits of measurement and recording and calculation arising from need in some special sciences, as in astronomy, and in the practical and commercial arts, where new systems of weights and measures and of arithmetical calculation were first developed. The scientific experimental method derived from the union of these practical habits with the logic of controls, with further quantification through new techniques of instrumentation and mathematical calculation. The rational experimenter was the rational artist of scientific) inquiry, (iii) Hypothetical modelling was developed in a sophisticated form first in application to early modern perspective painting and to engineering, and was then transposed from art into science as likewise a method of analysis and synthesis by the construction of analogies. The recognition that/in the constructive arts theoretical design must precede material realization anticipated the scientific hypothetical model. Each proceeding to a different end, artist and scientist shared a common style. The imitation of nature by art then became an art of inquisition; rational design for construction became rational modelling for inquisitorial trial, (iv) Taxonomy emerged first in Greek thought as a logical method of ordering variety in any subject-matter by comparison and difference. The elaboration of taxonomic methods and of their theoretical foundations may be attributed to the need to accommodate the vast expansion of known varieties of plants and animals and diseases following European exploration overseas, with attempts to relate diagnostic signs and symptoms to their causes and to discover the natural system that would express real affinities, (v) The statistical and probabilistic analysis of expectation and choice developed in early modern Europe again took the same forms whether in estimating the outcome of a disease, of a legal process, of a commercial enterprise, or natural selection, or the reasonableness of assent to a scientific theory. The subject-matter of probability and statistics came to be recognized through attempts to accommodate within the context of ancient and medieval logic situations of contingent expectation and uncertain choice, followed by the early modern discovery of the phenomenon of statistical regularities in adequately numerous populations of economic and medical and other events. Thus uncertainty was mastered by reason and stabilized in a calculus of probability, (vi) The method of historical derivation, or the analysis and synthesis of genetic development, was developed originally by the Greeks and then in early modern Europe first in application to languages and more generally to human cultures, and afterwards to geological history and to the evolution of living organisms. The subject-matter of historical derivation was defined by the diagnosis, from the


Science, Art and Nature in Medieval and Modem Thought

common characteristics of diverse existing things, of a common source earlier in time, followed by the postulation of causes to account for the diversification from that source. Clearly all this scientific diversity can be understood only within the diversity and the changes of thought in the whole historical context. The history of science is the history of argument: an argument initiated in the West by ancient Greek philosophers, mathematicians and physicians in their search for principles at once of nature and of argument itself. Of its essence have been its genuine continuity, even after long breaks, based on the study by any generation of texts written by its predecessors, its progress equally in scientific knowledge and in the analysis of scientific argument, and its recurrent critique of its moral justification. A subtle question is what continued and what changed through different historical contexts, in the scientific argument and in the cultural vision through which experience is mediated, when education and experience itself could furnish options for a different future. Styles of thinking and making decisions, established with the commitments with which they began, habitually endure as long as these remain. Hence the structural differences between different civilizations and societies and the persistence in each despite change of a specific identity. Hence the need for historical analysis in the scientific movement of both continuity and change. These like most human behaviour begin in the mind, and we its historians who belong at the same time to its history must look in a true intellectual anthropology at once with and into the eye of its beholder.

REFERENCES 1. This paper is based on the historiographical introduction to my book, Styles of scientific thinking in the European tradition (Gerald Duckworth, London, 1994), which contains full documentation and bibliography; cf. also A. C. Crombie, "Science and the arts in the Renaissance: The search for truth and certainty, old and new", History of science, xviii (1980), 233-46; idem, "Historical commitments of European science", Annali del' Istituto e Museo di Storia della Scienza di Firenze, vii, part 2 (1982), 29-51; idem, "What is the history of science?", History of European ideas, vii (1986), 21-31; idem, "Experimental science and the rational artist in early modern Europe", Daedalus, cxv (1986), 49-74; idem, "Contingent expectation and uncertain choice: Historical contexts of arguments from probabilities" in The rational arts of living, ed. by A. C. Crombie and N. G. Siraisi (Northampton, Mass.: Smith College studies in history, 1987): the first three of these papers are included in A. C. Crombie, Science, optics and music in medieval and early modern thought (Hambledon Press, London, 1990). 2. Michael Faraday, Experimental researches in electricity, i (London, 1839), 515; cf. pp. 195 ff. 3. John Tyndall, Faraday as a discoverer (London, 1868), 53-55.


The Western Experience of Scientific Objectivity * At a depressing period of the Pelopennesian War, Thucydides included in his famous account of the moral disintegration of society in revolution two points of immediate relevance to a discussion of the European experience of scientific objectivity. Revolution had brought many and terrible sufferings upon the Greek cities. Unscrupulous mendacity and opportunist treachery masqueraded as superior cleverness, the sweeter if a rival trusting a pledge of reconciliation were taken off his guard. Anyone who excelled in evil and anyone who «prompted to evil someone who had never thought of it were alike commended*. Conspirators used fair words for guilty ends with cynical confidence that others would hypocritically welcome them as cover for their own moral cowardice or indifference. United only through complicity in crime, greed and envy against the moderate and the honest, «neither had any regard for true piety, yet those who could carry through an odious deed under the cloak of a specious phrase received the higher praise». 1 Among all this violence against both truth and person he noted interestingly : «Words had to change their ordinary meaning in relation to things and to take that which men thought fit*. And, he argued, these calamities of behaviour «have occurred and always will occur as long as the nature of mankind remains the same». For «human nature, always rebelling against the law and now its master, gladly showed itself ungoverned in passion», setting gain above justice and revenge above religion : «For surely no man would put revenge above religion, and gain before innocence of wrong, had not envy swayed him with her blighting power» 2 . It was the same in the plague of Athens. Strong and weak were swept indifferently away, victims with unquench* 'H (ivaxotvoxjis aveYVa6y) UTT& TOU xaOvj^ToO ERWIN SCUEUCU, 8i6n 6 et6 de Valori, 2 mai 1741. (Euvres completes, 70 vol. (Paris, 1785-89), XXXVI, 46. Cf. ibid., I, 20; BRUNET, op. cit., I, 91. 7. VOLTAIRE, (Euvres, XXXVI, 46-47. 8. BHUNET, op. eft., I, 110, 123, 137.

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eclata entre les deux philosophes, ostensiblement au sujet de ce que Voltaire qualifia de tentative ridicule de la part de Maupertuis, c'est-a-dire de son essai de se servir du principe de moindre action comme argument pour prouver 1'existence de Dieu 9, mais querelle envenimee par une hostility personnelle de plus en plus profonde. Voltaire y parait sous un jour des plus defavorables. Maupertuis essaya de s'en tenir au fait; le but de Voltaire, c'eiait de gagner dans cet echange de polemique et de faire paraltre son ennemi a la fois cretin et canaille. Pour ce qui est de ses ecrits, il y reussit. Dans sa Diatribe du Docteur Akakia (1752), il repr^sente Maupertuis comme « un homme qui aurait, par exemple, douze cents ducats de pension pour avoir parle1 de mathematique et de metaphysique, pour avoir disseque deux crapauds, et s'etre fait peindre avec un bonnet fourr6 » 10. (On avait peint le portrait de Maupertuis en costume lapon.) II dit aussi qu'il etait un « ignorant » ayant « en recompense une imagination singuliere », et un « Arlequin d^guise en archeveque » u. Le roi fut choque de ces critiques sur le president de son Academic, et Voltaire dut quitter la Prusse, rendant son Ordre de Merite et sa clef de Chambellan, selon sa propre expression : « au Salomon du Nord, pour ses etrennes, les grelots et la marotte » 12. Voltaire ne pardonna jamais a Maupertuis; de sa nouvelle demeure en Alsace, il continua de Tattaquer13 et, dans L'Homme aux quarante 4cus, il le ridiculisa meme apres sa mort en 1759. L'interet que Maupertuis prit a la biologic date des premiers temps de sa carriere scientifique. Dans une des premieres conferences 14 qu'il soumit a 1'Academic des Sciences, en 1727, il fit crouler la vieille croyance que les salamandres etaient spontanement combustibles — sujet singulier de recherches a cette epoque; mais la conference contient aussi une description d'experiences prouvant que la salamandre est ovovivipare (c'est-a-dire que les oeufs peuvent 6clore dans 9. Ibid., I, 128-58. Cf. E. MACH, La Mecanique, traduction fran^aise, Paris, 1925, IV, § 2, p. 425 sqq. 10. VOLTAIRE, CEuvres, XXIII, 562; BHUNET, op. cit., I, 148. 11. VOLTAIRE, (Euvres, XXIII, 563, 565. Cf. « Vie de Voltaire par Condorcet », ibid., I, 231 sqq. 12. BRUNBT, op. cit., I, 152. 13. Dans Histoire du Docteur Akakia et du natifde Saint-Malo (1753). 14. Histoire de I'Acadtmie royale des Sciences, annte 1727, Mtmoires, pp. 27-32.


Science, Art and Nature in Medieval and Modem Thought

et hors de la mere). En 1731, il publia un autre article excellent sur les differentes especes de scorpions15. II £tait, en effet, naturaliste de pure race, chose rare pour un math^maticien. Un ami decrivit sa maison a Berlin comme etant « une veritable menagerie, remplie d'animaux de toute espece, qui n'y entretenaient pas la proprete. Dans les appartements, troupes de chiens et de chats, perroquets, perruches, etc. II fit venir une fois de Hambourg une cargaison de poules rares avec leur coq. II etait dangereux quelquefois de passer a travers la plupart de ces animaux, par lesquels on etait attaque... M. de Maupertuis se divertissait surtout a creer de nouvelles especes par 1'accouplement de differentes races; et il montrait avec complaisance les produits de ces accouplements, qui participaient aux qualites des males et des femelles qui les avaient engendres. J'aimais mieux voir les oiseaux, et surtout les perruches qui etaient charmantes » 16. Le meme ecrivain a decrit aussi comment « M. de Maupertuis rassemblait avec beaucoup de peine et a grands frais des animaux etrangers ou singuliers, pour observer leurs allures et etudier en quelque sorte leur caractere ». II

Maupertuis ecrivit sa premiere oeuvre importante sur la production de nouvelles especes pendant le sejour qu'il fit a Paris pour reprendre des forces, apres le malheureux incident de Molwitz; d'autres ceuvres suivirent, a Berlin. Avant d'en parler, il faut etudier en raccourci 1'etat du probleme de 1'origine des especes a cette epoque, c'est-a-dire 1'etude dans toute son ampleur de la raison pour laquelle tous les animaux et toutes les plantes connus en sont venus a assumer leurs formes actuelles. II est utile de distinguer deux aspects de la question gen6rale. Par exemple, quand on donnait des explications dans le sens du transformisme, deux problemes principaux se trouvaient engages : 1° la preuve, d'apres la morphologic comparative, la paleontologie et les experiences de reproduction, qu'un processus historique de transformisme avait, en effet, eii lieu; 2° les theories sur les causes de ce processus, une s6rie de lois a 1'aide desquelles on pouvait d&luire, et 15. Tbid., 1731, pp. 223-9. 16. BRUNET, op. cit., I, 179-80.

P.-L. Moreau de Maupertuis


ainsi expliquer a la maniere classique, le processus evolutionniste, de meme que Ton explique les mouvements des planetes par la mecanique newtdnienne. En effet, pendant un siecle environ, avant que, dans la deuxieme moitie du xixe siecle, la theorie du transformisme ne soit generalement acceptee, beaucoup de biologistes se rendirent compte que bien des elements militaient en faveur du processus historique, mais ils n'etaient pas satisfaits des essais contemporains faits pour 1'expliquer17. Dans un sens tres general, sans application particuliere a la biologic, les explications evolutionnistes sont parmi les plus anciennement connues de la science. Les premiers cosmologistes grecs ont cherche a montrer que toute la complexite du monde que nous observons derivait d'un etat plus simple. Mais, pour une raison ou pour une autre, de telles explications avaient passe de mode et une grande partie de 1'evidence de base par laquelle la theorie du transformisme organique s'etait renouvelee au xvnr siecle, fut, en effet, rassemblee par des biologistes qui ne la consideraient aucunement en termes de transformisme. Au xvn* siecle et aux premieres annees du xviii", le probleme le plus important pour les botanistes et pour les zoologistes, c'6tait d'elaborer un systeme efficace de classification. Cela occupa tout biologiste d'importance (a part les physiologistes), depuis Belon et Cesalpino au xvi' siecle, en passant par John Ray, Tournefort, Tyson et d'autres, jusqu'k Linne, dont le Systema Naturae en 1735 resuma toute la serie des essais anterieurs 18. Dans le Syst&me de Linne, les lignes principales de la classification moderne des plantes avec la nomenclature binome se trouvaient etablies; la classification zoologique de Linn6 reussit moins bien et il fallut la modifier considerablement plus tard. Mais ce qui nous concerne le plus, ce sont les principes. Linne montra comment mettre precisement en rapport logique avec tous les autres, chaque espece, genre, ordre et classe, et comment identifier un organisme inconnu, lui donner un nom, et le mettre dans le Systeme de la Nature. 17. Cf. E. GtrrfNor, Les Sciences de la vie aux XVII" et XVIII" siecles, Paris, 1941; P. G, FOTHERGILL, Historical Aspects of Organic Evolution, Londres, 1952; et pour1 une bibliographic excellente voir C.-C. GILUSPIE, Genesis and Geology, Cambridge, Mass^ 1951, pp. 23 sqq. Cf. aussi J.-T. MERZ, A History of European Thought in the Nineteenth Century, Loadres, 1903, II, et E.-S. RUSSEL, Form and Function, Londres, 1916. 18. Cf. H. DAUDIN, Etudes d'histoire des sciences naturelles, Paris. 1926, I.


Science, Art and Nature in Medieval and Modern Thought

Le but immediat des tentatives de Linne, c'etait de resoudre le probleme pratique de ramener £ 1'ordre un monde divers et chaotique; mais, comme ses contemporains, il pretendait que la classification devait montrer non settlement un ordre commode, mais le vrai ordre de rapports entre les individus. C'est-a-dire que la classification devait etre non settlement un systeme artificiel, mais aussi ce qu'on appelait un systeme « naturel », qui exprimat ce que Linne appelait « 1'ordre souverain de la Nature » 19. Get « ordre souverain de la Nature », selon les conceptions du xvn* et du xviii" siecle, possedait plusieurs caracteristiques qui sont importantes, car elles formaient Farriere-plan des theories evolutionnistes du xvme siecle. D'abord, c'etait un ordre essentiellement immuable, dans lequel toute chose et toute substance dans 1'univers, les astres et les planetes dans leurs mouvements, les elements chimiques, les etres vivants, avaient chacun leur place et leur role definis. Galilee et Descartes avaient detruit la conception particuliere de 1'ordre naturel derivee d'Aristote, mais la croyance qu'il y avait un ordre stable dans 1'univers physique, ordre qui etait reste sans changement depuis la creation, persistait largement. De notre point de vue, la chose la plus importante en rapport avec cet ordre fixe de la nature, c'est qu'on considerait que les especes biologiques etaient fixes et avaient des limites definies. L'opinion de Linne etait que toutes les especes d'organismes avaient et6 creees par Dieu des le commencement, et n'etaient pas susceptibles de changement sauf en des deiails non essentiels20; a son avis, cette th^orie se trouvait appuyee par roeuvre de Harvey, de Redi et de Swammerdam, d^montrant que des organismes se reproduisaient par des reufs. Dans la reproduction, c'etait la nature specifique qui etait transmise : toute difference remarquee entre parent et rejeton devait etre accidentelle et temporaire 21. Un deuxieme trait de « 1'ordre souverain de la Nature » de Linne, c'etait qu'il estimait que les organismes formaient une echelle, s'etendant de 1'etre vivant le plus primitif, a peine 19. Caroli LINNAEI, Systema naturae, 13s ed., Vienne, 1767, I, 13. 20. Plus tard, comme resultat d'experiences avec 1'hybridation, Lannd admit la possibilite de mutations limit^es des especes dans nn genre particulier, qui avait ele cree par Dieu. Sur toute cette question, ses disciples Etaient beaucoup plus dogmatiques que Linne m£me., 21. Caroli LINNAEI, Philosophia botanica, Stockholm, 1751, p. 99. Cf. DAUDIN, op. cit., I, 65. Cf. ARISTOTE, De generatione animalium, I, 21-22; II, 1, 731 b 33-35; III, 3-4.

P. -L. Moreau de Maupertuis


susceptible de se distinguer de la matiere inorganique, au degr£ le plus bas de 1'gchelle, en passant par les plantes, les zoophytes (Sponges, etc.), les animaux, jusqu'a 1'homme, au degr£ le plus £lev&22. Cette idee d'une £chelle de la nature organique derivait, en premier lieu, d'Aristote 23. Tout d'abord, on supposa l'6chelle lineaire; puis, lorsqu'on connut mieux le probleme, on assigna aux plantes et aux betes des rameaux diffgrents, y ajoutant des groupes subordonn^s ou des rameaux plus petits, et ainsi de suite, tout comme s'il s'agissait d'Un arbre24. Get arbre devint les « donn£es > que les theories de transformisme devaient expliquer. Cela peut se voir dans la notion de « gradation » traitSe par 1'anatomiste anglais, Edward Tyson, en 1699, dans son e"tude bien connue du chimpanzS. Tyson dit qu'en faisant « une elude comparative de cet animal et d'un singe, une guenon et un homme..., on peut mieux observer les gradations de la nature dans la formation des corps animaux, et les transitions faites entre un animal et un autre » 25. Une troisieme caracteristique de 1'ordre de la Nature, c'elait la croyance qu'il y avait dans 1'univers une harmonic. On supposait qu'il y avait adaptation parfaite des parties d'un organisme avec son ensemble, et aussi des organismes avec leur milieu physique et de 1'un a 1'autre : par exemple, que les plantes s'alimentaient du sol, les insectes des plantes, les oiseaux des insectes, les oiseaux plus grands des oiseaux plus petits, et ainsi de suite, le tout maintenant un gquilibre parfait de population26. Tous les savants se trouverent impressionne's par cette harmonic; Newton regarda la structure de 1'ceil de la mouche comme extant une preuve th^ologique sMeuse; John Ray d^crivit « la sagesse de Dieu, manifested dans les CEuvres de la creation » 27; la soi-disante preuve des 22. Cf. A.-O. LOVEJOY, The Great Chain of Being, Cambridge, Mass., 1936. 23. Cf. ARISTOTE, Historia animalium, VIII, 1, 588 b 4; De gen. animal, II, 1, 733 b 1-17. 24. Cf. DAUDIN, op. cit., I, 159-73. 25. Edward TYSON, Orang-Outang, sive Homo Sglvestris, Londres, 1699, preface, p. vn. Cf. M.-F. Ashley MONTAGU, « Edward Tyson, M.D., FJR.S., 1650-1708, and the rise of human and comparative anatomy in England » (Memoirs of the American Philosophical Society, XX). Philadelphia, 1943, pp. 240-1. 26. LINN£, Systema naturae, 6d. cit, I, 10-11, 17-18, 535. Cf. DAUDIN, op. cit., pp. 174-5. 27. The Wisdom of God manifested in the Works of the Creation, Londres, 1691.


Science, Art and Nature in Medieval and Modem Thought

causes finales, raisonnant de la montre a 1'Horloger Divin, devint un des lieux communs de la thSologie naturelle, comrae, par exemple, dans I'Analogy of Religion de Bishop Butler, et dans les ecrits de Paley. Les moralistes du xvur siecle firent appel a rharnionie de 1'univers physique pour appuyer leurs vues sur la « gouvernance » morale du monde. Une voix dissidente fut celle du docteur Johnson, martyre de la goutte, qui ne trouvait aucune explication rationnelle de la douleur physique. Cette conception de 1'ordre, de Pharmonie dans le monde biologique devint un probleme important pour les protagonistes d'explications evolutionnistes, car ils essayaient essentiellement de demontrer comment du chaos pourrait sortir Pordre. Avant que Maupertuis et d'autres evolutionnistes eussent mis a jour leurs idees, on trouvait cela impossible. Cela se voit clairement dans le fameux « discours de degr^s », prononce par Ulysse dans le Troilus and Cressida de Shakespeare. Apres avoir decrit comment « The heavens themselves, the planets and this centre « Observe degree, priority and place » et ainsi de suite, en descendant par Pordre naturel et social tout entier, Ulysse dit : « Take but degree away, untune that string, « And, hark, what discord follows! each thing meets « In mere oppugnancy. » 28 S'il n'y avait pas un ordre exterieur a observer, la vie se trouverait reduite a un chaos de lutte entre les individus. On verra de quelle maniere Maupertuis, dans sa theorie du transformisme, se servait d'une telle lutte comme moyen pour developper Pordre. Cette comparaison entre les mondes social et naturel vient bien a propos, car, a partir de la fin du xvne siecle, Popinion sur la question d'un ordre fixe commencait a donner partout des signes de modification. II est impossible d'examiner ici le developpement de Pidee de progres historique, mais on peut citer quelques evenements significatifs 29. La controverse entre « les Anciens et les Modernes > ouvrit toute la question 28. Troilus and Cressida, I, 3. 29. Cf. F. BRUNETI&RE, « La formation de 1'idSe de progres au xviiie siecle », Etudes critiques sur I'histoire de la litterature frangaise, 5« serie, 2« ed., Paris, 1896, pp. 183-350; J.-B. BURY, Th« Idea of Progress, Londres, 1920; R.-F. JONES, « Ancients and Moderns » (Washington

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de savoir si la pense'e et la civilisation s'etaient ameliorees; et, en grande partie grace aux triomphes de la science, elle se termina par une victoire retentissante pour les Modernes. L'opinion elait an changement historique. Ceux qui e"crivaient sur 1'histoire — les « sociologues », comme on les appelle aujourd'hui — eherchaient a formuler les lois du developpement social inspire'es directement par le modele des lois de la meeanique de Newton. Us prenaient en consideration 1'influenee de P ambiance, de la nourriture, de la geographic, des etudes, et ainsi de suite. Les ecrivains les plus influents en matiere de progres historique et de transformisme biologique se connaissaient tous tres bien; en effet, la plupart d'entre eux dtaient des Francais. Voltaire, qui par son Siecle de Louis XIV (1752) et son Essai sur les mceurs et I'esprit des nations (1756), produisit les premiers essais valables dans le domaine de Fanalyse des causes de 1'histoire, « histoire philosophique » comme il la nommait, connaissait particulierement Maupertuis (comme nous 1'avons vu) et aussi Buffon 30. Diderot, qui traita de la sociologie et de la biologic, engagea une controverse contre Maupertuis31. Le developpement parallele des idees de progres social et de transformisme biologique est un des aspects les plus se*duisants de toute 1'affaire et fournit en me'ine temps un exemple frappant de Tinfluence dans plusieurs spheres differentes d'une forme particuliere de la pensee ou de la maniere de regarder les choses, a un moment donne. Pour ce qui regardait la biologic, en meme temps que Linne pr^parait son tableau magnifique d'un « ordre souverain de la Nature » immuable, d'autres biologistes rassemblaient en differents endroits les faits evidents qui s'opposaient a cette conception des choses, surtout a 1'idee que toutes les especes connues avaient et4 creees a la fois et que jamais aucuii changement ne s'etait produit. Par exemple, la vraie nature des fossiles dtait connue de certains ecrivains depuis Fepoque University Studies, N. S., Language and Literature, VI), Saint-Louis, 1936; W. K. FERGUSON, The Renaissance in Historical Thought, Boston, Mass., 1948, pp. 68-112. 30. Cf. Thomas PENNANT, Tour on the Continent 1765, 6d. G. R. de Beer, Londres, 1948, pp. 38-39 : « Madame de Buffon told me that Voltaire was worth 113.000 livres a year and 700.000 in cash, that he traded in cattle, insured ships, etc.; that his original estate was only 500 £ pr Annum. » 31. Cf. MAUPERTUIS, (Enures II, 169-84, Cf. A. VARTANIAN, Diderot and Descartes, Princeton, 1953.


Science, Art and Nature in Medieval and Modern Thought

classique &*, et Robert Hooke, ail xvir siecle, avait signal^ que 1'histoire des fossiles montrait, selon son expression, « qu'il y a eu aux epoques anterieures beaucoup d'autres especes de creatures, dont nous ne pouvons trouver aucun exemple actuellement; et il se peut qu'il y ait actuellement beaucoup de nouvelles especes, qui n'existaient pas au commencement » S3. Buff on donna un premier compte rendu de la succession de formes differentes dans les couches geologiques, dans son Histoire de la Terre (1744), et une description plus etendue, dans les Epoques de la Nature (1778). L'evidence experimentale que des changements he're'ditaires pouvaient avoir lieu dans 1'organisnie eiait attested par les horticulteurs, en particulier par ceux qui cultivaient la fraise et la tulipe (1'industrie des oignons hollandais commenc,ait a. se developper), et par les eleveurs de pigeons et de chiens, comme aussi par les anomalies humaines, telles que 1'albinisme chez les negres (un cas fut cite par Tyson34) et la polydactylie. Se basant sur tout cela, Buff on, en 1753, dans 1'article bien connu de son Histoire Naturelle au sujet de « L'Ane », donnait un aper^u brillant d'une conception ^volutionniste de 1'origine d'une meme souche de tous les animaux. Linne avait classe le cheval (Equus cauda undique setosd) et 1'ane (Equus cauda extreme setosa) comme deux especes du meme genre (ou famille); pour Buff on, cela impliquait qu'ils devraient avoir le meme parentage. Car, « si Ton admet une fois qu'il y ait des families dans les plantes et dans les animaux •», ecrivit-il, « que 1'ane soit de la famille du cheval, et qu'il n'en differe que parce qu'il a degdnere, on pourra dire egalement que le singe est de la famille de 1'homme, que c'est un homme degenere, que l'homme et le singe ont eu une origine commune comme le cheval et 1'ane, que chaque famille, tant dans les animaux que dans les vegetaux, n'a eu qu'une seule souche, et meme que tous les animaux sont venus d'un seul animal, qui, dans la succession des temps, a produit en se 32. Cf. P. DUHEM, Etudes sur Ldonard de Vinci, II, Paris, 1909, pp. 289, 307-8, 316-7, 323-4, 336-9; A.-C. CROMBIE, « Avicenna's influence on the medieval scientific tradition », dans Avicenna: scientist and philosopher, 6d. G. M. Wickens, Londres, 1952, pp. 97-99. 33. Robert HOOKE, « A Discourse of Earthquake », Posthumous Works, ed. R. Walter, Londres, 1705, p. 291. 34. Ashley MONTAGU, Edward Tyson, pp. 212-3.

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perfectionnant et en ddg£n6rant, toutes les races des autres animaux » 35. Si tous les organismes sent ainsi censes tirer leur origine d'ancStres communs, et avoir subi des modifications dues au climat, & 1'alimentation, etc., au cours de 1'histoire gSologique, ceci expliquerait le fait, sur lequel se basalt la classification, que, par exemple, un groupe comme les vertelwe's £tait une s6rie de variations sur un plan de base commun. De ce point de vue, conclut Buffon, on peut regarder tous les animaux comme appartenant a la meme famille, ce qui n'empeche pas que « dans cette grande et nombreuse famille, que Dieu seul a con^ue et tirSe du ndant, il y ait d'autres petites families projete"es par la Nature et produites par le temps... ». De par ces passages tire's hors du contexte, « L'Ane » se trouve souvent citd en t&moignage de I'Svolutionnisme de Buffon. Mais a lire 1'article tout entier, il est evident que, quelles que fussent ses ide~es plus tard M, tout le but de la discussion dans « L'Ane », c'elait d'attaquer la conception de families d'ou suivaient ces consequences radicales. En effet il ne pr6sente la possibility du transformisme que pour la detruire. Quant aux families de Linn6 — premier objet de son attaque37 — il ecrivit : « Ces families sont notre ouvrage ... la Nature ... ne connait point ces pr^tendues families, et ne contient en effet que des individus. » Le seul terme de classification qui r^pondait a quelque chose de r^el, c'6tait 1'espece, la succession d'individus susceptibles de se reproduire par croisement, engendrant ainsi un rejeton fecond. L'usage d'expressions telles que « la famille » pour toute autre chose que la commodity leur emploi pour signifier une parente de descendance, etait reprehensible. Malgr§ la presence chez les plantes, les animaux et les hommes, de variations hereditaires, il n'y avait aucune Evidence, declarait Buffon, pour que ces dernieres aboutissent a de nouvelles especes, tandis qu'il y avait des difficultes considerables a supposer que tel e"tait le cas, par exemple, le fait que la plupart des variations observers etaient des monstruosites, 1'absence d'especes intermMiaires, et I'lmprobabilite qu'une variation se produisit chez des individus de 1'autre sexe de 35. Histoire naturelle, Paris, 1753, IV, 381-2. 36. Cf. « De la degeneration des animaux », ibid., 1766, XJV, 311-74. 37. Ibid., IV, 378; cf. « Maniere d'eludier et de trailer 1'histoire naturelle », ibid., 1749, 1-20 sqq.


Science, Art and Nature in Medieval and Modern Thought

sorte qu'elle put se reproduire38. « Quoiqu'on ne puisse pas demontrer que la production d'une espece par la degeneration soit une chose impossible a la Nature, conclut-il, le nombre des probabilites contraires est si enorme, que philosophiquement meme on n'en peut guere douter. » « L'Ane » occupe ainsi une position curieuse dans 1'histoire de la theorie du transformisme, car quoique Buffon avance la theorie expres pour 1'attaquer, il donne neanmoins la le premier apercu systematique de la possibility qu'un procede historique du transformisme ait pu avoir lieu. Mais ce n'est pas a Buffon qu'il faut attribuer 1'honneur d'avoir ete a 1'origine de la theorie moderne du transformisme, c'est plutot a Maupertuis, que cite Buffon et dont les vues sur ]a variation genetique se trouvaient indubitablement le but d'attaque par Buffon dans « L'Ane ». Maupertuis semble avoir ete le premier qui trouva I'idee que tous les organismes tirent leur origine, avec modification, d'ancetres communs; on trouve cela dans son Essai de Cosmologie, ecrit avant 1741 quoique public seulement en 1750. II avait public entre temps un autre livre a ce sujet, avec le titre charmant, pour un traite scientifique, de Venus physique (1745). Dans ces O3uvres, Maupertuis presenta le premier une explication - systematique et causative du processus transformiste. Maupertuis abordait le probleme de 1'origine des especes entierement du cote de la genetique, et il ecrivit la Venus physique en premier lieu pour donner Fexplication d'un phenomene specifique, et ensuite, en generalisant, de tout phenomene semblable. Le phenomene specifique, c'etait un garcon negre, albinos, amene a Paris de TAmerique du Sud, qu'il avait vu dans le salon d'une dame a la fois elegante et intellectuelle, en 1744. Vu que 1'ambiance dans laquelle la curiosite intellectuelle s'exprime est aussi importante a 1'histoire de la science qu'a 1'histoire de la pensee en general, il vaut la peine de rappeler qu'a cette epoque la science naturelle etait tres a la mode dans la haute societe frangaise. Voltaire a decrit cette periode comme une epoque ou tout honnete homme devait etre philosophe, ou une dame pouvait 38. Ces difficultes sont tout a fait suffisantes pour expliquer le rejet, de la part de Buffon, dans « L'Ane », du transformisme. On ne devrait pas attribuer trop d'influence, comme par exemple le fait Guyenot (op. cit., p. 397), a son exclamation : « Mais non, il est certain, par la revelation, que tous les animaux ont egalement participe a la grace de la creation.... »

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oser 1'etre sans ambages. II existe une histoire de deux dames qui contracterent la passion de Peiude de 1'anatomie, ce qu'on regardait comme extravagant, me'me en ces temps de pensee avanc6e. Une certaine dame gardait dans son boudoir un cadavre qu'elle disse'quait pendant ses heures de loisir; tandis qu'une autre avait un dispositif special, fixe dans sa voiture, de fagon a pouvoir diss&juer tin cadavre pendant de longs voyages, tout comme d'autres dames d'un gout plus conventionnel auraient pu s'adonner k la lecture. Maupertuis donna dans sa Vdnus physique une description du petit negre, qui commence, en temoignant d'une sympathie tout humaine : « J'oublierais volontiers ici le phenomene que j'ai entrepris d'expliquer : j'aimerais bien mieux m'occuper du reveil d'Iris, que de parler du petit monstre dont il faut que je vous fasse 1'histoire. » 39 II continue : « C'est un enfant de 4 ou 5 ans qui a tous les traits des negres, et dont une peau tres blanche et blafarde ne fait qu'augmenter la laidenr. Sa tMe est couverte d'une laine blanche tirant sur le roux : ses yeux d'un bleu clair paraissent blesses de I'^clat du jour : ses mains grosses et nial faites resscmblent plutot aux pattes d'un animal qu'aux mains d'un homme. II est n6, a ce qu'on assure, de pere et mere africains, et tres noirs. » 11 fait ensuite mention de m^moires au sujet d'autres negres albinos, de ralbinisme parmi les merles, les corbeaux et les poules, et d'autres changements hereditaires dans les plantes acclimatees et chez les animaux apprivoises 40. Son but immediat est, done, de trouver une theorie de Theredite susceptible d'expliquer ces ph6nomenes, tout aussi bien que 1'heredite normale 41. Pendant la premiere moitie du xvnr siecle la theorie dominante de la generation et de 1'heredite 42, c'etait celle de la « pr^formation », qui existait sous deux formes : dans 1'une, on supposait rembryon derive entierement de 1'ceuf, la fonc39. MAUPERTUIS, (Euvres, II, 115-6. 40. Ibid., pp. 118-9. 41. Gf. C. ZIRKLE, « The early history of the idea of the inheritance of acquired characters and of pangenesis », Transactions of the American Philosophical Society, Philadelphia, XXXV (1946), 139-40, 131. 42. Cf. GuvfiNOT, op. cit., pp. 208-312 ? E.-J. Ck)LE, Early Theories of Sexual Generation, Oxford, 1980.


Science, Art and Nature in Medieval and Modern Thought

tion du male n'etant que de stimuler 1'ceuf a commencer a se developper; dans 1'autre, avancee apres la decouverte par Hartsoeker et Leeuwenhoek, en 1674-1677, du spermatozoide — resultat direct du nouveau microscope — c'etait le germe male seulement qui se transformait en embryon, la femelle se bornant a fournir la nourriture 43. La theorie de 1'heredite etait la meme, quelle que fut la forme de « preformation » qu'on preferat. Considerons 1' « ovisme », comme s'appelait la premiere. On soutenait que chaque partie de 1'adulte contribuait a 1'ceuf par une particule, 1'oeuf etant ainsi un adulte en miniature; pendant le developpement embryologique, les particules ne faisaient que se dilater jusqu'a devenir des parties a dimensions adultes. On supposait le premier individu de chaque serie — la femelle — avoir ete cr£e avec toutes les generations subsequentes dedans, 1'une a I'int^rieur de 1'autre, telle une boite chinoise; dans le cours du temps, les generations ne faisaient qu'eclore et se developper, 1'une apres 1'autre. Selon 1' «ovisme », les males de chaque generation ne faisaient naitre aucun autre individu. L'autre forme de !a theorie preformationiste, connue sous le nom de « animalculisme », etait exactement pareille, sauf que le germe male etait I'element operateur. Maupertuis fit remarquer que ni 1'une ni 1'autre des formes de la theorie preformationiste ne pouvait expliquer certaines observations : la ressemblance avec les deux parents, ou avec des ancetres eloignes mais pas avec les ancetres immediats, les hybrides, et les nouvelles caracteristiques qui se montraient de temps en temps dans des plantes, des animaux et des hommes44. Pour expliquer ces phe"nomenes, il dit, en premier lieu, qu'il fallait supposer que 1'embryon se formait de 1'union des germes des deux parents, le male et la femelle 43. A cette epoque-la, le role des cellules dans la repro43. Cf. MAUPERTUIS, (Euvres, II, 21-24. 44. Ibid., pp. 64-71, 80-85, 93, 109-10. Cf. Lettres, XIV, ibid., pp. 267-82; Lettre sur le progr&s des sciences, ibid., pp. 385-90. Cf. B. GLASS, « Maupertuis and the beginnings of genetics », Quarterly Reviews of Biology, Baltimore, XXII (1947), 196-210; P. OSTOYA, Maupertuis et la biologic », Revue d'Histoire des Sciences, VII (1954), 60-78. 45. « II me semble, ecrivit-il, que Pidee que nous proposons sur la formation du foetus satisfairoit mieux qu'aucune autre aux phenomenes de la generation; a la ressemblance de 1'enfant, tant au pere qu'a la mere; aux animaux mixtes qui naissent des deux especes differentes; aux monstres, tant par exces que par defaut : enfln cette idee paroit la seule qui puisse subsister avec les observations de Harvey. » MAUPERTUIS, (Euvres, II, 93. Sur Harvey, cf. pp. 36-50.

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duction etait mal connu, et il supposait que le germe etait un produit fluide. II dit que chaque liquide seminal se composait de particules, chacune desquelles derivant d'une partie donnee du parent. Par 1'union entre les parents, les deux liquides se melangeaient et les particules se combinaient en paires, une de chaque parent; la serie entiere de paires faisait naitre 1'embryon. II y avait beaucoup plus de particules qu'il n'etait necessaire pour former 1'embryon, par consequent, il y avait un degre de largeur considerable dans la serie particuliere de caracteristiques actuellement heritee par le rejeton. Maupertuis soutenait que c'etaient les membres normaux de 1'espece, dans un leger degre de variation, qui se reproduisaient, parce que chaque particule avait « un plus grand rapport d'union » avec les particules habituellement voisines, qu'avec d'autres. Ces « rapports d'union », dit-il, pouvaient s'expliquer en supposant qu'il y avait une force d'attraction qui fonctionnait entre eux, force analogue £ la gravitation de Newton et a I'attraction suggeree comme explication de la combinaison chimique 46. Mais on ne peut pas concevoir cette attraction comme etant simplement une force physique. II y a un instinct des animaux, dit-il, « qui leur fait rechercher ce qui leur convient, et fuir ce qui leur nuit », et « n'appartient-il point aux plus petites parties dont 1'animal est forme? Get instinct, ... ne suffit-il pas cependant pour faire les unions necessaires entre ces parties? » 47. Plus tard, dans son Systeme de la Nature (1751), Maupertuis etait encore plus net. « Les elements propres a former le foetus, dit-il, nagent dans les semences des animaux pere et mere : mais chacun extrait de la partie semblable a celle qu'il doit former, conserve une espece de souvenir de son ancienne situation; et 1'ira reprendre toutes les fois qu'il le pourra, pour former dans le foetus la meme partie. » 48 S'il se produit un defaut d'attraction, de sorte que des combinaisons anormales de particules se fassent, le resultat dans ces circonstances est une variation ou un monstre en quelque sorte. D'abord, les particules venant d'ancetres normaux, avec le plus d'affinite pour 1'union normale, sont plus nombreuses, dans le fluide seminal de la variele, que celles 46. Ibid., pp. 88-92; cf. pp. 139-41. Cf. NEWTON, Opticks, 4e ed. 1730. Query, 31. 47. MAUPERTUIS, GRuvres, II, 31. 48. Ibid., pp. 158-9.


Science, Art and Nature in Medieval and Modern Thought

de la disposition nouvelle, de sorte qu'apres quelques generations, la variete peut retourner au type normal49. Mais si les facteurs qui produisent la variety continuent a f onctionner pendant plusieurs generations, alors les particules donnant de nouveaux assemblages, avec des souvenirs des nouvelles situations, en viennent peu a peu a surpasser en nombre celles propres a faire les traits originaires, de fa^on que la variete soit etablie. Maupertuis suggera qu'on pouvait verifier cette theorie par 1'experience simple de trancher la queue a des souris pendant plusieurs generations, pour voir s'il serait possible de produire une race de souris sans queue. Les particules de queue dans les liquides seminaux seraient peu a peu reduits en nombre et finiraient par disparaitre. Selon Maupertuis, les causes de ces nouvelles dispositions de particules sont de deux sortes. D'abord, il y a des recombinaisons dans les liquides seininaux, produites par « le hasard », c'est-a-dire par certaines circonstances inconnues fonctionnant dans les fluides m£mes, « dans lesquelles les parties elementaires n'auroient pas retenu 1'ordre qu'elles tenoient dans les animaux peres et meres » 50. D'autre part, des changements peuvent se produire du fait du milieu, par exemple, par le climat, la nourriture, la mutilation. Etant donn6 la theorie de Maupertuis, les variationsvenant de ces deux causes seraient heritees. Parce que des enfants negres nes de parents blancs se trouvaient incomparablement plus rares que des negres albinos, Maupertuis soutenait que le blane etait la couleur humaine primitive, et que la chaleur de la zone torride fomenta « les parties qui rendent la peau noire » 51. Un negre albinos etait ainsi un retour au type primitif. Cette theorie tout entiere soulevait toutes les difficult^s qu'il pouvait y avoir a accepter le recit de la Genese sur la descendance de toute la race humaine £ partir de deux parents originaux52. Dans son Essai de Cosmologie et son Syst&me de la Nature, Maupertuis se servit de cette theorie de Theredit^ pour donner une explication generale de 1'origine des especes. Fai&ant la supposition que de nouvelles dispositions des particules elementaires avaient eu lieu par le pass6 sans interruption, alors dit-il : « Chaque degr£ d'erreur aurait fait une nouvelle 49. 50. 51. 52.

Ibid., Ibid., Ibid., Ibid.,

pp. 119-21. p. 148*. p. 123. p. 128.

P.-L. Moreau de Maupertuis


espece : et a force d'ecarts repetes, seroit venue ia diversity infinie #es anhaaux que nous Toyons aujourdlrai. » *• Mais comment les nouvelles Tarietes s'adaptaient-eHes mi miheu? Maupertuis n'etait plus a meme d'accepter la vieille notion que Diea avail cre£ les organismes en adaptation parfaite a leurs conditions et a leurs besoms, et de plus, il dit que Ton avait beaueoup abuse de la preuve des causes finales. II y avait dans la nature une Evidence considerable de gaspillage et de mal-adaptation; et, tout en admettant que la gouvernance des choses se trouve eventuellement sous la gouverne de la Providence, les causes qu'on est a meme d'observer immediatement semblent etre de pur hasard. I/explication de 1'adaptation de Torganisme est a la fois une anticipation remarquable de la theorie de la selection naturelle de Charles Darwin, et la reflexion de Finfluence d^Empedocle et de Lucrece. 4 Mais ne pourroit-on pas dire, ecrit-il, que dans la combinaison fortuite des productions de la Nature, comme il n'y avoit que celles ou se trouvoient certains rapports de convenance, qui pussent subsister, il n'est pas merveilleux que cette convenance se trouve dans toutes les especes qui actuellement existent? Le hazard, diroit-on, avoit produit une multitude innonabrable d'individus; un petit nombre se trouvoit construit de maniere que les parties de ranimal pouvoient satisfaire a ses besoins; dans un autre infiniment plus grand, il n'y auroit ni convenance, ni ordre; tous ces derniers ont peri; des animaux sans bouche ne pouvoient pas vivre, d'autres qui mamquoient d'organes pour la generation ne pouvoient pas se peipetuer : les seuls qui soient restes sont ceux ou se trouvoient Fordre et la convenance; et ces especes, que nous voyons aujourd*hui, ne sont que la plus petite partie de ce qu*un destin aveugle avoit produit. » M En faisant valoir cette explication de la diversification des organismes comme un processus qui avait eu lieu dans le temps, Maupertuis tourna sens dessus dessous tout le probleme de Tadaptation. Ray et Linne" avaient essaye1 de pr6senter une image du monde organique tel qu'il avait et6 cree par Daeu dans un etat d'harmonie autoregulatrice, chaque creature s'adaptant parfaitement a son mode de vie; ceci entraina la consequence que des cas de mal-adaptation cons53. Ibid., p. 148 *. 54. Esscri de Cosmologie, (Euvres, I, 11-12.


Science, Art and Nature in Medieval and Modem Thought

tituaient un embarras theologique et biologique considerable. Pour Maupertuis, au contraire, Tadaptation ne s'achevait que par un processus de lutte et d'elimination, en comme^ant par un monde en chaos, quand, comme dans le discours d'Ulysse, « each thing meets in mere oppugnancy ». L'ordre fut retabli par la loi de la jungle. Un autre probleme que Maupertuis devait confronter, c'etait d'expliquer 1'apparition d'innovations pendant le processus du transformisme dans le temps, de telle fa^on que les organismes montrassent non seulement une diversification dans des milieux differents, mais formassent aussi une Echelle de perfection ou d'amelioration. Tel est le sujet principal de son Systeme de la Nature. Maupertuis s'interessait particulierement a 1'emergence de nouvelles facultes intellectuelles que Ton pouvait observer en montant I'^chelle, depuis les creatures tres modestes telles que les vers, jusqu'au chien, au singe et a rhomme. Son probleme 6tait d'expliquer Emergence de facultes intellectuelles en termes de sa th^orie de 1'heredite, a Taide de nouvelles combinaisons de particules elementaires. II decida tout de suite qu'il etait possible de faire deriver des qualites telles que la m^moire, rintelligence ou le desir, d'une conception de particules, et de forces telles que 1'attraction, destined seulement a manier la matiere inorganique; des caracteres intellectuels de ce genre ne trouvaient absolument aucune place dans cette conception 55. Sa solution du probleme suivit les lignes ^tablies par Leibniz 56. 11 fit remarquer que Descartes avait rendu insoluble le probleme, en etablissant une separation absolue entre les intelligences qui pensent et les corps qui s'etendent dans 1'espace. Mais 1'existence d'animaux et d'hommes demontrait que la pensee et 1'etendue pourraient etre toutes les deux des qualites de la meme substance de base. Les phenomenes intellectuels observes dans certains organismes pouvaient s'expliquer, dit-il, en dotant les particules elementaires d'un degre de « perception » — selon son expression57. Ensuite, tout comme de nouvelles combinaisons des particules memes produisirent de nouveaux organes et fonctions du corps, de meme les nouvelles combinaisons concomitantes de perceptions Elementaires donnerent lieu a de nouvelles facultes intellects. (F.uvres, II, 152-5. 58. Cf. BRUNET, Maupertuis, II, 391-408. 57. MAUPERTUIS, (Euures, II, 155M61; Cf. pp. 147-9, 157-49*.

P.-L. Moreau de Maupertuis 427


tuelles, car toutes etaient unies dans une seule et nouvelle perception, qui etait quelque chose d'autre que la totality de ses parties. En faisant usage de cette theorie, Maupertuis chercha a expliquer le caractere hereditaire de qualites intellectuelles, telles que le talent pour les mathematiques dans la famille Bernoulli et pour la musique chez les flls de J.-S. Bach. II chercha aussi a expliquer I'origine d'organismes (la vie) venant des combinaisons de la categorie la plus simple de particules elementaires en des molecules plus complexes, et 1'evolution de 1'intelligence depuis les creatures les plus humbles jusqu'a rhomme. La seule exception qu'il fait au processus general, c'est chez 1'homme la connaissance de Dieu, le sens du devoir moral, et le raisonnement abstrait, tous, a son avis, d'un ordre different de « 1'intelligence qui resulte des perceptions reunies des Elements » 58. II n'offrit pas d'expliquer 1'origine chez rhomme de ces facultes superieures, mais se contenta de faire remarquer leur existence. II serait absurde d'exiger de la theorie de Maupertuis qu'elle soit plus qu'une analyse formelle remarquable de quelquesuns des problemes de base par rapport au transformisme. Si Ton compare la richesse d'observations et d'exemples qu'on trouve dans VOrigine des Especes de Charles Darwin, aux ecrits de Maupertuis, ceux-ci paraissent bien na'ifs et un peu minces. Mais dans 1'histoire du probleme, son travail est de la plus haute importance. II n'est nullement exagere de dire qu'il reorienta toute la question de I'origine, de la diversification, de 1'adaptation, et du transformisme emergeant des etres vivants. Ses idees furent le point de depart des discussions de Buff on et de Bonnet sur ces problemes; elles influencerent Lamarck59, quelques-uines meme d'entre elles se retrouveront, ayant sans doute parcouru une route indirecte, dans la theorie genetique de pangenese de Charles Darwin, et dans sa theorie de la selection naturelle, comme dans la theorie de rhereditS par le souvenir, de Samuel Butler. En dehors de la sphere immediate de la biologie, sa notion d'ordre sortant du chaos et ses contributions a la « theologie naturelle » du transformisme, se trouvaient discutees avec acharnement par Voltaire, Diderot et d'autres 6crivains associes a 58. Ibid., p. 160*. 59. Cf. BRUNET, op. cit., pp. 166, 288-9, 326-36, et « La notion d'6volution dans la science moderne avant Lamarck », Archewn, Rome, XIX (1937), 37-43.


Science, Art and Nature in Medieval and Modern Thought

1'Encyclopedic franchise 60. Des questions semblables devaient ressusciter lors de la potemique sur le darwinisme, an xix" siecle. Certes, Maupertuis ne trouva pas la solution du probleme, il ne decouvrit pas une th^orie satisfaisante du transformisme. II fallait toutes les preuves detaille'es de Charles Darwin pour convaincre les biologistes de 1'operation de la selection naturelle; et il fallait Mendel et la geneiique moderne pour eviter les difficult^ de Buffon et pour montrer comment les variations h&reditaires — les mutations — pouvaient etre preserves dans la race, et ne pas etre fusionnees de nouveau dans le type normal. Et on ne peut pas dire d'ailleurs que nous ayons encore trouve la solution de tous les problemes suscites par Maupertuis. Done, si nous pouvons retenir une des insultes de Voltaire, et admettre la description qu'il fait de son ancien ami comme « un vieux capitaine de cavalerie travesti en philosophe » 61, nous pouvons aussi voir le Philosophe du Roi, maintenant le chef de la cohorte evolutionniste, chevauchant avec une volonte plus tenace, et d'une maniere plus Elegante, que lors de Tattaque malencontreuse qu'il fit seul a la bataille de Molwitz.

60. La pens^e de Maupertuis sur la theologie naturelle arrivait a exercer une influence importante. Dans son Examen de la preuve de I'existence de Dieu employee dans I'Essai de Cosmologie (Histoire de I'Academic des Sciences, Mtmoires Ann6e 1756, Berlin, 1758, pp.389-424), Maupertuis avait discute le caractere relatif des assertions mathe"-* matiques et metaphysiques, et avait refuse" k ces dernieres tout caractere de necessite. En consequence de ce m^moire, les Acaddmiciens de Berlin mirent au concours le probleme : « Les rente's metaphysiques sont-elles susceptibles de la m£me Evidence que les rente's mathematiques, et quelle est la nature de leur certitude? » Le prix alia a Moi'se Mendelsohn et Kant eut un accessit. C'est dans ce me"moire, ou 1'influence de Maupertuis apparait nettement, que Kant faisait pour la premiere fois sa distinction entre analyse et synthese, et il en resta toujours au point de vue critique y adopte. Voir MOSES MENDELSOHN, Abhandlung fiber die Evidenz in metaphysischen Wissenschaften..., Berlin, 1764. Le memoire de Kant suit, sans no,m d'auteur, pp. 67-99 : Untersuchungen iiber die Dentlichkeit der Grundsatze der naturlichen Theologie und der Moral, zur Beantwortung der Frage welche die Konigl. Akademie der Wissenschaften zu Berlin auf das Jahr i763 aufgegeben hat. Cf. Kant, Sammtliche Werke, &d. G. Hartenstein, Leipzig, 1867, II, pp. vii-vm, 281-309. 61. L'Art de Men argumenter en philosophic reduit en pratique par un vienx capitaine de cavalerie travesti en philosophe (1753), dans VOLTAIRE, (Euvres, XXIII, 581; cf. BRUNET, op. cit., I, 153.


The Public and Private Faces of Charles Darwin When Charles Darwin's elder brother Erasmus read The Origin of Species, he wrote off a letter of congratulations saying : «the d priori reasoning is so entirely satisfactory to me that if the facts won't fit in, why so much the worse for the facts is my feelings.1 Charles's response to this compliment is not recorded, but he must have been surprised. He had tried in his book to overwhelm the reader with facts. But his unscientific brother had been struck by one characteristic that indeed gave power to Darwin's argument : its highly theoretical form. A second characteristic that now strikes us ishe kind of explanation used. This cut through all the qualitative diversity that was making biological theory so unmanageable and aimed to be strictly quantitative and mechanistic. The fact that The Origin of Species succeeded in making evolution accepted while previous writers on the subject had failed has raised a problem for historians of science. Neither the idea of evolution nor the theory of natural selection to explain it was original with Darwin. How did he alone manage to convince his contemporaries? Some unsympathetic critics, in the nineteenth as well as the twentieth century, have looked for the answer in external circumstances. They have said that Darwin was lucky with his timing, that his book appeared just at the moment when his fellow scientists and the public were ready to accept it. They have also accused Darwin of playing up to public opinion, and of being unfair to precursors who had anticipated all his main ideas. To these unsympathetic explanations of his success Darwin himself made the obvious and just reply that scientists had been persuaded to accept evolution for good reasons and that it was in the main he who had persuaded them. He had spent over twenty years, virtually since his return to England in the «Beagle» in 1836, collecting evidence to test his theories. His organisation i. The Life and Letters of Charles Darwin, ed. Francis Darwin, London, 1887, ii. 234; see A.C. Crombie, Styles of Scientific Thinking in the European Tradition, ch. 24 (London, 1994).


Science, Art and Nature in Medieval and Modern Thought

of the evidence was immensely superior to that of any of his precursors. He might have added that the history of science is littered with precursors — including many of those that became attached to himself — who became interesting only when someone after them succeeded where they failed. He could also have said thad effective originality consists not only in having ideas but also in knowing how to exploit their scientific consequences to the full. Darwin is one of the most interesting of all scientific authors for the modern reader because, in addition to his pleasant style, he was himself intensely interested in all these questions of scientific method and scientific originality that were involved in his work. For example he wrote to one of his sons in 1871 that he had been speculating about «what makes a man a discoverer of undiscovered things, and a most perplexing problem it is». He went on : aMany men who are very clever — much cleverer than discoverers —, never originate anything. As far as I can conjecture, the art consists in habitually searching for causes or meaning of everything which occurs. This implies sharp observation and requires as much knowledge as possible of the subject investigated*.2 Darwin did not formulate any systematic philosophy of science, any more than Newton did. Practising scientists rarely do. But both left a trail of informal evidence, especially when forced to justify particular scientific conclusions, showing how they actually used ideas and why they believed their explanations to be scientifically satisfactory and the alternatives unsatisfactory. The materials for studying these questions in Darwin's case are all available in his correspondence, note books and diaries as well as his published works. They throw considerable light not only on how his mind in fact worked, but also on how he came to make evolution scientifically acceptable. One of Darwin's main criticisms of his predecessors — not an entirely just one — was that they had relied too much on indirect evidence simply for the occurrence of evolution, without looking for an adequate explanation. So their conclusions remained superficial. He proposed a different approach : first to look for an adequate cause of evolution, and then to see whether this was able to account for the various different phenomina concerned. In the introduction to the Origin he made public a description of how 2. The Autobiography of Charles Darwin, ed. Nora Barlow, London, 1958, p. 164

Charles Darwin


he ad set about this process of discovery. This leads us into the central problems of his intellectual biography and scientific method. In the famous opening paragraph of the Origin, Darwin presented himself as a thinker not at all corresponding to his brother's praise, but, on the contrary, slow to use ideas until forced to do so by patiently accumulated facts. He described how he ad been struck while on the «Beagle» by the geographical distribution of related animals in South America and the relation of living to fossil forms ; how he thought these facts might throw light on the origin of differences between species ; how, when he got home, he collected still more facts. Eventually, he wrote, «"After five years" work I allowed myself to speculate on the subject*. He added : «I have not been hasty in coming to a decision*. The picture built up is repeated elsewhere. «I worked on true Baconian principles*, he wrote in the Autobiography, «and without any theory collected facts on a wholesale scale*.8 To Joseph Hooker he wrote in 1844 that he was «determined to collect blindly every sort of fact* bearing on the problem. But, he admitted, «At last gleams of light have come, and I am at last convinced (quite contrary to the opinion I started with) that species are not (it is like confessing a murder), immutable*.* Now this was written in the same year that Darwin wrote the long Essay on evolution by natural selection of which part was to be read at the Linnean Society in 1858 together with A. R. Wallace's paper on the same subject. The Essay was based on an even earlier sketch. In many ways it is the clearest and most attractive presentation of Darwin's ideas. The Origin follows its argument closely, simply adding much more supporting evidence. So when Darwin wrote disingenuously to his friend Hooker about «gleams of light* having come, he had in fact already worked out his theory in full detail. No doubt Darwin chose to present this picture of his progress as a shield against the accusation that evolution was merely speculative. Certainly this was the usual current view of the idea. His published self-portrait also fitted in with some contemporary ideas on scientific method, especially those of J. S. Mill. It was a picture of a great discoverer that gave public satisfaction. But it 3. Ibfd., p. 119.

4. Life and Letters, ii. 23.


Science, Art and Nature in Medieval and Modern Thought

was largely false. In his private thoughts Darwin was a very different character. Darwin's correspondence is notorious for the number of contradictory statements it contains. But from his letters together with the other evidence it is possible to build up a well-documented intellectual biography. One thing becomes immediately certain. ((Collecting facts to give us ideas*, as Buffon had once put it, was the reverse of Darwin's method. «How odd it is*, he wrote to a correspondent in 1861, «that anyone should not see that all observation must be for or against some view if it is to be of any service!*5 In 1857 he wrote to Wallace: «I am a firm believer that without speculation there are no good and original observations*.8 «Let theory guide your observations*, he wrote with pleasant candour to another correspondent, «but till your reputation is well established, be sparing in publishing theory. It makes persons doubt your observations*.7 His son Francis, who worked as his assistant during his last years, confirms this picture. He wrote that his father «often said that no one could be a good observer unless he was an active theoriser. This brings me back to what I said about his instinct for arresting exceptions : it was as though he was charged with theorising power ready to flow into any channel on the slightest disturbance, so that no fact, however small, could avoid releasing a stream of theory, and thus the fact became magnified into importance. In this way it naturally happened that many untenable theories occurred to him ; but fortunately his richness of imagination was equalled by his power of judging and condemning the thoughts that occurred to him*.8 To be overflowing with ideas is surely the basis of all great originality, whether in the sciences or the arts. Darwin's main problem was not to get ideas, but to give his ideas effective scientific form in which they could be tested. The autobiography of Darwin's discoveries shows that he was driven to them all by his gifts for active speculation. Without those gifts he might have remained simply an inspired naturalist, a collector of unexplained information. He describes in his Autobiography his intense satisfaction as a boy with Euclid's clear 5. More Letters of Charles Darwin, ed. Francis Darwin and A. C. Seward, I/ondon, 1903, i. 195. 6. Life and Letters, ii. 108. 7. More Letters, ii. 323.

8. Life and Letters, i. 149,

Charles Darwin


geometrical proofs and later with the logical form of Paley's Evidences for Christianity. Shortly before he sailed in the «Beagle» he was much struck by an incident with Adam Sedgwick, Professor of Geology at Cambridge, with whom he went on a geological investigation in North Wales. A labourer at Shrewsbury had shown Darwin a typically tropical shell found in a local gravel pit. He told Sedgwick, but Sedgwick merely said that someone must have thrown it there. He added that if it really did belong to the area «it would be the greatest misfortune to geology, as it would overthrow all we know about the superficial deposits in the midland counties*.9 Nothing before, Darwin wrote, had ever made him so thoroughly realise that science consists of a structure of laws and generalisations. Another experience on the same trip struck him later. Sedgwick was looking for fossils. Neither of them noticed the evidence of glaciation that is so characteristic of the area — a striking instance, as he said, of how easy it is to overlook phenomena, however conspicuous, if you don't expect them. It was in geology that Darwin first learnt to be a scientist. When he sailed in the «Beagle» in December 1831 he had had no proper formal training in any scientific discipline. This was not unusual at the time but it was at first a considerable disadvantage. The piles of papers he brought back describing rough dissections made on the voyage were almost useless. But he describes how having to work out the geology of an unknown area taught him the necessity of reasoning in advance and using predictions to guide his observations. He worked out his whole theory of coral reefs, which cleared up the whole question, on the west coast of South America before he had ever seen a true coral reef. Only when the «B eagle* crossed the Pacific was he able to test the theory by examining actual reefs. Darwin's note books show that his work on evolution began in the same highly speculative spirit. Like many great innovators, like Kepler and Galileo with the new cosmology, he became convinced himself long before he had enough evidence to convince others. He first considered the question at the very beginning of his serious work as a biologist, when the «Beagle» called at the g. Autobiography, pp. 69-70. 10. Charles Darwin and the Voyage of the Beagle, ed. Nora Barlow, London, 1945, pp. 246-7.


Science, Art and Nature in Medieval and Modern Thought

Galapagos Islands in 1835." He was then twenty six. His attention, as he said later, was aroused by the way the animals and plants varied slighttly from island to island of this group. In 1837 he opened his first note book on atransmutation of species*,11 and wrote that the Galapagos species and the South American succession of fossils related to living forms were the origin of all his views. In this note book he speculated optimistically on the unexplained phenomena evolution would be able to explain, and described the form of theory that would give the explanatory power he was seeking. He shows that he was looking for a theory in which the whole production of all past and present organic forms could be shown to follow from given laws on the model of Newton's theory of gravitation. This was before he had any clear idea of what the laws of evolution might be. Thus he wrote : «let attraction act according to certain law, such are inevitable consequences — let animals be created, then by the fixed laws of generation such will be their successors*.12 These «laws of change* would then become «the main object of study, to guide our speculations*. Again and again in his writings he was to take Newtonian mechanics as the model for a scientific explanation. He had already by 1837 connected the problem of extinction with that of adaptation. Then in 1838 he read Malthus on the pressure of population against the means of subsistence. So, he concluded a famous autobiographical passage, «it at once struck me that under these circumstances favourable variations would tend to be preserved, and unfavourable ones to be destroyed. The result would be the formation of a new species. Here, then, I had at last got a theory with which to work*.13 For the public he was writing at this time, in the Journal of Researches, in terms of old concepts such as the uniformity of action of the «creative power* in producing similar organisms in a given area.14 The prodigious labours in collecting facts to which Darwin dedicated the rest of his life all stemmed from this new theoretical source. Far from working ablindly*, «without any theory* — as 11. Life and Letters, ii. 5-8, i. 276; CHARLES DARWIN, Journal of Researches, London, 1839, pp. 474-5; Autobiography, p. 118; CHARLES DARWIN and A. R. Wallace, Evolution by Natural Selection, ed. Sir. Gavin de Beer, Cambridge, 1958, pp. 5-6, 25-26. 12. Life and Letters, ii. 9. 13. Autobiography, p. 120. 14. Journal of Researches, pp. 212, 469, 474,

Charles Darwin


if that were possible! — all his observations bore on very precise questions. The whole point of the vast labour he undertook in collecting facts about the selection of domesticated varieties of animals and plants by breeders was in order to explore the hypothesis that tnatural selection* had produced natural species and evolution by an extension of the same process. As he wrote : tl assume that species arise like our domestic varieties with much extinction ; and then test this hypothesis bv comparison with as many general and pretty well-established propositions as I can find made out — in geographical distribution, geological history, affinities, etc. ...».15 And «this seems to me the only fair and legitimate manner of considering the question — by trying whether it explains several large and independent classes of facts*.1" Far from being the classical example of a «Baconian» he tried to paint himself, Darwin appears as an almost extreme exponent of speculative thinking. In modern jargon the form of his thought might be called «hypthetico-deductive» or «retrodictive». He became puzzled by various observations and always used hypotheses to probe the question with further observations. The test of his hypothesis of evolution by natural selection was its range of application. He laid it out in the Origin like a legal argument, showing why its premisses must be acceped and what followed from them, stating the difficulties of the theory and demolishing them one by one. He concluded that a theory that explained so much could not be false. Besides the form of Darwin's argument, the second characteristic that strikes the modern reader is liis conception of the kind of material explanation of evolution that would de scientifically satisfactory. This aspect of his discussion of evolution was a contribution to biological thought as important as natural selection itself. Biology at that time was a field of confused issues. Natural theology and untestable ad hoc notions about innate organic drives towards improvement were mixed up with testable, analytical science. Darwin, and Wallace independently, made explicit the criteria of scientific explanation by which they judged all attempts to account for the facts. They took their stand on the model of physics and aimed to be strictly mechanistic. In contrast with 15. Life and Letters, ii. 78-9. 16. CHARLES DARWIN, Variation of Animals and Plants under Domestication, and ed., London, 1875, i, 9.


Science, Art and Nature in Medieval and Modern Thought

biology, physics consisted of theories and laws that were testable, allowed no discontinuities in their field of explanation, and eliminated mysteries. Darwin comparied his treatment of natural selection with contemporary physicists' treatment of theories of gravitation, light and the ether. The theory of evolution by natural selection required two sets of laws : laws of heredity and variation, and laws of survival. Darwin and Wallace contributed the second, and for their law of natural selection they took an idea from the social sciences and organised it on the phvsical model. Natural selection was a statistical law of the redistribution of matter and energy among competing consumers. It showed how increasing order would be automatically generated from unordered variations by the operation of purely mechanistic principles. Wallace compared its action to that of the governor of a steam engine. Thus the built-in responses of a Cartesian mechanism would lead it to multiply, evolve and inhabit the earth. Darwin and Wallace each argued that natural selection, like a physical law, offered a sufficient and testable explanation of all the facts. Thus if it were confirmed no other kind of explanation would be necessary. Darwin has recently been criticised because in face of one large difficulty, concerning the first set of laws required by his theory of evolution, he later retreated from this position. According to the views on heredity and the best reasoning then available the mathematical odds against successful variations being transmitted were overwhelming. He felt himself forced to admit that hereditary variations might be produced by the direct action of the environment, thus giving evolution a direction independent of natural selection. Perhaps it was weak of him to make this retreat. But it is asking a lot to expect him to have guessed that the theoretical solution to his problem lay behind an innocent-looking title in the Royal Society Catalogue of Scientific Papers : «Experiments in Plant Hybridization» by Gregor Mendel. When we remember the state of biological theory, in the first half of the nineteenth century, it is easy to appreciate the force of Darwin's remark that the chief obstacle to the new ideas was that «of looking at whole classes of facts from a new point of view». Yet he also admitted that biologists were waiting for a theory in which all the diverse facts that were being accumulated would fall into place. oLooking backs, he wrote to Sir Charles Lyell on reading the last proof sheet of the Origin, «I think it was more

Charles Darwin


difficult to see what the problems were than to solve them». 17 The problem as he saw it was to make evolutionary theory quantitative and predictive. Natural selection is still supported by far less direct evidence than most contemporary physical theories. But few biologists would deny its potential explanatory power. Not the least part of Darwin's intellectual success was that he knew what he was doing. Perhaps the most deceptive thing about his intellectual biography is that he reached his main conclusions so early. He was fifty when the Origin was published, but he knew the kind of evolutionary theory he wanted by the age of twenty-eight and wrote out his first sketch of it at thirty-three.

17. Life and Letters, ii. 170,

The best part of human language, properly so called, is derived from reflection on the acts of the mind itself. (Coleridge, Biographia literaria xvii)


The Language of Science

May I say first how honoured I am to be invited to participate in this Forum, and at the same time how alarmed I feel at doing so 'dans 1'espace francophone', with all the accompanying hazards for someone whose native tongue is English. I should like to say also that I am, as for myself, entirely in sympathy with the aim of the Forum 'de montrer la vitalite de la science dans 1'espace francophone', except that I should put the question differently. The vitality of scientific thought in French is after all evident to all the world. The practical problem is rather that of maintaining the language as a medium of communication in a world increasingly, and it seems unstoppably, dominated by English. This has great dangers for English itself, which risks becoming disintegrated into a diversity of dialects scattered round the globe, as classical Latin was disintegrated after the fall of the Roman empire into the different Romance languages of Europe. The beauty and sophistication achieved by these languages, pioneered by Italian and reaching a new dominance with French, may seem to offer some hope for a disintegrated English; but only after many, many generations. I hope that at least in Europe we will find a different solution which will maintain our languages more or less as they are. I believe that a monoglot Europe would be a cultural disaster, and that thought of all kinds, including scientific, would be enormously impoverished by having effectively only one language. A language after all embodies and expresses a way of thinking, the perspective of a whole cultural experience. To translate that perspective from one language into another requires far more than knowledge simply of the languages themselves, as anyone who tries to translate even between English and French very soon discovers. There are of course great practical problems, in the world as it is becoming, both for French and for English and indeed for other major languages. Events tend to go the way of least resistance. We must keep our nerve. Concerning more specifically the subject of this Table ronde, I shall comment briefly, and inevitably impressionistically, on some historical relations between language and scientific thinking and their changes. History illuminates the present and no doubt the future, and we must take a long view. When we speak today of natural science we mean a specific vision, created within Western culture, at once of knowledge and of its object, at once of


Science, Art and Nature in Medieval and Modern Thought

science and of nature. We can trace this vision to the commitment of the ancient Greek philosophers, mathematicians and physicians, for whatever reason, to the decision of questions by argument and evidence as distinct from custom, edict, authority, revelation, rule-of-thumb or whatever else. In this way they developed the notion of a problem as distinct from a doctrine, and they initiated the history of science as the history of argument in a search for principles at once of nature and of argument itself. They discovered two fundamental principles from which the essential style of Western scientific thinking has followed: those of exclusive natural causality, and matching that of formal proof. The marvellous and fascinating scholarship which during recent decades has so much enriched our knowledge of other major ancient cultures has not, so far as I can see, revealed there a grasp of these principles, whether in Babylon or Egypt, India or China, or Central America. They had impressively ingenious and inventive technologies, including highly original mathematical technologies as in Babylonian arithmetic and astronomy, in an ambience of myths scarcely related to technical knowledge. In Western terms they had no system of rational science. The idea that the style of thinking arises from the intellectual and moral commitments which provide the expectations, dispositions and memories of a culture in an invitation to treat the history of science as a kind of comparative historical anthropology of scientific thinking. This must be concerned before all with people and their vision; we must learn to look at once with and into the eye of the beholder. Styles of thinking and making decisions, established with the commitments with which they began, habitually endure as long as these remain. Hence the structural differences between different civilisations and societies and the persistence in each of a specific identity, continuing through all sorts of changes. It is an important question, as we look at the westernisation of the globe, to ask at what levels general moral and intellectual commitments are altered, and what remains the same. Restricting the question to an historical anthropology only of Western science, language is an indispensable guide both to theoretical ideas and to real actions. Any language embodies a theory of meaning, a logic, a classification of experience, a conception of perceiver, knower and agent and their objects, and an apprehension of existence in space and time. We need to ask how language conditioned scientific thinking and was in turn altered by it. We may distinguish three levels: those of the structure of a language itself, of general conceptions of the nature of things expressed in it, and of particular theories. The language of causality for example is closely related to conceptions of causality. It is hard to say which came first, but there is an obvious structural conformity between the grammar of subject and predicate found in all European languages, and the ontology of substance and attribute developed most systematically by Aristotle. Aristotle's logic imposed on Western science for many centuries a form of demonstration, relating cause to effect as premise to conclusion, expressing this grammar and ontology of subject-predicate, substance-attribute. His conception of causality was structural and non-

The Language of Science


temporal and was focused on the definition, which explained both the behaviour and the existence of something by its defining attributes. Parallel to this the Greek mathematicians exploited the speculative power of geometry by imposing upon the phenomena at once its deductive logic and an appropriate geometrical model delineating for each its form in space. Thus they reduced the phenomena of visual perspective to the properties of the straight line and the angle, of astronomy to the properties of the sphere, of mechanics to the relations of weights determined by the properties of the straight line and the circle. They could then develop their immediate research into the phenomena purely theoretically within the model itself. The geometrical conception of causality was again structural and nontemporal, focused on space and place, not on the sequence of events in time. These conceptions, and specifically Aristotle's logic of subject and predicate, were to become a major obstacle to the medieval and early modern natural philosophers and mathematicians of Latin Christendom who, in a different intellectual context, came to develop a new conception of causality based not on static structure by on rates of change. They came to express causality in the language not of subject and predicate but of algebraic functions, and they devised a new Latin terminology to express such fundamental quantities as velocity, acceleration, instantaneous velocity, and so on. These quantities were defined in the fourteenth century by mathematicians in Paris and Oxford, and their terminology was to be used by Galileo and Newton. This new functional causality of classical physics related events as sequences in time brought about only by contact or through a medium or field; the disputed choice between these was based on wider ontological beliefs. Starting with Roger Bacon causality came to incorporate a theology of laws of nature laid down by the Creator: for as Dante put it 'dove Dio senza mezzo governa, la legge natural nulla rileva (where God governs without intermediate the natural law has no relevance)' (Paradiso xxx. 122-3). Created law reestablished the stable predictability of nature within Hebrew-Christian doctrine. Newton was to combine this theology with Euclid in calling his fundamental dynamical principles 'axioms, or laws of motion' (Principia mathematica). Such language clearly arises not from the interior of natural science but from its intellectual context. Must science in different linguistic cultures always acquire differences of logical form, and must a language always impose its ontological presuppositions on the science developing within it? The technical language of science has often been developed partly to escape from just such impositions, and to detach a specific scientific meaning from misleading analogies coming from its source in common vocabulary. The word current', wrote Michael Faraday, 'is so expressive in common language that, when applied in the consideration of electrical phenomena, we can hardly divest it sufficiently of its meaning, or prevent our minds from being prejudiced by it' (Experimental Researches in Electricity, i, London, 1839, p. 515). With the aid of William Whewell he devised a new terminology to fit the exact context of electro-chemistry, for


Science, Art and Nature in Medieval and Modern Thought

example replacing the word 'pole', inconveniently suggesting attraction, with the neutral 'electrode'. From the fourteenth century radically new technical languages were gradually built up, precisely symbolised first for mathematics and music. From the end of the fifteenth century the mathematical symbols +, — , x, -f-, > , < , , / , = etc. came into use to represent operations or relations previously written out in words. Later in the seventeenth century Francois Viete began to systemise the essential general principle of modern algebra by designating quantities by letters, distinguishing knowns, unknowns, powers and so on. Thus was launched the universal numerical language of mathematics, and during the same period that of music, both transcending all national boundaries and transparently comprehensible within their explicit limits. Their message was precision and economy, but of course precision alone is useless without content, which comes from scientific or artistic imagination. This depends on vision beyond such limits, and it is vision controlled by a precise critique that establishes, usually in advance of any particular research, the kind of world that is supposed to exist. This in turn established the kind of explanation in science, and presentation in art, that will give satisfaction because the supposedly discoverable has been discovered. But all this needs to be expressed in our natural languages, and that leaves our problem there just as I indicated at the beginning of these brief comments. Note: see my Styles of Scientific Thinking in the European Tradition (London, 1994).


Some Historical Questions about Disease

Under this very general title I want to talk briefly about the relations between medical science, the medical art of healing, and conceptions of disease. But first it may be helpful to put this question within a much larger context of what we may call a comparative historical anthropology of science and medicine, focusing on people and their vision, and their circumstances both human and physical.* The central history of science as I see it is the history of argument: an argument initiated in the West by ancient Greek philosophers, mathematicians and physicians in their search for principles at once of nature and of argument itself. Of its essence have been periodic re-assessments, varying considerably in different historical contexts, of its presuppositions about the nature of what exists, about scientific cogency and validity, and about the intellectual, practical and moral justification of the whole enterprise. Of its essence also have been its genuine continuity, even after long breaks, based on education and the study by any generation of texts written by its predecessors; and its genuine progress both in scientific knowledge and in the analysis of scientific argument with its various logical, experimental and mathematical techniques. It has been a subtle historical question to assess what has continued through different periods and societies and what has changed. We can characterise the vision and the circumstances of people at different times and places by what we may call their commitments. It is their intellectual and moral commitments, involving their expectations, dispositions and memories, that give to people their vision and their style of thinking and of making decisions. We can distinguish two kinds of intellectual commitment in the history of science: 1 Commitments to conceptions of nature and its knowability to man, within the context of general beliefs about the nature of existence, and of man in See A.C. Crombie, Styles of Scientific Thinking in the European Tradition (London, 1994) with 'Historical Commitments of biology', The British Journal for the History of Science, iii (1966) 97-108, 'Historical Commitments of European Science', Annali dell'Istituto e Museo di Storia delta Scienza di Firenze, vii. 2 (1982) 29-51, 'Pari sur le hasard et choix dans 1'incertain' in Medecine et probabilities, ed. A. Fagot (Paris, 1982) 3-41; and for various questions indicated below Hippocrates, ed. W.H.S. Jones, i (London and New-York, 1923), P. Lain Entralgo , Mind and Body: Psychosomatic Pathology (London, 1955), La Historia Clinica, 2nd ed. (Barcelona, 1961), O. Temkin, 'The Scientific Approach to Disease: Specific Entity and Individual Sickness' in


Science, Art and Nature in Medieval and Modern Thought

mental and bodily health or disease: such conceptions tend to be strongly conditioned by language. 2 Commitments to conceptions of science, that is of scientific methods of argument, inquiry and explanation. From the interaction of these two intellectual commitments come the perception of problems, as distinct from doctrines; conceptions of acceptable questions to put to a subject-matter as well as of acceptable answers; and to a considerable extent the direction of attention and inquiry towards certain types of problems and of solution and away from others. They establish in advance the kinds of problem that will be seen and so they foster certain kinds of discovery, and at the same time they establish the kinds of explanation that will give satisfaction because the supposedly discoverable has been discovered. Scientific change comes from a combination of scientific experience, especially of failure, with rethinking of basic principles, again with a deep involvement of language. Any language itself embodies a theory of meaning, a logic, a classification of experience in names, a set of presuppositions about exists or seems to exist behind experience. Language mediates man's experience of nature and of himself; hence philology, both of traditional languages and of the technical languages of the sciences and arts (given precision in symbols first in mathematics and music), can be an indispensable guide to theoretical ideas and real actions. 3 A third kind of commitment giving people their vision is to conceptions of what is desirable and possible, in view of evaluations of the nature, purpose and circumstances of human life. Such commitments concern right human action, what should and can be done, both morally, and scientifically and technically in the sense of being capable of achieving their ends. To this kind of commitment are linked dispositions, both of individuals and of societies, generating habitual responses to events: dispositions to expect to master or to be mastered by events, to change or to resist change both in ideas and in practices, to accept or to reject the possibility of truth within supposed error and hence to integrate within reasoned argument both agreement and disagreement. Here education and experience can furnish options for the choice of a different future. 4 Besides these three kinds of intellectual and moral commitment giving people their vision there is a fourth kind of commitment involving their circumstances. This is the commitment to the physical and biological environment in which they find themselves: they may try to change it, but first it is given. A comprehensive comparative historical anthropology of science and medicine would address itself to questions at the different levels indicated by Scientific Change, ed. A.C. Crombie (London, 1963) 629-58, T. McKeown, The Rise of Modern Population (London, 1976), W.H. McNeill, Plagues and Peoples, (Oxford, 1977), M.D. Grmek,

Some Historical Questions About Disease


these commitments, some given by nature, some made by man. Thus at the level of nature there is historical ecology: the reconstruction of the physical and bio-medical environment and of what people made of it, from both written records and physical remains, as in striking recent work on palaeopathology, palaeodemography, palaeobotany, and the history of climate. Reconstruction at the levels of people and their vision requires the exegesis of evidence including in its scope religion, law, politics and so on far beyond simply scientific thought. At all levels historical questions demand in the historian exact scientific and linguistic knowledge (as well as much else of the intellectual, visual and other sorts of culture that mediate human experience) to enable him to control the view of any present recorded through the eyes and language of those who experience it. It does not have to be demonstrated here that the road to understanding of our human condition at any time, including the present, lies as much through the study of history as through that of the nature and people immediately in front of us. This is as true of scientific and medical thinking and practice as it is of any other of our activities and habits. Styles and forms of thinking and behaving become established with the commitments with which these began and they persist as long as they remain. Hence the structural differences between different civilisations, cultures and societies. Of course there is development, change and occasionally revolution, but more often than not retaining a structural similarity throughout from habit and education. One may cite the persistent differences between China and Europe, and the persistent similarities between Russia before and after 1917. Hence the need for an historical dimension for a true perception of ourselves as human beings in all our cultural diversity, and for an educated understanding of change itself. This, like most human behaviour, begins in the mind. I come now to medical science, medical art, and conceptions of disease. We may start with the definition of medicine given in the Hippocratic Epidemics (i. 11): The art consists of three things: the disease, the patient and the physician. The physician is the servant of the art. The patient must help the physician to combat the disease'. The historian must study all three. They present the subtle question of the relation of medical science to medical art, with goals that are different, but intricately tied together. Medical science aims through the analysis of its subject-matter at theoretical understanding to be expressed in general statements. Since antiquity it has been concerned with two main activities: (1) the observation and recording of regularities of symptoms and their course through the duration of diseases: this is found in the case-histories developed by Egyptian and Babylonian physicians; but the whole method was transformed by (2) the search for causes, introduced by the Greeks under the name of Hippocrates. The Greek

Les Maladies a I'aube de la civilisation occidentale (Paris, 1983), A. Fagot-Largeault, L'homme bio-tthique (Paris, 1985).


Science, Art and Nature in Medieval and Modern Thought

physicians, in accordance with their general habit of mind, madephysiologia, knowledge of nature, essential to the science and art of medicine. There was really no general conception of nature before the Greeks, anyhow in the Western ancient world. There was an often detailed discernment of empirical connections and regularities, in medicine as in astronomy (which involved sophisticated mathematical predictions), but no conception of nature as a system of exclusive natural causality, and no associated form of argument for demonstrating causal connections by an explicit logic. 'Each disease has a natural cause' wrote the author of the Hippocratic Airs, Waters, Places (§ 22), 'and nothing happens without a natural cause'. With the Greek search for causes in medicine came the concept of the natural norm (e.g. the balance of the four Galenic humours), after all an abstraction, and of disease as deviation from that norm. Causes of disease came to be conceived of as of two kinds: (1) physiological disturbances of the body or psychological disturbance of the soul arising from within; and (2) effects on the patient of external agents. Conceptions of these two kinds of cause, whether of internal disturbances or of agents that may invade the body as specific entities, have provided the substantial programme for Western medicine ever since. Diseases are identified and distinguished by the regular appearance of specific symptoms, given names, and allocated causes within current medical theory. This raises historical questions of its own in the identification of diseases recorded from the past. Some like Thucydides's plague of Athens correspond in symptoms to no known current disease, while others like diptheria, bubonic plague and smallpox have persisted through the centuries with recognisably the same diagnostic symptoms, which became attributed to persisting specific microbial pathogenic agents. Medical art by contrast with science aims not at generalities by at restoring and preserving the health of particular individuals. To do that of course it has used the results of medical science, but it cannot treat an individual patient as simply an example of general phenomenon. It is concerned with an individual person who is unique and irreplaceable by any other person. It shares this concern rather with the traditional religions than with analytical science. Where it differs is in the means. Its relation to medical science is like that of other practical arts, aiming at the composition of an effect, to their corresponding sciences: of painting for example to optics, or of the gaining of political ends to the analysis of rhetorical manipulative skills. Here the complexities begin. A politician acting with no regard to truth may still provide for the public good; a physician acting on his best understanding of scientific theory may propel his patients to disaster; while desired effects may be produced with what may seem to be no real understanding of causes, as for example by traditional Chinese or Indian medical practices and by Western psychiatry. Theories of disease have obviously affected treatment and are not neutral or innocent, whether physicians looked like Thomas Sydenham for specific drugs to act on specific diseases as Cinchona acts on malaria or for specific remedies as did Edward Jenner and Louis Pasteur, or they insisted as

Some Historical Questions About Disease


did others like Francois Broussais and some modern physicians dealing with degenerative disorders and neuroses that diseases are abstractions and that it is the patient who has to be treated. It is the perception of the unique and responsible human individual that has given rise to the ethical questions of Western medicine. People who saw their lives within at once a physical and a moral cosmology took corresponding attitudes to disease and calamity and choice of all kinds, stressing natural causation or moral responsibility according to their beliefs. Job saw his ailments within an entirely moral context and complained because, as a just man, he should be so unjustly afflicted. In the ancient world there was an immediate contrast between Greek medical thinking, which might reduce sin to sickness, and Hebrew moral thinking reducing sickness to sin. This contrast continued through the Christian middle ages, and it persists in some legal attitudes to crime, and in the whole conception of diminished responsibility as a pathological as distinct from a moral phenomenon. Boundaries have been drawn differently in different periods and circumstances between the normal and the abnormal: for example deaf-mutes were classified as imbeciles until it was discovered by science in the seventeenth century that they were dumb because they could not hear. Again personal attitudes to suffering and death through illness, as to hard decisions like that of Thomas More which could lead only to martyrdom, have differed fundamentally according to general beliefs about human existence and its purpose. It made a difference whether the prospect was Christian hope or simply extinction, and whether ultimate death was of the body or of the soul. It was through the form of argument and procedure developed through the Hippocratic case-history, then the recognition of statistical regularities, and eventually the clinical trial, that medical art and science found a way to come together to relate individual illnesses to the general explanations reached by scientific analysis. The Greeks remained purely qualitative in the regularities they observed and the prognoses made from them. It was in the different practical circumstances of the commercial expansion of late medieval Europe that mainly Italian mathematicians began to grasp the idea of quantitative expectation for such purposes as insurance and the division of profits. In the seventeenth century Blaise Pascal, Christiaan Huygens and Jakob Bernoulli showed with great mathematical sophistication how, from the regular numerical frequencies present in adequate numbers of things, to stabilise uncertain expectations as probabilities. This offered a new mastery of rational choice and action in a whole range of subject-matters, from the sciences of nature to commerce and politics. In medicine John Graunt in his Natural and Political Observations . . . made upon the Bills of Mortality (1662) set out explicitly the fundamental discovery that statistical regularities appeared in large numbers of things which were lost in small numbers. This was a phenomenon new to science whose recognition came to transform scientific thinking. Starting from the records of births and of deaths with their symptoms kept for London for over half a century, Graunt arranged for a further regular recording of


Science, Art and Nature in Medieval and Modern Thought

information about all diseases and related data in the area, insisting that his helpers should record only observed symptoms and other facts and should ignore opinions, medical or otherwise. He saw that stable mortality rates, sexratios etc. could be translated immediately into approximate probabilities a posteriori. This then provided for inferences in two directions: directly to the probability of a possible event coming about, and conversely to the probable causes of events already brought about. In this way he made an analysis of the proportions of deaths in a population to be attributed to different causes, distinguishing chronic or endemic diseases from epidemic diseases, and so on. The next century and a half witnessed through the work of Buff on, Daniel Bernoulli, Thomas Bayes, Laplace and many others an elaboration and sophistication of statistical analysis and theory of probability without which the quantitative study of disease would scarcely have been possible. This began seriously with the institutional facilities provided by the modern hospitals of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Here, by means of new techniques of medical examination, quantitative data were accumulated for describing individual illnesses in new and precise detail; by observing many cases of the same disease standards and limits of normality were established; clinical symptoms were related to physiology and pathology; a scientific taxonomy of disease was developed. All this followed from a statistical approach to the normal and the abnormal, and it led eventually to an experimental approach to clinical science. The science and art of medicine would scarcely be what they are now without the controlled therapeutic trial for exploring the actions of drugs, and the statistical methods that have revealed such hitherto obscure connections as that between smoking and cancer. The essential scientific insight came here from R.A. Fisher's book The Design of Experiments (1935). I will conclude with three final historical questions. (1) The appearance of disease as recorded historically must always depend on the eye of the beholder: we must then examine the credentials, beliefs and methods of observation of the witnesses who describe and identify diseases, as well as the symptoms they describe. Likewise we must examine the eye of the modern historian: we are inevitably alerted to phenomena of the past by current interests, and that also we must monitor critically. The same applies to high modern technology: could quantitative epidemiology itself invent diseases existing only it its own results? (2) Our enthusiasm for medical science, with its fascinating intellectual problems, can blind us to more mundane aspects of medical history. For example the death rate in England, where full records have been kept from the beginning of the eighteenth century, declined steadily from that time, but the discoveries of causes of disease and the therapies introduced over two centuries had no general effect on that steady decline before the general use of sulphur drugs and antibiotics about fifty years ago. The cause of the decline was not medical science but hygiene (town drains, water supply), improved general nourishment, and public health. This might have some bearing on some developing countries and groups in industrialised

Some Historical Questions About Disease


counties now afflicted with AIDS. Like most aspect of human behaviour, the problem begins in the mind. There is a case for making intensive studies both of the historical ecology and of the historical anthropology of Africa, which presents special problems for historical investigation because of the relative lack of documentary evidence. (3) Lastly this: the self-critical European tradition, which includes science and is unique among the cultures of the world, has generated a capacity, albeit often uncertain, to see Western values through alien eyes and all in comparison with each other. Hence Western anthropology, and historiography of thought of many kinds and in many contexts and periods. To do this is of course an immensely difficult exercise in critical imagination, empathy and reasoning. We may the more easily grasp other mentalities by exploring the scientific origins and development of our own from the Greek search for principles at once of a subject-matter and of argument about it. A true comparative intellectual anthropology must look not only with, but also into the eye of the beholder.

The choice: to be conscious participants in, or victims of, historical tradition.


Historians and the Scientific Revolution

To a generation made more aware than any previous one of the division between science and the humanities, there is a particular interest in the treatment of the ' Scientific Revolution' by the earliest modern historians who discussed the history of science!. As observers living during or just after the event, writers of ' philosophical history' from Francis Bacon to Voltaire set out to give a systematic account of the meaning, for an educated person, of the scientific movement as a revolution in ideas, methods and attitudes. They had inherited the techniques and conceptions of the historical discipline that had been developed by scholars since the fifteenth century, contemporaneously with modern science itself, and they used them to show how science had emerged in the history of civilization. In doing so, they gave analyses both of the nature of scientific thought itself, as they saw it, and also of the conditions that favoured or discouraged its progress, that have left their mark on subsequent conceptions of the history of science down to the present day. The writer who summed up the whole of this early conception of the scientific revolution as an historical event was Voltaire2. A product of the 1 An earlier version of this paper was published in «Endeavour», xix (1960) 9-13. On the historiography of science, cf. also O. Temkin, An essay on tbt usefulness of medical history for medicine, ^Bulletin of the History of Medicine*, xix (1946) 9-47, The study of the history of medicine, «Bulletin of the Johns Hopkins Hospital*, civ (1959) 99-106, and Scitntfic medicine and historical research, ^Perspectives in Biology and Medicine*, iii (1959) 70-85; F. N. L. Poynter, below, n. 28; H. Butterfield, below, n. 20; A. C. Crombie, Science, Optics and Music in Medieval and Early Modern Thought, chs. 1-2 (London, 1990) and Styles of Scientific Thinking in the European Tradition, chs. 1-2, 22 (London, 1994). 2 Cf. J. H. Brumfitt, Voltaire Historian (Oxford, 1958); G. Lanson, Voltaire, 5eme ed. (Paris, 1924).


Science, Art and Nature in Medieval and Modem Thought

age in which both modern science and modern historiography reached maturity, Voltaire was not only the first systematic historian of civilization and the first to make extensive use of the comparative method, but also the first historian to treat the history of science systematically as part of the history of civilization. In this, his conception of history stands in striking contrast with that of nineteenth-century historians, who concentrated their attention almost entirely on political and constitutional events, a limitation from which historians have by no means yet entirely freed themselves. Voltaire became known on the Continent as the most influential popularizer of Newtonian physics and of English empirical philosophy. He interpreted the scientific movement to educated Europe and projected it in a conception of history that, in spite of criticisms to which it is open both in general and in particular, still forms a recognizable part of the historical outlook of a large part of the educated Western world. The view of the scientific movement that Voltaire incorporated into his systematic reconstruction of history came in the first place largely from the publicists of contemporary science, especially Francis Bacon and Fontenelle, and from the great scientists themselves. But he also made use of a view of history that had originated with the humanist historians of fifteenth-century Italy and had become modified by science, during the seventeenth century, in the controversy between the Ancients and Moderns. Voltaire presents a picture of the historical consciousness of an age in which all educated people shared a common background in the humanities and in which the ' new philosophy', of experimental and mathematical science, had recently become established as an essential part of general culture. He gave expression to what many thought, or were ready to think. The view of history into which all the early modern historians fitted the origins of modern science was based on a specific conception of a great revival in European civilization between the fifteenth and the seventeenth centuries. This conception not only established a periodization of history, into Ancient, Medieval and Modern, that has become conventional; it made value judgements and offered explanations of the course of events that carried with them formulae for future advance. By Voltaire's time the conception had gone through three main stages of development: humanist, religious, and scientific. The concept of a renaissance in the fifteenth century, after a thousand years of ' dark ages' following the fall of Rome, was developed during the period of the Renaissance itself3. In the fourteenth century Petrarch, 3 See W. K. Ferguson, The Renaissance in Historical Thought: Five centuries of interpretation (Cambridge, Mass., 1948); H. Baron, The Crisis of the Early Italian Renaissance, 2nd ed., i (Princeton, 1966).

Historians and the Scientific Revolution


inspired by a romantic admiration for pagan Latin literature, the city of ancient Rome, and the ideal of republican virtue, had divided history into 'ancient' (antiqua) — before Constantine's adoption of Christianity, and ' modern ' (nova) — the long succeeding period of barbarism and ' darkness ' (tenebrae) that had continued to his own time. From the end of the fourteenth century, humanist historians of art and of the Italian city states, especially of Florence, added to this periodization the notion of a recent revival, the beginning of which they often placed in the thirteenth century. The term ' middle age' (media tempestas) was introduced in the fifteenth century in Germany in reference to Nicholas of Cusa4. From the first, this conception of antiquity, a middle period of barbarism, and a recent revival was far from merely descriptive; it made an historical judgement that influenced contemporary action. For example, the fifteenth-century Florentine historian Leonardo Bruni, who first explicitly used this periodization in political history, made the recent political progress of his city an explicit revival of the model of republican Rome. In 1483 Flavio Biondo, a papal secretary and student of the monuments of ancient Rome, defined the chronological boundaries of world history, with A.D. 410 to A.D. 1410 as a period different from those preceding and following it. Other Italian historians, especially Machiavelli, were even more precise in their use of history for contemporary political purposes. Similarly, historians of the arts, in presenting the contemporary development of painting, sculpture and literature as a revival of classical models, wrote to encourage the new styles. They knew little and cared less about medieval Latin literature and the Gothic art beyond the Alps. For example Filippo Villani, writing at the end of the fourteenth century, mentions no poets for nine centuries before Dante and no artists before Cimabue, who recalled art to nature, and Giotto, «who not only can be compared with the illustrious painters of antiquity but surpassed them in skill and genius» 5 . Practising artists like Ghiberti and Alberti were content to accept this account of their relation to the past, and in the sixteenth century it became finally established in Vasari's phrase for the new style, la rinascita. The whole movement was crowned, he wrote, by «that excellence which, by surpassing the achievements of the ancients, has rendered this modern age so glorious» 6 . The humanist historians made the conception of a revival, leading on to new conquests, an explicit part of their historical thinking, but half4 P. Lehmann, Vom Mittelalter und von der lateinischen Pbilologie des Mittelalters, «Quellen und Untersuchungen z. lateinischen Philologie des Mittelalters», v. i (1914); G. Gordon, Medium Aevum and the Middle Age (Society for Pure English Tract No. xix; Oxford, 1925); M. L. McLaughlin, «Humanist concepts of renaissance and middle ages in the tre- and quattrocento*, Renaissance Studies, ii (1988) 131-42; Crombie, Styles. . . Ch. i above n. i. For Petrarch see Ferguson, op. cit., p. 8. 5 Quoted by Ferguson, op. cit., p. 21; see pp. 9-21. 6 Ferguson, op. cit., p. 64; see pp. 59-67.


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consciously it had for long been an element in the restless mentality of the ' barbarians' who had entered into the lands and heritage of the western Roman Empire. It began to find expression by writers in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries who could observe the effects on intellectual life of the translations being made, from the Greek and Arabic into Latin, of scientific and philosophical works, and who were witnessing also a modest technical revolution in the development of machinery for harnessing the power of wind, water, and draught animals, and in building, glassmaking, metallurgy, warfare, .surgery, navigation and other activities. According to John of Salisbury, in the twelfth century, the French scholar «Bernard of Chartres used to compare us to dwarfs perched on the shoulders of giants, so that we see more and farther than they can, not because we have keener vision or greater height, but because we are lifted up and borne aloft on their gigantic stature» 7 . A century later, Roger Bacon could assert the progress of knowledge more confidently : « We of later ages should supply what the ancient lacked, since we have entered into their labours, by which, unless we are asses, we can be aroused to better things; because it is most miserable always to use old discoveries and never to be on the track of new ones Christians should ... complete the paths of the unbelieving philosophers, not only because we are of a later age and should add to their works, but so that we may bend their labours to our own ends » 8.

The activist attitude that is essential to the research mentality, prepared not simply to contemplate knowledge gained from past writers but to use it as a base for further advance, can already be seen in formation in the writings of scholastic natural philosophers and mathematicians such as Robert Grosseteste, Roger Bacon, Albertus Magnus, Thomas Bradwardine or Nicole Oresme. It was the motive behind the numerous proposals for scientific method already characteristic of the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, as they were to become more abundantly of the seventeenth. Moreover, Roger Bacon anticipated (with differences) his namesake Francis in offering an analysis of the «causes of error» 9 and of the stagnation of science in contemporary Christendom, including among the most important the neglect of mathematics and «experimental science» 10 and the under-valuation of true learning. The low opinion of 7 loannes Saresberaensis; Metalogicon libri iv, iii-4, recognovit... C. C. J. Webb (Oxford, 1929). The same remark is quoted by Alexander Neckam, De naturis rerum libri duo, i. 78, ed. T. Wright (London, 1863); cf. R. Klibansky, Standing on the shoulders of giants, « Isis », xxvi (1936) 147-98 Roger Bacon, Opus Majus, ii. 15, ed. J.H. Bridges, iii (London, 1900) 69-70. » Ibid., i. 10 Opus Majus, vi, « De scientia experimental!», ed. Bridges, ii. On this cf. A. C. Crombic, The relevance of the middle ages to the scientific movement, in « Perspectives in Medieval History », ed. K. F. Drew and F. S. Lear (Chicago, 1963) 35-57, and with }. D. North, Bacon, Roger, in « Dictionary of Scientific Biography » (New York, in press); M Schramm, Aristotelianism • basis and obstacle to scientific progress in the middle ages, « History of Science », ii (1963) 104-9.

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medieval culture held by the humanists was based on literature and Gothic art rather than on science and philosophy, in which at first they took little interest. But both the scholastic and the humanist reformers applied the same activist formula to history, taking an attitude to the past determined by the needs and aspirations of the present and providing a programme for future action. Such an attitude seems to be a deeply persistent element in modern European historical thinking. To the humanist doctrine of the Renaissance, the religious controversies of the sixteenth century added a new interpretation that was to become a second important element in later accounts of the rise of modern science. To justify their own position, both humanist and Protestant writers agreed in seeing the immediate past as a revolting spectacle of ignorance, superstition and corruption, polluting the pure stream of style or doctrine that had existed in an earlier, ideal period of their choice. «Throughout the first two centuries of Protestant historiography», Wallace K. Ferguson has written in his recent study, The Renaissance in Historical Thought11, a medieval culture meant scholasticism, and scholasticism meant a peculiarly pernicious state of ignorance». The Catholic Erasmus attacked medieval education, to which he attributed the decline. The English Protestant Bishop John Bale, in 1548 described the great scholastic writers as «that obscure and ignoble breed of sordid writers of sentences and summulae, the mere recording of whose names should move generous and well-born minds to nausea» 12 . Ferguson continues: «Taking over the Erasmian conception of the close causal relation between the revival of learning and that of religion... the Protestant historians blandly assumed that any improvement in learning must have led to a clearer perception of truth and therefore must have aided the acceptance of Protestant doctrine» 13 . The connection between humanism, Protestantism, and the rise of modern science became established in historical doctrine at the end of the seventeenth century, when each movement was seen as part of a common revolt against authority — the authority of scholastic education which still dominated the universities, the authority of Aristotle and Galen. In each case the reformers appealed from authority accepted in the immediate past, to an earlier state of things which they held belonged to a tradition that had been broken. The humanists turned from the ' dog' Latin and barbarous jargon of the scholastics to the pure style of classical literature, especially of Cicero. The Protestants appealed from the institutionalized sacerdotal guidance of the medieval Church to the 11 12

P. 51.

Quoted by Ferguson, ibid., p. 51 " Ibid., p. 54.


Science, Art and Nature in Medieval and Modern Thought

plain text of Scripture and private judgement of its meaning, such as they held had existed in the primitive Church. The humanist-trained scientific reformers appealed first from medieval ' corruptions' to the pure Greek text of Aristotle, Galen or Ptolemy, and later from these texts to direct observation of nature such as had been practised in Greek times. The complete doctrine was succinctly expressed by the American writer Cotton Mather in his American Tears upon the Ruines of Greek Churches published in Boston in 1701: «Incredible darkness was upon the Western parts of Europe, two hundred years ago: learning was wholly swallowed up on barbarity. But when the Turks made their descent so far upon the Greek churches as to drive all before them, very many learned Greeks, with their manuscripts, and monuments, fled into Italy, and other parts of Europe. This occasioned the revival of letters there, which prepared the world for the Reformation of Religion too; and for the advances of the sciences ever since» 14 . The same form of the doctrine making a close connection between the literary revival, the Reformation, and the rationalism of modern science is found in Pierre Bayle's Dictionary, published in 1697 and a source of many of Voltaire's historical opinions. The need of the innovating parties in the literary and religious controversies to define their position in relation to the immediate past affected the historiography of science rather by their general attitude to the past than by an special interest they had in science. Humanist editors of Archimedes, Hippocrates or Aristotle were more interested in establishing a good Greek text or making a good Latin translation than in the mathematics or biology the texts contained. There are cases of literary scholars such as Conrad Gesner being led by by the text to the study of nature, and in Gesner's case to becoming a first-rate observer and naturalist. Similarly, the sixteenth-century reconstructions of the original text of Archimedes required mathematical as well as linguistic skill, and in this tradition the young Galileo himself was led to reconstruct Archimedes' methods before extending them to new scientific problems15. But humanist interest in Greek science, as in other aspects of ancient literature, had its origin in a backwards-looking admiration for antiquity; before it looked forwards it had to become something more than merely literary. Early in the seventeenth century, a new group of scientific commentators upon history arose with a completely different outlook upon the past and the future. These writers, Campanella, Francis Bacon, Descartes and their followers, mark the third major stage in the conception 14 15

Pp. 42-3; Ferguson, op. cit., p. 55. Galileo Galilei, La Bilancetta (1586), « Opere » ed. naz., i (Firenze, 1890) 211-6.

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of history that was to find full expression in Voltaire. They combined a full measure of contempt for the medieval past with an entirely new estimation of the importance of the scientific revival. Like their predecessors, they made their interpretation of history in the interests of a contemporary movement of which they were spokesmen. But, except in so far as these had prepared the ground for science, they were in general unsympathetic towards the humanist and religious reformers, whose controversies they were inclined to find either uninteresting or unintelligible. They turned their eyes to the future and saw a favourable prospect. They held that the new science was something essentially different from anything found in classical antiquity, let alone the barbarous middle ages; something which they themselves were adding to civilized life. Their attitude was similar to that taken by some sixteenth-century artists to the relation of their own work to classical models. Writing more and more in the vernacular, the new scientific propagandists stressed the material benefits brought by science and rational technology, most famously by the invention of printing, gunpowder, and the mariner's compass16, and by the general advance of industry, commerce, geographical discovery and medicine. The source of power over nature, as Francis Bacon was most emphatic in pointing out, was knowledge. The age began to bristle with works on scientific method and with schemes for scientific Utopias such as Campanella's City of the Sun (1623) and Bacon's New Atlantis (1627). Explanations of the past stagnation and present progress of science were used to provide the formulae for future advance. Common to them all was the stress laid, in varying degrees, on experiment, mathematics, and the usefulness of science. All were optimistic about the success that could be expected from the right organization and methods. This optimism about the progress of humanity through natural knowledge was accompanied by a renewed hope in nature itself. In its light the sixteenth-century doctrine that the powers of nature and mankind were in decay was rejected, later to be replaced by the eighteenth-century belief in their limitless perfectibility17. The most influential of the early seventeenth-century analyses of the history of science and of contemporary science were undoubtedly those by Francis Bacon and Descartes. Their accounts were comple16

Cf. R. F. Jones, Ancients and Moderns, and ed. (St. Louis, 1961). See J. B. Bury, The Idea of Progress (London, 1920); Jones, op. cit.; H. Baron, Towards a more positive evaluation of the fijteenthcentury renaissance, « Journal of the History of Ideas », iv (1943) 21-49, The ' Querelle ' of the Ancients and Moderns as a problem for renaissance scholarship, « ibid. », xx (1959) 3-22; V. I. Harris, All Coherence Gone (Chicago, 1949). Cf. G. Hakewill, An Apologie of the Power and Providence of God in the Government of the World, or An examination and censure of the common errour touching natures perpetuall and universall decay, 3rd ed., revised and augmented (Oxford, 1635). 17


Science, Art and Nature in Medieval and Modern Thought

mentary and comprehensive, and they became the starting points for disagreement as well as for development. Bacon stressed experiment and utility; Descartes stressed mathematics and utility. This combination provided the standard two-fold formula for future progress. Both writers used history, according to the commonplace repeated in Sir Walter Ralegh's phrase, «to teach by examples of times past, such wisdom as may guide our desires and activities» 18 . In both, the key to their conceptions of scientific method can be found in their view of the history of science. In his peremptory references to the history of philosophy, Descartes described how he found that only in mathematics, pure and applied, had there been any grasp of truth 19 . His analysis of scientific method was aimed at realizing the ideal of a «universal mathematics» embracing all the sciences. Bacon went into the history of science much more thoroughly than Descartes and offered the first detailed modern sociological and historical analysis of the conditions for, and causes of, scientific progress and decline. In the Advancement of Learning (1605) Bacon divided the study of human history into three kinds, civil, ecclesiastical, and literary, each with its own sources and problems. In his discussion of the third kind, he set out a remarkable design for an intellectual history that would not only include the origin and development of scientific thought in different societies, but would also relate scientific progress and decay to the disposition of the people and their laws, religion and institutions. Bacon had called for something which he found lacking in his time, a history of «the general state of learning to be described and represented from age to age, as many have done the works of nature and the state civil and ecclesiastical; without which the history of the world seemeth to me to be as the statua of Polyphemus with his eye out; that part being wanting which doth shew the spirit and life of the person». He wanted something more than the « small memorials of the schools, authors, and books» in the « divers particular sciences» and «barren relations touching the invention of arts or usages». What he wanted from intellectual history, he wrote, was «a just story of learning containing the antiquities and originals of knowledges, and their sects; their inventions, their traditions; their diverse administrations and managings; their flourishings, their oppositions, decays, depressions, oblivions, removes; with the causes and occasions of them, and all other events concerning learning, throughout the ages of the world; I may truly affirm to be wanting. The use and end of which work I do not so much design for curiosity, or satisfaction of those that are the lovers of learning; but chiefly for a 18 19

History of the World, book ii, ch. xxi, § 6 (London, 1614) 537. Descartes, Regulae ad directionem tngfftii, iv; Discours de la methods, i.

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more serious and grave purpose, which is this in few words, that it will make learned men wise in the use and administration of learning» 20 . This was in effect a plea for the study of the history of science, and characteristically, its conclusions were to be applied in contemporary problems. Bacon complained in the preface to The Great Instauration that in the intellectual sciences there was no search for new knowledge. They «stand like statues, worshipped and celebrated, but not moved or advanced)). The mechanical arts had shown some progress, just because they were by their nature in close touch with experience and practice. Experiment, as he said famously, was essential for the a inquisition of nature» 21 ; it was the essential method of discovery; but in the past it had not been properly conceived. In the Novum Organum (1620) he described how, on the one hand, philosophers and men of learning had failed to test their theories critically by a comparison with systematic experiments and observations; whereas, on the other hand, the large number of experiments made in the course of technological practice provided few «of most use for the information of the understanding»22. Philosophers had spun out general systems with too little reference to facts, while «mechanics» were only interested in particular technical problems and did not search for causes. Bacon believed that they should combine their interests. His new experimental science was a method of acquiring knowledge of causes, tested by designed experiments, that would provide both explanations of nature and a rational basis for technology. Bacon's analysis, in the Advancement of Learning and the Novum Organum, of why science had not progressed in the past provided later historians in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries with their basic views on the subject. He said that the sciences had fluorished during only three short periods of history: among the ancient Greeks, among the Romans, and, recently, among the nations of Western Europe. But even in those relatively favourable periods scientific progress had not been as great as it should have been. He gave several reasons for this. Besides the lack of understanding of the experimental method and of an effective approach to the ' inquisition of nature ', he emphasized the lack of opportunity for a proper scientific education, of a scientific profession commanding proper respect and position, and of government 20 Francis Bacon, Advancement of Learning, book ii. See P. Smith, A History of Modern Culture, i (London, 1930) 255-7; H. Butterfield, The history of science and the study of history, « Harvard Library Bulletin », xiii (1959) 329-47; P. Rossi, Francis Bacon: From magic to science (London, 1968). 21 Instauratio magna, in Francis Bacon, Worlds, collected and edited by J. Spedding, R. L. Ellis and D. D. Heath, i (London, 1864) 126, 132, iv (1860) 14, 20; cf. Novum organum, i. 98. 22 Novum organum, i. 99; see i. 78-105.


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interest in science. Scholars had concentrated their main attention on other disciplines, the Greeks and Romans on moral philosophy and the moderns on theology. There were no full-time scientists, except perhaps for «some monk studying in his cell, or some gentleman in his country house » 2 3 . In the universities « natural philosophy» was studied only at an elementary level as a preparation for some other profession; there was no proper scientific education, including the essential training in experiment, and there was no scientific profession in which men could specialize in particular sciences and earn a proper living. This state of affairs « hath not only had a malign aspect and influence upon the growth of sciences, but hath also been prejudicial to states and governments» 24 . In fact, Bacon's blunt appraisal remained largely applicable down to the university reforms and the development of a scientific profession in the nineteenth century. He said that the goal of natural science had not been appreciated: to enrich human life with new discoveries and powers. The right method of discovery had not been understood: designed experimentation, ordered in relation to «axioms». There had been too great a respect for « antiquity»: but true antiquity belonged to «our own times a 2 5 , with all the experience of earlier centuries behind them. There was too much complacency with existing knowledge and technical achievements, and too great a readiness to assume that nature was inscrutable and could not be mastered or understood. There was the fear that progress in science and philosophy would « end in assaults on religion » 2 6 . Above all there was a lack of rational optimism. Bacon's attitude to the history of science, his claim that his analysis had not only exposed the mistakes of the past but also provided the means of avoiding them in the future, above all his emphasis on the past neglect of experiment and the dangers of philosophical systems and his optimism for the future of scientific discovery and its applications, all deeply influenced the outlook of the founders of the Royal Society and contributed to the emotional energy behind their enterprise. They criticised Bacon for his neglect of mathematics, but they soon remedied that themselves; they also respected Descartes. The same combination of beliefs and attitudes can be found in the Academic royale des Sciences. In the literary war between the Ancients and Moderns, by the end of the seventeenth century the Moderns were able to use the recent progress of science to gain total victory over the humanist rearguard and to convince the educated public of the superiority of modern over ancient achieve23 24 25 26

Ibid., i. 80; see i. 78-79. Advancement of Learning, book ii; cf. book i, and Novum organum, i. 90-91. Nov. org., i. 84; cf. i. 80-81, 85, 103-5. Ibid., i. 89; cf. i. 92-94.

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ments in the arts and sciences. The scientific revolution was seen as the most important part of the recent revival of the West. «Is it not evident», John Dryden wrote in 1668, not in a scientific work but in his Essay of Dramatic Poesy, «in the last hundred years (when the study of philosophy has been the business of all the Virtuosi of Christendom), that almost a new Nature has been revealed to us? — that more errors of the school have been detected, more useful experiments in philosophy have been made, more noble secrets in optics, medicine, anatomy, astronomy, discovered, than in all those credulous and doting ages from Aristotle to us? — so true it is, that nothing spreads more fast than science, when rightly and generally cultivated»17. During the second half of the seventeenth century and the first half of the eighteenth, the new science radically changed the type of culture of educated Europeans. It had been demonstrated that experimental and mathematical analysis could solve interesting problems with useful applications. Theology and literary culture began to give way as dominant interests to a concern with the aims, methods, achievements, applications and consequences of science. Science began to develop as one of the learned professions, earning respect and sometimes reward, especially in France where the government gave direct support. Scientists acquired a new sense of solidarity among themselves. This is evident both in Thomas Sprat's History of the Royal Society, published in 1667 partly to justify the policy of the Society,- and in the Eloges, obituary biographies of great scientists of all nations, which Fontenelle wrote in the exercise of the office of permanent secretary of the Academie des Sciences, which he held from 1699 till 1741. Fontenelle popularized the scientific movement; books on botany were written for young ladies and on mathematics for the general public; Voltaire created literary events with his exposition of English empirical philosophy and science in his Lettres philosophiques, or Lettres sur les Anglais (1734), and with his exposition of Newton's natural philosophy. Leading writers on many subjects — Locke, Hume, Vico, Montesquieu, Rousseau, Diderot, Condorcet, Goethe —• studied science seriously and explored the possibility of extending its methods, the only sources of certain knowledge, to all aspects of human life, behaviour, and history. Just as science had discovered the fixed laws of nature, so they would try to discover those governing human behaviour and the progress and decline of civilizations. And just as scientific knowledge could be applied in technology, so they wrote history not simply to interpret society but also to change it. 27 See P. Smith, A History of Modern Culture, 2 vols. (London, 1930-34); L. M. Marsak, Bernard de Fontenelle: the idea of science in the French Enlightenment, « Transactions of the American Philosophical Society », n. s. xlix. 7 (1959); above n. 17. Cf. W. Wotton, Reflections upon Ancient and Modern Learning (London, 1694).


Science, Art and Nature in Medieval and Modern Thought

It was these interests and attitudes that initiated the first detailed studies of the history of science, and of science as part of civilization. A history of medicine by Daniel Le Clerc published in 1696 is an early example of the Baconian analytical approach to intellectual history in a particular science. «There is», he wrote, «abundance of difference between a History of Physick, that is, a collection of all that relates to their persons, the titles, and number of their writings, and a History of Physick, that is, to set forth the opinions of the Physicians, their Systems, and Methods and to trace step by step all their discoveries.... This History ... is obliged to penetrate into the very soul of every age, and every Author; to relate faithfully and impartially the thoughts of all, and to maintain everyone in his right, not giving to the Moderns what belongs to the Antients, nor bestowing upon these latter what is due to the former; leaving every body at liberty to make reflections for himself upon the matters of Fact as they stand related"28. Leibniz followed Bacon in proposing the writing of a history that would include science, literature and religion as well as politics29. In 1751, in the Preliminary discourse of the Encyclopedic, D'Alembert wrote: «The metaphysical exposition of the origin and of the liaison of the sciences has been of great use to us in forming the encyclopaedic tree; the historical exposition of the order in which our sciences have followed one another will be no less advantageous in enlightening us on how to transmit these sciences to our readers» 30 . The next year, 1752, saw the publication of Voltaire's Siecle de Louis XIV, followed in 1756 by his Essai sur les moeurs et I'esprit des nations, written to convince his friend Madame du Chatelet, the translator of Newton's Principia into French, that the study of history could be as interesting as that of mathematics and natural science and could give rise to principles of equal importance31. In these works Voltaire set out to give an example of history written en philosophe, to discover the causes of progress and decline and to teach by the results. One of his greatest achievements was to replace the picture of world history guided by the hand of providence, as presented by Bossuet, by one in which events were explained by natural causes. His contemporaries Maupertuis and Buff on were doing the same 28 D. Le Clcrc, The History of Physic^, Author's preface (London, 1699); ist ed., Histoire de h medecine (Genevre, 1696). See F. N. L. Poynter, Medicine and the historian, « Bulletin of the History of Medicine », xxx (1956) 424; cf. W. Pagel, Aristotle and seventeenth-century biological thought, in « Science, Medicine and History », essays in honour of Charles Singer, i (Oxford, 1953) 509. 29 G. W. Leibniz, Sdmtliche Schriften, hrg. von der Preussischen Akademie der Wissenschaften, I Reihe, i (Darmstadt, 1923) 91, 103 (1670). 30 Cf. Smith, op. cit., ii, 250 sqq. 31 See Voltaire's introduction to the Siecle de Lotus XIV; his « La philosophic de 1'histoire », printed as an introduction to the Essai; and his « Remarques pour servir de supplement a 1'Essai », i-iii, xvii.

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for the history of nature, of the earth and its plant and animal inhabitants through geological time32. Voltaire's basic theme was a survey of European civilization from the time of Charlemagne to his own day, but in pursuing his analytical objective he cast the civilization of Europe against the background of world history. His account included a description of the history of the arts and sciences, religion, politics and commerce, populations and social structure, geography, climate and natural resources of ancient Egypt, Babylon, Greece and Rome, India and China, and of the life of savages, for comparison with the history of Europe. Science had provided him with a model of analytical and comparative methods of investigation; in return, he included in his comparative history of civilization a description of the history of science and technology. Other historians in the second half of the eighteenth century, notably Hume, Robertson, Gibbon and Condorcet, gave similar recognition, albeit sometimes peremptory, to the influence of science and technology in history. The same period saw the appearance of specialized histories of particular sciences. The publication of J. E. Montucla's great Histoire des mathematiques, in fact a history of the physical sciences, in 1758 was followed by other works of varying value including Joseph Priestley's histories of electricity and optics and J. S. Bailly's history of astronomy33. At the end of the century and in the early nineteenth century the succession continued with the historical writings of Laplace, Cuvier, Thomas Young, Delambre and, later, of Guglielmo Libri and William Whewell. Auguste Comte now succeeded Francis Bacon as the formative influence on the historiography of science34. But by this time the general character of historiography had changed: it had become more accurate, but also more restricted. The eighteenth-century historians whose outlook had been formed by the intellectual revolution of early modern times may have seen history in the mirror of their own aspirations. They drew from the new science their model of rational investigation; in repaying their debt, by making the history 32 See Bury, above n. 17; A. O. Lovejoy, The Great Chain of Being (Cambridge, Mass. 1936); A. C. Crombie, P. L. Moreau de Maupertius, F. R. S. (1698-1759), precurseur du transformisme, « Revue de synthese », Ixxviii (1957) 35-56; B. Glass, O. Temkin, W. L. Straus, jr. (editors), Forerunners of Darwin: 1745-1859 (Baltimore, 1959); J. Roger, Les sciences de la vie dans la pensee franfoise du XVIII* siecle (Paris, 1963). For the parallel interest in the history of nature and the history of mankind cf. R. Hooke, « A Discourse of Earthquakes », Posthumous Worfa, ed. R. Waller (London, 1705) 291, 334, 426-7, 433-6; Fontenelle, Histoire de I'AcadSmie Royale des Sciences, Annee 1710 (Paris, 1731) 22; Button, Les Epoques de la nature, ed. critique, par J. Roger (Paris, 1962); A. C. Crombie and M. A. Hoskin, The scientific movement and the diffusion of scientific ideas, in « New Cambridge Modern History », vi (Cambridge, 1969) 60-71. 33 Cf. Bailly, Lettres sur I'origine des sciences, et sur celles des peuples d'Asie, addresses a M. dt Voltaire (Londres et Paris, 1777). 34 Cf. A. Comte, Cours de philosophic positive, i, Premiere lec.on (Paris, 1830); W. Whewell, Philosophy of the Inductive Sciences, 2nd ed., ii (London, 1847) 320 sqq.; J. S. Mill, Auguste Comte and Positivism, 2nd ed. (London, 1866) 6-8; Bury, op. cit., ch. 16.


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of science and technology part of the history of civilization, they may have written polemically in order to extend the reign of ' reason' in their own day. The political and constitutional historians who dominated nineteenth-century historiography no longer felt that debt and they made history into the history of government. One reason for this may have been the influence of the classical seminar in German universities on the nineteenth-century conception of historical research. At the same time there was a hardening of the division in university education between science and the humanities. Classically trained historians excluded from their consideration all aspects of life not conventionally included among the 'humanities'. Also, during this formative period of nineteenth-century historiography, the general upset in the structure and concepts of government following the revolutionary wars in Europe, and the business of acquiring and governing empires, gave constitutional and political history an immediately topical and practical interest. Historiography must perhaps always reflect the problems of its own time. The character of life in our own day gives a new relevance to the eighteenth-century historians whose view included the whole of civilization. The present interest in social, intellectual and scientific history and in the comparative method are in a sense a return to the ideas with which mature modern historiography began in the age of Voltaire. Once more, historians in their analysis of human behaviour and human society are seeking enlightenment from all aspects of civilized life. Historiography is again becoming the study of civilization as a whole, with the potentiality of providing a bridge, instead or reflecting a division, between the scientific and humanistic sides of our education.


The Origins of Western Science'

The purpose of this book, according to the preface, seems to be to replace earlier accounts of ancient and medieval science, rather prominently for the latter my Augustine to Galileo, first published in 1952 but revised and greatly enlarged in 1959. Bruce Eastwood concludes in his generous but valedictory essay on my book and its influence in Isis (Ixxxiii, 1992, pp. 84-99): 'We can now reasonably hope for an up-to-date textbook on medieval science in David Lindberg's forthcoming survey'. Mine 'has completed its useful life' but as 'an old friend' it 'remains a connection to historical controversies and philosophical commitments of our disciplinary past'. Perhaps so, perhaps not, but it may be worth mentioning that the latest edition in English published by Harvard (1979) is still on the market and that of the eight editions in foreign languages, that in Italian (reprinted in 1982) remains especially active, and that in Spanish has been reprinted five times since its first publication in 1974. The Greek edition was handsomely reprinted in 1992, and others are in prospect. A book like The Beginnings of Western Science needs a vision of its subject, with the main lines of its perspective illustrated by telling details. Instead we have here a survey, written in an elementary style seemingly for a popular public knowing very little. 'My concern' Dr Lindberg writes, 'will be with the beginnings of scientific thought1 (p. 3), not with technology or methodology or anything else, but with the ideas and contents of science, or less ambiguously, natural philosophy. Some very brief indications or prehistoric attitudes to nature and of ancient Babylonian and Egyptian mathematics and medicine lead him to the true beginnings of scientific theory with the Greeks. The history of scientific thought, as I put it (History of Science, xxvi, 1988, pp. 1-12; above, ch. 1) is the history of a vision explored and controlled by argument. It is a vision and an argument initiated by ancient Greek philosophers, mathematicians and physicians in their search for principles at once of nature and of argument itself. By natural science we mean then a

David C. Lindberg, The Beginnings of Western Science: The European Scientific Tradition in Philosophical, Religious, and Institutional Context, 600 B.C. to A.D. 1450 (The University of Chicago Press, 1992).


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specific vision, created within Western culture, at once of knowledge and of the object of that knowledge, at once of natural science and of nature. We may trace the characteristically Western tradition of rational science and philosophy to the commitment of the ancient Greeks, for whatever reason, to the decision of questions by argument and evidence, as distinct from custom, edict, revelation, authority or whatever else. Of course all people as rational beings may decide questions by argument and evidence. It was the Greek style of rationality to make this explicit by the analysis of the reasoning involved, in the manner of Socrates. The Greeks developed thereby the conception of a problem as distinct from a doctrine. At the same time by deciding that, among the many possible worlds as envisaged in other cultures, the one existing world was a world of exclusively self-consistent and discoverable rational causality, they committed their scientific successors exclusively to this effective direction of thinking, and closed to them elsewhere still open visions of things. They introduced in this way the conception of nature, comprising a rational scientific system, in which formal reasoning matched natural causation, so that natural events and reasoned conclusions must equally follow exactly from true principles. Hence the two fundamental conceptions from which the characteristic style of all Western rational thinking has followed: causal demonstration and formal proof. The Western scientific movement has been concerned with man's relations with nature as perceiver, knower and agent. It can be identified most precisely among the great historical cultures as an approach to nature effectively competent not only to solve problems, but also to determine what counts as a solution, whether in particular cases or in general systems of theoretical explanation. Thus it offers rational control of subject-matters of all kinds, from mathematical to material, from ideas to things. A similar rational style is evident over the whole range of Western intellectual and practical enterprise, in ethics and metaphysics, in law, government and commerce, in drama and music, in the visual and constructive arts, and in technology and manufacturing. Of the essence of the scientific movement as a tradition have been its genuine continuity, even after long breaks, based on the study by any generation of texts written by its predecessors; its progress equally in scientific knowledge and in the analysis of scientific argument, for innovation is a product of continuity; and its recurrent critique of its practical and moral justifications. A subtle question then is what continued and what changed through different historical contexts, in the scientific argument and in the cultural vision through which experience is mediated, when education, experience and innovation could furnish options for a different future. The scientific argument comprises both the form and the subject-matter. It is obviously absurd, in analysing how a particular problem or phenomenon has been treated at a particular time, to consider the one without the other. But the same phenomenon may be treated in different forms or styles of argument, and a common form of argument may unite an assembly of diverse though cognate subject-matters. The Western scientific movement brought together

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within a common restriction to answerable questions a variety of forms or styles of scientific inquiry, demonstration and explanation, diversified by their subject-matters, by general conceptions of nature and the expectations they entail, by presuppositions about scientific cogency and validity, and by scientific experience of the interactions of creative thinking with testing, of programmes with their realisation, modification or rejection. The diversification and testing of these different forms of argument was the highly intellectualised product of many generations. A scientific style identifies certain regularities in the experience of nature which become its object of inquiry and define the questions put to the subject-matter within that style. The interactions between style and subject-matter then generate appropriate methods of inquiry and kinds of argument and evidence for finding acceptable answers. We can establish in the scientific movement a taxonomy of styles, distinguished by their objects of inquiry and forms of argument. Three were developed in the investigation of individual regularities, and three in the investigation of the regularities of populations ordered in space and time. The primary style invented by the Greeks was what I call postulation, in two different forms, mathematical and syllogistic. The former exploited the demonstrative power of geometry and arithmetic and eventually united all the mathematical sciences and dependent arts, from optics and music to mechanics, astronomy and cartography, under a common form of proof. The latter exploited the demonstrative power of logic as established by Aristotle in all the natural sciences as well as other subject-matters of philosophy. The second style I call the experimental argument, both to control postulation and to explore by observation and measurement the observable relations of more complex subject-matters in the search for their principles. Ptolemy used well designed experiments to control the postulations of optics and Galen did likewise to explore the operations of the ureters, the spinal cord, and other physiological phenomena. The experimental argument, in its various forms arid contexts, was logically designed to bring in experiment, with the necessary apparatus and instrumentation, at the relevant points of decision. The third style, hypothetical modelling, proceeds by exploiting the properties of a theoretical or physical artifact, which we know because we designed it ourselves, and with which we can simulate and thus explore and explain the phenomena of nature. Perhaps the most striking original model of all was Eudoxus's geometrical model of the cosmos, which transformed astronomy as developed with great arithmetical sophistication by the Babylonians into an entirely new style of scientific thinking. Hypothetical modelling was developed in a mature form by its transposition from art to science in early modern Europe: perspective painting was a perceptual model of the natural scene; Kepler solved the problem of the formation of the retinal image by using the camera obscura as a model of the eye; Descartes generalised the whole style. Taxonomy as the fourth style was again developed by the Greeks, notably Plato, Aristotle and Theophrastus, as a logical method of ordering variety in any subject-matter by comparison and difference, raising the question of


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discovering natural affinities. The fifth style, probabilistic analysis of contingent expectation and uncertain choice, was also broached qualitatively by Greek logicians and physicians and Roman lawyers faced with making decisions with incomplete but probable evidence, and it reappeared in medieval treatments of similar cases. It was quantified practically in the fifteen and sixteenth centuries in dealing with insurance and other commercial questions, and theoretically in its two forms, analytic and synthetic, in the seventeenth century. At the same time came the explicit discovery of a new kind of regularity, the statistical regularities in adequately numerous populations of economic, medical and other events. Lastly, the method of historical derivation, or the analysis and synthesis of genetic development, was again used first by the Greeks in application to human cultures and civilisations, before being appropriated in early modern Europe for the evolution of languages, of the Earth, and then later of living organisms. The subject-matter of historical derivation was defined by the diagnosis, from the common characteristics of diverse existing things, of a common source earlier in time, followed by the postulation of causes to account for the diversification from that source. Each style then defines the questions to be put to its subject-matter, and those questions yield answers within that style. A change of style changes the questions put to the same subject-matter, as the Aristotelian analysis of motion in a qualitative taxonomy of causes was replaced, from the fourteenth to the seventeenth century, by its analysis into quantitative functional relations. Thus each style of questioning can exclude others, a point made vigorously in this example by Galileo. But usually different styles are combined in any particular research. Each style introduces a specific conception of causality, and hence the fundamental differences in the physical worlds envisaged by geometrical postulation, but qualitative taxonomy, and by the quantified mechanistic and the probabilistic conceptions of nature. Each style again introduces new questions about the existence of its objects in nature as distinct from their being products of its methods of abstraction, classification, measurement, sampling and so on, or of its language. Lindberg's survey is very different from the kind of intellectual analysis just outlined. He begins his sketch of ancient science, occupying about a third of the book, with a rapid conventional run through Greek ideas from Homer and Hesiod to Plato and Aristotle. He rightly indicates that the fundamental questions for Greek philosophy were those of the nature of the identity persisting through change, causality, the structure of the cosmos and its relation to its first cause, and the nature and knowability of that cause. No sensible historian is likely to disagree with the statement that the 'proper measure of a philosophical system is not the degree to which it anticipated modern thought, but its degree of success in treating the philosophical problems of its own day.' (p. 67), but similar remarks dotted through the book seem to anticipate a fairly uneducated audience. Next come a brief account of Hellenistic natural philosophy with some interesting references to ancient

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schools and education, followed by a sketch of the Greek mathematical sciences, essentially of astronomy, optics, and the science of weights. He indicates correctly that both Euclid in his optics and Archimedes in his analysis of the balance exploit the demonstrative power of geometry to develop experimental sciences without experiments. An illustration of scientific style not mentioned is the Babylonian source of Ptolemy's tables correlating planetary positions, which became the model for those correlating angles of incidence and refraction. The science of optics was later substantially developed by astronomers. After this comes an account of Greek and Roman medicine, dealing with both clinical diagnosis and physiology from Hippocrates to Galen. The case histories and rational diagnostic procedures in the Hippocratic corpus (with their more primitive antecedents in the very different contexts of Egyptian and Babylonian medicine) matched the sophistication of the mathematical sciences, while the systematic physiological theory culminating the Galen matched in the microcosm of man the theory of the macrocosm. No mention is made of Galen's well designed experimental investigations which were to become a model for William Harvey. The narrative of ancient science concludes with the Roman popularisers and encyclopedists, most substantially Pliny, Latin translations and epitomes of Greek science notably by Calcidius with his version of the Timaeus, and Boethius, with a brief account of Roman and early Latin medieval education. There is no mention of the basic importance of Cicero as the author of the essential Latin philosophical terminology translated from the Greek, from which came that of modern European languages. It would have been useful also to include some account of the development of technical language and terminology, a subject pioneered in philosophy by Etienne Gilson and Alfonso Maieru and in science and mathematics notably by students of fourteenth-century kinematics and dynamics. No mention is made either of the development of vernaculars for science and philosophy, in which Dante, Geoffrey Chaucer and Nicole Oresme played so prominent a part. Another important omission, in a brief discussion of the role of Christianity, is the confrontation of Greek philosophy with the Hebrew and Christian theology of creation over the fundamental nature of God's relation to the world and to mankind. The confrontation began systematically in the first century B.C. with Philo Judeaus of Alexandria, the last great thinker in the line of Hellenised Jews. Directly and indirectly, through Lactantius, Augustine of Hippo, and other routes, Philo affected profoundly later Jewish, Christian and Moslem thought on this question and with it on natural philosophy. Philo accepted the Greek conception of the order of nature determined by unchanging causes, but the source of that order was not the Platonic god of the Timaeus, who made the world by a necessary act of his own perfection out of pre-existing matter, nor the eternal divine reason of Aristotle from which the world emanated as a necessary consequence of causes discoverable by human reason, nor the material divinity of the Stoics. The God of Abraham was in no way necessitated, but acted with an entirely free


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omnipotence to create ex nihilo a world entirely separate from himself, for reasons unknowable by man apart from divine revelation. Philo used the term logos for the principles on which God modelled his creation, like a city fashioned within the mind of an architect, from which followed with invariable regularity all the operations of this universe. But God could overrule these regularities just as he could have created another kind of universe had he so chosen. Philo saw in Scripture both literal and underlying meanings, from which he could apply the analogy of law to God's actions. In the Christian context the created world was then reduced to a mechanism operating according to a system of laws. Lactantius likened God's creation to Archimedes's modelling of the cosmos with his brass armillary sphere. Basil of Cappadocia likened it to a spinning top. The most pervasive route through which these ideas passed into Latin medieval thought was Augustine, for whom the naturales leges which God had ordained were the laws of measures, numbers and weights. He applied the concept of natural laws, or laws of nature, to the motions of the heavenly bodies, the generation of living things, and the development of the world itself pregnant with things to come. God could then be discovered in the great open book of nature, as well as in the revealed book of Holy Scripture. These ideas were to become fundamental principles of Western medieval and early modern natural philosophy. See my 'Infinite Power and the Laws of Nature: A Medieval Speculation' in L'infinito nella scienza, a cura di G. Toraldo di Francia (Roma, 1987) 223-43 (reprinted above, ch. 6); and with J.D. North, 'Univers' in Les caracteres originaux de I'Occident medieval, ed. J. Le Goff et J.-C. Schmitt (Paris, forthcoming). A brief and inadequate chapter on Byzantinum and Islam skips through Hellenistic commentaries on Aristotle, the translation of Greek science into Arabic, and the Islamic scientific achievement and decline, on which it raises some interesting questions but does little to explore them. No reference is made to the fundamental work of Roshdi Rashed and GUI Russell on Arabic optics and on the cultural situation of Islamic science in general. Next we have a standard account of the revival of learning in the West from the Carolingian reforms to the development of education in the schools of the eleventh and twelfth centuries, natural philosophy with its expansion through the translations from Greek and Arabic into Latin during the twelvth and thirteenth centuries, and the assimilation of this new learning in the universities. The confrontation of Aristotelian metaphysics with the Christian theology of creation again led to a vigorous defence of divine omnipotent freedom and human moral responsibility against determinist interpretations of Aristotle. On these central issues in the condemnations of 1270 and 1277 the recent work of Luca Bianchi (not cited here) has thrown new light. A chapter on the medieval cosmos summarises studies of Grosseteste, the terrestrial region with a brief sketch of cartography and of Jean Buridan and Nicole Oresme on the Earth's possible rotation, astronomy and its instrumentation, and astrology. This is all useful and the illustrations are excellent, but one misses any discussion of Richard of Wallingford or Chaucer and the profound and precise

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studies of them by John North. Also missing in a book making the claims of its subtitle is any reference to Dante. Coming to the physics of the sublunar region, after a few pages on matter and alchemy, Lindberg reaches the fundamental studies of his mentor, and his mentor's mentor, on the fundamental science of motion. This is well described in a few pages on the conception of motion in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, its mathematical representation, and dynamics and its quantification. Next comes the science of optics on which Lindberg himself has published good work, especially on the pinhole camera. The essential sources were Aristotle, Euclid, Ptolemy and Alhazen, with for the eye also Galen, and the essential medieval authors were Roger Bacon and Witelo. The study of the history of optics were pioneered by Vasco Ronchi, and that of medieval optics by myself, followed by A.I. Sabra, Lindberg, Stephen Straker with his fundamental Kepler's Optics (1971; Ann Arbor, Mich., 1980) and 'Kepler, Tycho, and the "Optical part of astronomy": The Genesis of Kepler's Theory of Pinhole Images' in Archive for History of Exact Sciences, xxiv (1981) 267-93, and later by others. Ronchi made his mistakes, as who does not, but he established the field in which we have all worked and put us all in his debt, just as Pierre Duhem did for medieval science in general. I note that Lindberg does not cite me in his section on medieval optics. This is a mistake, because my original monograph (1967) on the subject which he used is well known and is now readily available in my collection Science, Optics and Music in Medieval and Early Modern Science (London, 1990), and my more recent study, 'Expectation, Modelling and Assent in the History of Optics: i, Alhazen and the Medieval Tradition; ii, Kepler and Descartes', has a direct bearing on some of Lindberg's controversial opinions, especially on Kepler's relation to the medieval tradition. This long article was published in Studies in History and Philosophy of Science, xxi (1990) 605-32, xxii (1991) 89-115 and is reprinted above, ch. 16. The last chapter of any substance is an account of medieval medicine and natural history written under the guidance mainly of Nancy Siraisi and Michael McVaugh. On the latter subject a strange omission is the classic work of Agnes Arber on herbals, and more recently there are the original and indispensable studies of the manuscript tradition by Evelyn Hutchinson, Wilma George and, as further evidence of activity in the field, by the contributors to Die Kunst und das Studium der Natur vom 14. zum 16. Jahrhundert, herausgegeben von W. Prinz und A. Beyer (Weinheim, 1987). Lindberg has missed the opportunity offered by this book to develop a systematic historical study of important themes showing the character of scientific thinking in particular contexts and its changes. For example, his references to experiment are minimal, even though this is a subject of lively and serious discussion by medievalists such as myself, Jole Agrimi and Chiara Crisciani, and others. There is no reference at all to Pierre de Maricourt and his systematic experimental investigation of magnetism, to be respectfully acknowledged by William Gilbert. The well designed systematic experimental investigation of the rainbow by Theodoric of Freiberg, with a telling use of


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models, is mentioned in three lines without any indication of the experimentation but only as offering 'an explanation very close to the modern one' (p. 253; no reference in the attendant footnote to my basic analysis in my Robert Grosseteste and articles in Science, Optics and Music). This questionable judgement entirely misses the opportunity to point out the change of scientific style between Theodoric and Descartes. The change involved the fundamental structure of scientific thinking and in the object of scientific inquiry. Theodoric looked by an Aristotelian taxonomic analysis for the necessary and sufficient causal conditions defining a particular phenomenon. Descartes looked for a general quantitative law from which this and other such phenomena could be quantitatively deduced. Another example is the general question of quantification in medieval physics. Theodoric gave a false figure for the maximum elevation of the rainbow, which Roger Bacon had reported correctly from measurements with an astrolabe. There is no reason to doubt that Bacon's contemporary Witelo (only a passing reference by Lindberg) carried out original experiments which he described showing the production of colours by refraction through hexagonal crystals and spherical glass vessels filled with water, but there is every reason to doubt whether he made his alleged experimental measurements, like those of Ptolemy, correlating angles of incidence and refraction (as I pointed out in my Robert Grosseteste, pp. 223-5, and in my article of 1961 on quantification reprinted in Science, Optics and Music, p. 79). Why was there such manifest indifference to actual measurement? As I showed in this article, we must look at the context. Physics as developed from Aristotle in the universities, even the powerful procedures for representing qualitative change quantitatively leading to new sciences of kinematics and dynamics, required no reference to experiment or measurement in its internal logic, nor was this imposed by external professional or practical pressure. Experiments in the academic context were made in the mathematical scientiae mediae, notably optics, or in the realm of natural magic like magnetism. Accurate measurements were made when they were required by practical need as in astronomy. In my article I showed by comparing the treatment of three quantities, time, space and weight, in the academic context and in that of the practical arts, that it was practical demand that produced consistent measurement. The penetration of causal physics by the concepts of the mathematical scientiae mediae profoundly affected the whole structure and style of scientific thinking. This is evident in the influence of the Timaeus in the twelvth century; in the distinction by Grosseteste between the primary mathematical properties of matter and the secondary sensory qualities they produced in us; and in the conceptual shift in the fourteenth century that moved the object of inquiry away from the definition of natures to the discovery of relations between quantities expressible by what became algebraic functions. Corresponding to this was the use of the term laws of nature (leges naturae) by Roger Bacon in a scientific sense for the laws of reflection and refraction, with the notion of a universal nature constituted by such laws (Science, Optics and Music, pp. 68-9,

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77-8,148-50). In the end from Galileo onwards it was within the mathematical middle sciences that physical problems were formulated, so that the certification of their conclusions by measurement came to yield there, and not in the traditional conception of causes, the only true science of nature that could be discovered. It is a serious omission, both for understanding the scientific thinking and for relating it to its cultural context, to exclude from a book like this a discussion of the practical rational arts. The ingenious mechanism sketched in the thirteenth century by the architect Villard d'Honnecourt, the mechanical clock itself, the planetaria of Richard of Wallingford and Giovanni de' Dondi in the fourteenth century, and many other devices, were all rationally designed to facilitate the control of movements and the representation of quantities, the last two by academic men. Scientific instruments, notably in astronomy, were a product of the intercourse between theory and practice. Mechanisms also provided analogies for scientific theory, as they did for Jean Buridan and Nicole Oresme in likening the created world to a clock set going by God. At the end of the fourteenth century the universities went into decline and the leaders in original thought and action became a different group, largely outside them, of what Leonardo Olschki called artist-engineers. Their expertise lay in the rational control of materials, processes and practices of all kinds, from painting to music, from architecture to machinery, from cartography and navigation to accountancy. They brought about a general transformation of European intellectual life. An obvious example is the control of visual representation by means of the linear perspective invented by Filippo Brunelleschi at the beginning of the fifteenth century and explained by Leon Battista Alberti in his Depictura (1435). The analogy of artificial devices used to explain and apply perspective in painting came later to transform the science of vision. As I have shown in my article on Alhazen and Kepler (1990-91) mentioned above, using Straker's excellent account of the camera obscura, Alhazen in his brilliant geometrical model of ocular physiology did not make the reception of the forms of visible objects in the eye a purely geometrical inanimate process, as it was in inanimate transparent bodies, but a process modified geometrically by the sensive power in the receptor. Kepler, by taking the inanimate camera obscura as a true model of the eye, made ocular geometry a purely physical process and, by separating this from the questions of sensation and perception that had confused the issue since antiquity, demonstrated the formation of the image on the retina. Certainly, as Lindberg likes to insist, Kepler used his knowledge of existing optical theory in making his analysis: what else? His solution required a radical conceptual change, facilitated by the innovations and the innovative mentality of the rational arts. Aspects of this subject are well presented in three recent books: Science and the Arts in the Renaissance, edited by John Shirley and David Hoeniger (Washington, D.C., 1985), The Science of Art by Martin Kemp (Yale University Press, 1990), and The Heritage of Giotto's Geometry: Art and Science of the Eve of the Scientific Revolution by Samuel Y. Edgerton, Jr.


Science, Art and Nature in Medieval and Modern Thought

(Cornell University Press, 1991). To conclude this litany of omissions, a book like this should address a further important aspect of the mentalities involved, the perception or otherwise of original progress by the natural philosophers building on the recovery of ancient learning: see my article 'Some Attitudes to Scientific Progress: Ancient, Medieval and Early Modern' (1975) reprinted in Science, Optics and Music. In my article 'Historical Commitments of European Science' (1982), also reprinted in Science, Optics and Music, I wrote: We may see the origins of modern science in the recovery, exegesis and elaboration of the Greek conceptions of rational decision and proof and of a rational system by medieval and early modern Europe. The recovery was made in a series of responses to ancient thought by a new society with some different mental and moral commitments and expectations, with a different view of nature and of man and his place in nature and his destiny, a different theology, a different economy and a different view of technology, but also with a vision of continuity. Much light can be thrown upon the intellectual orientations of European society, in making these responses, by attention to its apprehensions of continuity or discontinuity with the past and programmes projected therefrom. When philosophers pictured themselves in the twelfth century as dwarfs standing on the shoulders of giants, or looked in the fifteenth century for guidance from a Hermetic wisdom of supposedly Mosaic antiquity, or insisted in the seventeenth century that they were doing something entirely new, they were all making evaluations of the past which entailed programmes for future action. The same applied to the evaluative use of the historical terms middle ages, renaissance, reformation, scientific revolution, enlightenment and so on. These may tell us more about the periods in which they were invented than about those to which they refer. To characterise the process by which the science of nature developed its identity within the intellectual culture of medieval and early modern Europe is not easy. We may distinguish three broad stages of intellectual response and orientation brought about by the recovery and exploitation and then transcendence of ancient models. Each acquired a characteristic style of formulating and solving its problems. With the first intellectual impetus given by the recovery of ancient philosophical, scientific and mathematical texts in the twelfth and early thirteenth centuries came a primary intellectual achievement. This was the grasp and critical elaboration by the philosophical community of the medieval schools and universities of the construction of a demonstrative explanatory system on the models of Euclid's geometry and Aristotle's physics and metaphysics. Together with this came a critical elaboration of logical precision, from methods formalised by Aristotle, for the control of argument and evidence to decide a variety of questions, including decision by calculation and observation and experiment. I continued: The movement of intellectual orientation generated in Western Europe first then an organised capacity to act with rational intent in the control at once of argument and calculation. It generated at the same time an organised capacity to control a variety of materials and practices. We may distinguish this matching of logical control of argument by a likewise theoretically designed and measured control of matter as the second stage of European response to ancient

The Origins of Western Science


models. . . . The painters, sculptors, architects, engineers, metalsmiths, assayers, surveyors, navigators, musicians, accountants and so forth comprising this group generated an effective context for seeing and solving the exemplary technical problems shared by the mathematical sciences with the visual, plastic, mechanical, musical, navigational and commercial arts. Training in the arts provided for both theory and practical skill. Their practitioners responding to a diversity of particular demands brought about a general transformation of European intellectual life by their search for precise understanding and control of materials in a variety of circumstances. . . . At the same time, for the philosophical and scientific community at large, the nature and range of the effects that might be anticipated still remained at the beginning of the seventeenth century in varying degrees open questions. There was by no means general agreement on the kind of world men thought themselves to inhabit, how they should investigate it and what kind of explanation should be accepted as satisfactory, how best to control it and to what ends control was most desirable. In this context the confident establishment during the seventeenth century of the rational experimenter and observer as the rational artist of scientific inquiry, designed first in the mind and proceeding by antecedent theoretical analysis before execution with the hands, marked the culmination of European orientation in response to ancient scientific sources in its third stage. The experimental philosopher as the rational artist might make his analysis by means of theory alone, quantified as the subject-matter allowed, or my modelling a theory with an artifact analytically imitating and extending the natural original. Both artist and philosopher could obtain the effect sought only as Galileo put it 'according to the necessary constitution of nature. . . . For if it were otherwise, it would be not only absurd but impossible. . .' (Le Opera, ed. naz., ii, 155,189). Art then could not cheat nature, but by discovering, obeying and manipulating natural laws, with increasing quantification and measurement, art was seen to deprive nature of its mysteries and to achieve a mastery exemplified by rational prediction, whether in the representation of a scene or the prognosis of a disease or the navigation of a ship. Galileo himself marks the connection and transition between two great European intellectual movements: from the world of the rational constructive artist to that of the rational experimental scientist. It was above all as the designer of an explicit scientific style, providing a philosophical strategy for the sciences of nature, that he illuminates the specific identity of natural science within the contemporary intellectual scene (pp. 9-17). This article is based on the historiographical introduction to my Styles of Scientific Thinking in the European Tradition: The History of Argument and Explanation Especially in the Mathematical and Biomedical Sciences and Arts, 3 vols. (London, 1994). The work offers an analysis of these questions, some of them discussed above, from antiquity to the nineteenth century. In my Augustine to Galileo, under the heading The continuity of medieval and seventeenth-century science', I summarised 'the original contributions made during the middle ages to the development of natural science in Europe' (1959, 1979, same pagination ii, 117-30). These I list as being in the logic of experimental argument, the application of mathematics to physics, theories of space and motion, the technical arts, descriptive medicine and natural history aided by naturalistic art, and conceptions of the purpose of natural science and of its knowability. I continued:


Science, Art and Nature in Medieval and Modern Thought

But when all is considered, the science of Galileo, Harvey and Newton was not the same as that of Grosseteste, Albertus Magnus and Buridan. Not only were their aims sometimes subtly and sometimes obviously different and the achievements of the later science infinitely the greater; they were not in fact connected by an unbroken continuity of historical development. . . . Apart from anything else, the enormously greater achievements and confidence of the seventeenth-century scientists make it obvious that they were not simply carrying on the earlier methods though using them better. But if there is no need to insist on the historical fact of a Scientific Revolution in the seventeenth century, neither can there be any doubt about the existence of an original scientific movement in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries. The problem concerns the relations between them.

One of the indispensable contributions made by medieval Western Europe was to provide in the universities a secure institutional context for learning and teaching over a wide range of subjects: the seven liberal arts, the three philosophies (natural, metaphysical and ethical), and medicine, law and theology. No such context was established in the ancient or Islamic worlds, and this certainly left the natural sciences in a much weaker position in those societies than was achieved in the West. One important cause of the discontinuity between fourteenth and sixteenth century science was the decline of the universities. I went on to consider briefly 'what the scientists of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries in fact knew of the medieval work, and how the similarities and differences of their aims may be characterised'. The answer is that they knew quite a lot, as we might expect. The universities revived in the sixteenth century, especially in Italy, and scientific activity revived with them; learning in general also found new institutions in the new philosophical, literary, artistic and finally scientific academies. As for the differences of aims, I characterised this by saying that the 'main interest of scientists since Galileo has been in the ever-increasing range of concrete problems that science can solve', whereas the medieval natural philosophers were 'primarily philosophers' interested rather in clarifying the kinds of problems addressed by natural science than in solving them in particular. I added: 'It was a direction of interest that could have been fatal to Western science'. But the direction changed. This is all old stuff, so what is the point of Lindberg's somewhat bizarre presentation of what he calls 'the continuity debate', starting with Duhem, quoting from the unrevised edition of my Augustine to Galileo (1952) and out of context from my Robert Grosseteste (1953), citing my old friend Alexandre Koyre's criticism in a nevertheless flattering review, and so on? I find myself credited with a 'defense of the continuity thesis' (p. 361). I confess that I find this 'debate' as it has 'erupted' (p. 357) especially in the United States something less than rivetting. The question of what continued and what changed from one period to another, and what at any time was thought to have continued or changed, is a subtle one, not only from medieval to early modern and not only for scientific thought. It needs and deserves subtle and sophisticated treatment, and scholarly respect for the real thought that has

The Origins of Western Science


been given to it, not a rhetorical travesty. Since I seem to figure prominently in this comedy, I have quoted some of my own continuing thoughts on the subject above. Koyre greatly illuminated our understanding of Galileo, and much else, by his brilliant demolition of the older image of Galileo as primarily rather a dedicated experimenter than a theoretician, but he was not himself much interested in experimental science and he misinterpreted Galileo's attitude to experiment. I have discussed this in my articles 'Galileo Galilei: A Philosophical Symbol' (1956) and 'Alexandre Koyre and Great Britain' (1987), reprinted above, chs. 12,13. The history of the historiography of any subject can be of profound and valuable interest for historians, and one of the most interesting perceptions of it can come from the intellectual and social contexts of knowledge and beliefs and prejudices within which the historical vision of scholars like Duhem and Koyre developed. But that is beyond the range here. Lindberg terminates his book with a list of medieval scientific achievements somewhat different from the one I published in Augustine to Galileo (1959), but coming to the same rather obvious conclusion: something continued, something changed. The truly dramatic cultural change brought about with the emergence of the new mentality of the Renaissance man of virtu, the rational artist designing the control of all his thoughts and actions, between the scholastic natural philosophers and the seventeenth century rational experimental and mathematical scientists, is not noticed. Is this a 'landmark book' as the publisher claims on the back cover? I hardly think so. It misses the lively innovative thought and research into the subject that has continued since Federigo Enriques, Marshall Clagett and I and others published our early books, and indeed to which some of us continue to contribute. But it is written by a distinguished scholar who is also an experienced teacher, and it will offer a valuable introduction to many interesting aspects of the beginnings of Western science. Postscript

H.F. Cohen, in his eccentric The Scientific Revolution (Chicago, 1994) 105-10, 153, manages to characterize me in a way similar to the above (p. 476), citing Koyre on me but not me on Koyre (as above chs. 12, 13, cf. also ch. 1), and referring to nothing published by me after 1963. This has some bizarre consequences. He writes that "in the early eighties, William Wallace (roughly simultaneously with Adriano Carugo and Alistaire Crombie) established a direct link between Galileo and previous thought on nature through the Jesuit Collegio Romano" (pp. 109-10; cf. 281-2, 573 n. 99). Everyone familiar with this subject knows that Carugo discovered this link first during 1969-71 through Pereira and Toletus, then in 1975 through Carbone, that I discovered in 1971 the link through Clavius, and that we gave this information to Wallace in 1972: see above ch. 9 and ch. 10, n. 11 with Appendix (a), and my Styles of Scientific Thinking . . . (1994) 549-51, 766 nn. 165-6, with for historiography Part I, pp. 3-89 of this work.

Oh, what a tangled web we weave, When first we practice to deceive! (Walter Scott, Marmion v.17)

Appendix to Chapter 10 (a)

Sources and Dates of Galileos Writings [with Adriano Carugo] The essential facts of the discovery by Adriano Carugo and myself that Galileo used, for his three sets of scholastic essays, sources connected with the Jesuit Collegio Romano, are outlined above in Chapter 10 on pp. 167-74 and in n. 11; see also ch. 9. Further details are set out in my review of W.A. Wallace's Galileo and his Sources (Princeton, 1984) in the Times Literary Supplement (22 November 1985, pp. 1319-20) and in subsequent correspondence (3 January 1986, pp. 13, 23,14 February p. 165, 25 July p. 815, and 29 August p. 939). In that review and correspondence I addressed two questions: Wallace's treatment of the authorship of our discoveries on which his book is based, and his treatment of those discoveries. I shall comment here only on his conception of evidence concerning Galileos logical Disputationes (MS Galileiano 27). The evidence is quite specific: the correspondence between Carbone's Additamenta published in 1597 and Galileo's MS 27. There is also the accusation published long afterwards by the Jesuit Paolo Delia Valle (Latinized as Paulus Vallius) in his Logica (1622) that someone identified with Carbone (naming the Additamenta) had plagiarized his lectures given at the Collegio Romano in 1587-88. No such lectures have been found, nor is there any mention of them in Jesuit records at present known. Moreover, supposing the Carbone had plagiarized Delia Valle's lectures, there is no evidence whatsoever, either from the contents of the Logica or from other sources, to connect them with Galileo. Undaunted by this Wallace imagined a connection: namely that Galileo had used for MS 27 a set of Delia Valle's alleged lecture notes, that these were obtained for him by Christoph Clavius on his request, that Carbone had plagiarized the same notes which Delia Valle allegedly distributed to his students, thus accounting for the correspondence between his and Galileo's texts, and that MS 27 must have been written by Galileo 'around 1590' when he was mathematical lecturer at Pisa (Galileo and his Sources, pp. 9, 89-94). For each and every one of these speculative assertions there is no evidence whatsoever: about Galileo's alleged request, about Delia Valle's ghostly lectures and their alleged distribution, about Carbone's alleged plagiarism, and for the date. Early in 1588 Galileo, after visiting Clavius in


Science, Art and Nature in Medieval and Modern Thought

Rome at the end of the previous year, exchanged some letters with him about the demonstrations he had given in his theorems on centres of gravity (Opere, x, 22-30; cf. above n. 17). Clavius suspected in these quotpetitur principium, and perhaps also in Archimedes. Galileo explained more precisely. Clavius remained unconvinced. The correspondence was entirely mathematical, with no reference to logic or to Delia Valle or any other Jesuit, as was that contemporaneously on the same subject with Guidobaldo del Monte (x, 2536). There is no evidence for any discussion of logic. The petitio principii is evidently catching. Since our paper was published Carugo has made a thorough examination of the two massive volumes of Delia Valle's Logica and compared it with Carbone and Galileo. He has written to me with his new conclusions as follows: I found no evidence that either was in any way dependent on Delia Valle. Although similar questions were discussed by all three, as well as by many other contemporary authors both in print and in manuscript (contrary to what we believed in 1983; above p. 169), using the same stereotyped terminology, there is no textual correspondence between either Carbone or Galileo and Delia Valle. Beyond that there is positive evidence that Delia Valle could not have been the source for Galileo. Focusing on questions treated by both, in particular the praecognitiones, the species demonstrationis and the regressus, I found that Delia Valle drew extensively from, and actually plagiarized, Zabarella's logical tracts on these topics, frequently reprinted from 1586. For example: Zabarella, Opera omnia, (Venetiis 1600): 'Liber de speciebus demonstrationis',

Vallius, Logica, ii, (Lugduni 1622): Disput. 2, Pars 3: 'De speciebus demonstrationis',

Caput iii: 'De demonstratione a causa remota' (p. 302).

Quaest. 2, Caput iv: 'Qualis debeat esse demonstratio a causa remota etc.' (p. 305a).

Demonstrationem a causa remota docet Aristoteles negativam semper construi et in secunda figura in Camestres. Cuius ratio est, quoniam causa remota ut plurimum est amplior effectu: quare ea posita, non ponitur necessario effectus; proinde non potest effectus affirmative colligi ex ilia causa; ea vero ablata, effectus ex necessitate aufertur . . .

Quando vero est demonstratio a causa remota, docet Aristoteles necessario de bere esse in secunda

In omni demostratione tres terminos esse oportet . . . Termini igitur erunt causa, effectus et subiectum

In omni enim demonstratione tres terminos reperiri necesse est; quare in hac demonstratione tres erunt

figura et in Camestres, ac prohinde

conclusionem illius semper debere esse negativam . . . Cuius ratio est, quia causa remota ut plurimum solet esse universalior effectu: quare ea posita, non ponitur necessario effectus; ergo non potest ex huiusmodi causa colligi effectus affirmative; tamen ilia ablata, aufertur necessario effectus . . .

Appendix to Chapter 10 tertium, cui ambo insunt, sive a quo ambo negantur; et causa ipsa remota erit terminus medius, effectus maior extremitas, subiectum vero minor extremitas . . .

termini: nimirum causa, effectus et subietum, cui utrumqe inest, vel de quo utrumque negatur; et causa remota erit medius terminus, effectus maior extremitas, subiectum minor extremitas . . .

In propositione quidem maiore manifestum est poni medium terminum cum maiore extremitate, pro inde causam et effectum. Quare maiorem necesse est esse affirmativam, quoniam ex effectu et causa non potest nisi affirmativa enunciacio fieri: non enim hoc illius causa esset, si alterum de altero negaretur.

In maiore autem propositione ponitur maiore autem extremitas cum medio termino, consequenter causa cum effectu. Quare maior debet esse affirmativa, quia de causa affirmari debet effectus vel de effectu causa, non autem negari, si propositio vera est fututa.

At vero si ea maior debeat esse universalis, oportet causam de effectu predicari, non effectum de causa: quam effectus, non potest effectus de causa universaliter praedicari.

Maior autem debet esse universalis . . . ergo debet necessario praedicari causa de effectu, non autem effectus de causa, quia cum causa sit universalior effectu, non potest de illo universaliter praedicari.

"Liber de speciebus demonstrationis", Cap. xix: "In quo ostenditur etiam respectu nostri nullam demonstrationem notificare propter quid est, quin notificet etiam quod est." (p.333).

Disp. 2, Pars 3: "De specie bus demons rationis", Quaest.3, Caput ix: "Ostenditur non posse per demonstrationem cognosci propter quid, quin simul cognoscatur an sit" (p.321 a).

Ostendere possumus quod non modo naturam demonstrationis spectando, verum etiam nos ipsos demonstrantes respiciendo, omnis demonstratio notificans propter quid est notificat etiam quod est, et nobis tradit novam utriusque cognitionem quam ante demonstratio nem non habebamus.

Non solum naturam demonstrationis considerando, sed etiam si nostri et intellectus demonstrantis ratio habeatur, omnem demonstrationem perfectam ostendere propter quid et an sit rei, ita ut semper nobis per huiusmodi demonstrationem nova cognitio adveniat et ipsius propter quid et an sit ... etiam si antea habita sit cognitio aliqua ipsius an sit.

Aristoteles in 39. particula secundi libri Posteriorum, reddens rationem cur ille, qui rem esse cognoscit sine cognitione causae, non cognoscat quid ea sit, hanc rationem adducit: quia ille neque quod res ilia sit cognoscit, nisi leviter et ex accidenti:

Quod possumus colligere ex lib.2. Post. Text. 8 vel 9, qui reddens rationem cur ille, qui cognoscit rem esse sine cognitione causae, non cognoscat quid ilia res sit, ait hoc ideo contingere, quia ille neque quod res sit cognoscit, nisi leviter et



Science, Art and Nature in Medieval and Modern Thought

quum enim res ita cognosci debeat uti est, ut autem sit habeat a sua causa, sequitur tune vere cognosci quod ea sit quando per causam per quam est cognoscitur.

ex accidenti; quia cum res eo modo, quo est, cognosci debeat, et esse habeat a sua causa, ideo tune vere et perfecte cognoscitur esse, quando cognoscitur causa prop ter quam est.

Zabarella's detailed and subtly argued analysis of the mental process called negotiatio intellectus or mentalis consideratio, by which the cause discovered through the first phase of the regressus (demonstratio quia) becomes known perfectly and precisely and can thus constitute the starting point of the second phase (demonstratiopropter quid), was closely followed and often copied almost word for word by Delia Valle: Zabarella 'Liber de regressu', Caput iv: 'In quo declaratur qualis sit in regressu primus processus etc.' (pp. 350351).

Vallius Quaest. 2: 'Quid sit regressus demonstrativus et quomodo fiat', Caput iii: 'Ostenditur qualis sit processus in demonstratione quia, quae est prima in regressu.' (pp. 344345).

Cognitio nostra duplex est, alteram confusam vocant, alteram vero distinctam; et utraque turn in causa, turn in effectu locum habet.

Cum duplex possit esse rerum cognitio, altera confusa, altera distincta; et utraque possit esse vel in causa vel in effectu.

Effectum confuse cogniscimus quando absque causae cognitione novimus ipsum esse, distincte vero quando per cognitionem causae; ilia quidem dicitur cognitio quod est, haec vero propter quid et simul etiam quid est.

Effectum quidem tune distincte cognoscere dicamus quando cognosciumus ilium per cognitionem causae, quando vero cognoscimus sine hoc, confuse; et haec cognitio confusa vocatur quod est, alia vero propter quid, in qua simul etiam cognoscimus quid est.

Causa vero quatenus causa est per causam sciri non potest, quia causam aliam non habet; si namque causam habet priorem, earn habet quatenus est effectus, non quatenus est causa.

Causa temen quatenus causa non potest cognosci per causam, quia non habet aliam causam; et si habet, sub hac ratione non est causa, sed effectus.

Datur tamen causae qui que cognitio turn confusa, turn distincta: confusa quidem, quando ipsum esse cognoscimus, sed quidnam sit ignoramus; distincta vero, quando cognoscimus etiam quid sit et ipsius naturam penetramus.

Datur tamen illius cognitio confusa et distincta eodem modo quo datur congnitio effectus; ita ut tune confuse causa cognoscatur, quando illius esse seu existentia cognoscitur; tune vero distincte, quando illiusnatura penetratur.

Appendix to Chapter 10 Exemplum aliquod nobis proponamus, in quo ipsam regressus naturam melius inspiciamus . . . Sumamus demonstrationem Arist. in lib. I Physicorum, qua ex generatione, quae substantiarum est, ostendit materiam primam dari ex effectu noto causam ignotam: generatio enim sensu nobis cognita est, subiecta vero materia maxime incognita.

Qualis sit regies us facile intelligemus: id quod otime explicat Zabarella exemplo desumpto ex Arist. in lib. I. Phys. ubi ex generatione, quae convenit substantiis, ostendit materiam primam dari. Ex effectu omnibus noto, qui est generatio, investigat existentiam materiae nobnis ignotissimae, quae est illius generationis causa.

Caput v: "Quod facto primo processu non statim regredi ad effectum possumus, sed mediam quandam considerationem interponi necesse sit" (p.351-354)

Caput iv: "Ostenditur post primam demonstrationem non sequi immediate deonstrationem propter quid, sed debere intercedere aliquid medium" (p.345-346)

Causa inventa, videtur statim ab ea regrediendum esse ad effectum demonstrandum propter quid: attamen hoc nondum facere possumus . . . Per regressum quaeramus cognitionem effecttus distinctam; hanc nobis causa confuse tantum cognita tradere non potest, sed earn prius distincte cognitam fieri oportet quam ab ea ad effectum regrediamur. Facto itaque primo processu, qui est ab effectu ad causam, antequam ab ea ad effectum retrocedamus, tertium quemdam medium laborem intercedere necesse est, quo ducamur in cognitinem distinctam illius causae . . .

Cum ergo in hoc primo discursu non habeamus cognitionem causae et effectus distinctam, neque cognoscamus causam et effectum formaliter . . . sed solum materialiter, et in premissis demonstrationis propter quid cognosci debeant causa et effectus formaliter . . ., non potest immediate post demonstrationem quia sequi demonstratio propter quid, sed debet intercedere aliquid morae . . . et illo tempore intermedio debeant aliqua considerari. . . quibus possimus cognoscere causam et effectum formaliter.

Hune aliqui vocarunt negotiationem intellectus, nos mentale ipsius causae examen appellare possumus seu mentalem considerationem . . .

Hanc intermediam intellectus considerationem aliqui vocant negotiationem intellectus, alii mentalem examen. . .


Zabarella goes on to explain what this mentalis consideratio is and how it takes place by examining in detail two examples of regressus taken from Aristotle. He claims that nobody else has ever explained it in the same way. Delia Valle also refers more briefly to the two Aristotelian examples of regressus examined by Zabarella and adds this remark: 'Quae duo exempla ex Aristotele desumpta explicat Zabarella Cap. 4, 5 et 6 de regressu, ubi audit se primum advertisse et explicasse artificum Aristotelis in his duobus locis et regressibus, ab aliis antea non animadversum' (p. 345). In Galileo's autograph the question 'An detur regressus demonstrativus' is discussed without mentioning either Zabarella or his explanation of the mentalis consideratio. Something corresponding to the latter is


Science, Art and Nature in Medieval and Modern Thought

only briefly hinted as one of several requirements or 'conditiones regressus': 'ut facto primo progressu non statim incipiamus secundum, sed expectemus donee causam, quam cognoscimus materialiter, formaliter cognoscamus' (MS. Gal. 27, f. 31 v). Even if there was a purely theoretical possibility of a common source for Carbone and Galileo, this could not have been lectures given by Delia Valle. Since Carbone's text was published from 1597 in successive editions of Toletus's Commentaria, of which Galileo owned a copy (above p. 172, n. 10), it is reasonable to conclude that Galileo drew the excerpts with which he compiled his logical Disputationes either directly from Carbone as well as from other so far unidentified sources, or from some also unidentified existing compilation including these excerpts from Carbone. In either case Galileo's autograph of the Disputationes could not have been written on present evidence before 1597'.

Carugo's new work disposes of speculation that Delia Valle could have been a source of Galileo's MS 27. In 1988 Wallace published with the Universita di Padova a volume entitled ' Tractatio de praecognitionibus et praecognitis and Tractatio de demonstration, transcribed from the Latin autograph by William F. Edwards, with an introduction, notes and commentary by William A. Wallace' (Padua 1988). From his preface we learn that Edwards had made an incomplete transcription some years before which he had made available (see also Wallace in the Times Literary Supplement, 3 January 1986, p. 13). Before that Wallace had already used Carugo's transcription of MS 27 for his Galileo and his Sources. He had now in his possession one complete and one seemingly partial transcription. The relation between them will not be discussed here. It is regrettable that Wallace's wild conjectures, repeated here, should be mistaken for established facts by some, even if happily only very few, scholars unfamiliar with the documentary evidence, including that in the Edizio Nazionale, and with critical scholarship. Thus Anthony Grafton in his recent review in Isis (Ixxx iii, 1992, p. 656) of the 1988 volume writes uncritically that Wallace 'has redated' the logical essays in MS 27 'to the years 1589-1591', and 'identifies their ultimate source, convincingly, as a transcript or reportatio of one of the courses in logic held at the Collegio Romano', then 'pinpointing the course that Galileo probably used: that of Paulus Vallius'. Wallace's principal objective, since we informed him of Galileo's use of Jesuit textbooks for his scholastic essays on logic, cosmology and natural philosophy, seems to have been to show that Galileo's Jesuit sources were different from those which we have identified. Thus in his Prelude to Galileo he wrote (omitting any reference to our information) that, following his article 'Galileo and the Thomists', his own 'subsequent research . . . has revealed that the physical questions' (i.e. the Tractatus de alteratione et de elementis) 'are based . . . on reportationes of lectures given by Jesuit professors at the Collegio Romano around the year 1590' (p. 181). What Wallace has in fact shown is nothing of the kind about either the content or the date of Galileo's essays, but simply, in laborious detail, that these successions of lecture notes from the end of the 16th century have general similarities in content and organization among themselves and with Galileo's scholastic writings. This we might expect if they were all based on the same Jesuit textbooks. But there are no specific

Appendix to Chapter 10


correspondences of Galileo's manuscripts with those of the reportationes such as we found with the printed textbooks, including corresponding lists of references to ancient and medieval authors. All of these are fully documented in the sections of our book which were sent to Wallace in 1973 (acknowledged in the preface of his Galileo's Early Notebooks, 1977). In Galileo and his Sources Wallace vacillated between claiming that there is a closer correspondence of Galileo's essays with the manuscript reports and lectures than with the printed books (with the possible exception of Clavius's) and admitting the contrary. Thus, after comparing parallel texts of the Jesuit Mutius Vitellesch's manuscript lectures with Pereira's printed book, he wrote that Galileo's composition is much closer to Pererius's than to Vitelleschi's (p. 87). The obvious conclusion would be that Galileo used Pereira's textbook, easily available in several editions, rather than taking notes from any unique and obscure manuscript containing Vitelleschi's lectures or any others. Nothing in Wallace's book, or in his Prelude to Galileo (pp. 200-17), or in Galileo's Early Notebooks, supports his later claim in the TLS (3 January 1986, p. 23) that this 'was presented by way of exception' to the many closer parallels alleged with Vitelleschi. But Wallace found 'more likely' an even more bizarre conclusion: that Galileo's source was Delia Valle's lectures on the same subject, 'that Valla had himself used Pererius when writing a revised version of his notes, and that Galileo appropriated these for his own use, thus basing himself on Pererius at second remove' (Galileo and his Sources, p. 87). This is absurd.1 Galileo is notorious for seizing the opportunities of the moment. When we attempt to evaluate what was written by so complex and contentious a person, and what was written about him, or may seem to have been connected with him, as evidence for his thoughts, intentions, discoveries or sources, we need to be critically wide awake, or just normally awake. We must be strictly guided by the critical criteria established in his own time, equally in classical textual scholarship and in experimental science, for deciding the boundaries between what, on the evidence, we know and what we do not know. Galileo habitually made claims unsupported by any known evidence and frequently refuted by it. When he heard of a discovery or contribution to science he would claim that he had made it himself, even many years before, as with Santorio's thermometer (Opere, xi, 350, 506), and Bonaventura Cavalieri's demonstration of the parabolic trajectory of a projectile (xiv, 386). Sometimes he would appropriate the work without acknowledgement, as perhaps with Francois Viete's treatise on mechanics (above p. 225) and with Mersenne's formulation of the law relating the frequency of a pendulum to its length (see below ch. 13). He would use every rhetorical device to misrepresent the scientific competence and arguments of opponents, as he did with the Jesuit mathematician and 1

Cf. Michael Sharratt, Galileo: Decisive innovator (Oxford: Blackwell, 1994) 47-60, 226-8, for a scholarly account of these questions, refreshingly contrasting with the neoscholastic axe-grinding, ideological posturing, and omissions currently plaguing too much of the Galileo industry.


Science, Art and Nature in Medieval and Modern Thought

astronomer Orazio Grass! in their dispute over comets, while obstinately rushing himself into some wrong headed and untenable conclusion (see Pietro Redondi, Galileo eretico, Torino, 1983; below appendix b). He was capable of ignoring almost completely fundamental contemporary theoretical and experimental discoveries, as he did with Kepler's astronomy and optics. He would opportunistically present an opinion, or even change his own opinion, in order to cultivate some possible supporter or patron, as in his apparent conversion to Neoplatonic cosmology in his exegetical letter of 23 March 1615 to Piero Dini, meant for the eyes of Cardinal Bellarmino (Opere, v, 297-305, xii, 151-2). He could take up a succession of contrary positions in the same assertive style without any reference to any change, as in his treatment of Copernican cosmology. Should we accept literally his outline of work in progress, and claim to years of studying philosophy, in his letter to Vinta in 1610? (above p. 179). Self-promotion was usual with those wanting to impress a patron and gain a position, but Galileo's gladiatorial competitiveness and slipperiness seem to have been excessive even in his context (cf. Mario Biagiolo, Galileo Courtier, Chicago, 1993; below appendix c). Evidence of Galileo's engagement in astronomy and in philosophy has a direct bearing on the problem of dating his three sets of scholastic essays in MSS 46 and 27. According to the records of the University of Pisa he lectured during 1589-91 on Euclid and in 1591 on the 'caelestium motuum hipotheses', which was probably Sacroboscos Sphaera (C.B. Schmitt, The Faculty of Acts at Pisa at the time of Galileo', Physis, xiv, 1972, p. 262). He wrote to his father on 15 November 1590 to thank him for the Galen in '7 tomi' as well as 'la Sfera' which his father was sending and added that he was 'studying and having lessons with Signor Mazzoni, who sends you greetings' (Opere, x, 44-5). It was Galen the natural philosopher whom he cited in the Tractatus de elementis (cf. above ch. 9, pp. 156-8). When Galileo wrote from Padua in 1597 to congratulate Mazzoni on his book In Universam Platonis et Aristotelis (1597) and to refute his argument there against Copernicus (above pp. 176,196-8), he added warmly his 'satisfaction and consolation' at finding that his old mentor, 'in some of the questions which in the first years of our friendship we used to dispute together with such delight, inclined to the side that had seemed true to me and the opposite to you'. It would be hard to believe that these disputed questions did not include those to which Mazzoni had devoted his book: general questions such as the necessity of mathematics for physical demonstrations, and more particular questions of natural philosophy concerning relative gravity, the elements, Archimedes, Plato versus Aristotle, etc. Accepting that Galileo could have developed a serious interest in natural philosophy as well as in mathematics after his return to Pisa in 1589, nothing yet follows for the dating of his scholastic essays or of De motu gravium. A common feature in all these undated writings is his use of Jesuit publications. He continued over a long period to draw from Jesuit textbooks simplified accounts of traditional theories which he discussed in his original works. Thus he used Pereira's De communibus . . . for the Tractatio prima de mundo and

Appendix to Chapter 10


Tractatus de elementis and also for falling bodies in De motu gravium (above pp. 220-3; and see Carugo, 'Les Jesuites et la philosophic naturelle de Galilee: Benedictus Pererius et le De motu gravium de Galilee', History and Technology, iv, 1987, pp. 321-33). He used Clavius's Sphaera for the Tractatio de caelo and again for his account of the 'horizontal plane' of the Earth in De motu gravium, a question recurring in the Dialogo (Opere, vii, 174 sqq.; above pp. 221-2, cf. 177-8,226-7). He used Clavius yet again and another work by Pereira for his dated Lettere a Madama Cristina (1615), and, as Carugo has informed me, he drew from Giovanni Giorgio Locher, Disquisitiones mathematicae de controversiis et novitatibus astronomicis (Ingolstadt, 1614), the formulation of traditional arguments against the motion of the Earth discussed in the Dialogo (1632). Galileo's changes back and forth between Copernican and traditional cosmology are an object lesson in the dangers of trying to link his undated with his dated writings. In 1597 he defended Copernicus against Mazzoni and claimed to Kepler, characteristically congratulating him for having avoided 'a perverted method of philosophizing', that he himself had come to accept Copernicus 'many years ago' but had not dared 'until now' to bring his arguments into the open. A few years later in 1604 he assumed the traditional cosmological arrangement to assert an explanation of the new star scarcely compatible with his mathematical refutation of Mazzoni. Again in his Trattato delta sfera, despite his reference to Copernicans, he assumed the old cosmology. In the undated Tractatio de caelo he explicitly refuted Copernicus, while in De motu gravium he cited him once on another subject but assumed the geocentric cosmology throughout and made it explicit in the final draft of the introduction (above pp. 176-8, 222-3). We cannot then draw any conclusions about dating from this series of contradictory opinions presented in the same assertive style, not even that Galileo could not have written De motu gravium during his public campaign for Copernicus which opened in 1610. It seems clear that he composed the parts forming this work over a long period, but for how long remains a problem. In several parts of De motu gravium (Opere, i, 254-7, 269-72, 350-2) he applies to the motion of falling bodies some theorems on floating bodies that he had first conceived early in 1612, when he reworked an account, drafted late in 1611, of an experimental and philosophical dispute on floating bodies into the mathematical, experimental and philosophical treatise published in the summer of 1612 as the Discorso (iv, 69). Again, as noted by Carugo, one of the writings De motu gravium (i, 297-8) contains a mathematical demonstration of the motion of bodies on inclined planes which was based on a theorem ascribed to Viete sent by Giovanni Battista Baliani to Galileo in 1615 (xii, 186-8; above pp. 224-5). Yet again, in these writings (ii, 261-6) there is a draft of the correct analysis and definition of the accelerated motion of falling bodies, which Galileo first published in the Discorsi (1638; viii, 197-8; cf. above pp. 226-7). Since there is no mention of this in the Dialogo (1632), where Galileo makes a point of informing the reader of his most interesting results concerning motion, should


Science, Art and Nature in Medieval and Modern Thought

we date this draft after 1632? As already shown above (pp. 225-6), the Dialogo, planned in 1624-25, was linked with De motu gravium and the scholastic essays on cosmology and natural philosophy both through the fragmentary notes in MS 46 and through their common use of Jesuit sources. If we must accept that MS 27 was written after 1597, is it absolutely impossible that the essays in MS 46, with their links with Galileo's earlier interests at Pisa, were written before that date? What about the passages in MSS 27 and 46 for which no sources have come to light anywhere? Perhaps they all come from some undiscovered Jesuit compendium hidden in some library? 'Far from it being true that he spoke with scorn and little respect of the ancient philosophers, and particularly of Aristotle, as some of those who profess to be his followers foolishly and wrongly assert', wrote Niccolo Gherdardini, who had known him, 'he said only that this great man's way of philosophizing did not satisfy him, and that there were in it fallacies and errors' (Opere, xix, 645; see above ch. 9, p. 149). He defined his position in two letters to Fortunio Liceti shortly before his death. 'I believe . . .' he wrote on 15 September 1940 'that to be truly a Peripatetic, that is an Aristotelian philosopher, consists principally in philosophizing in conformity with Aristotelian teaching, proceeding with those methods and with those true suppositions and principles on which scientific reasoning (discorso) is based, supposing those general notions from which deviation would be the greatest flaw. Among these suppositions is everything that Aristotle taught in his Dialectics (i.e. Posterior Analytics), taking care to avoid fallacies of reasoning, directing and disciplining it to syllogize well and to deduce from the admitted premises the necessary conclusion; and such doctrine concerns the form of arguing directly. With regard to this part, I believe that I have learnt from innumerable advances in pure mathematics, never fallacious, such certainty in demonstration that, if not never, at least extremely rarely, have I in my arguments fallen into equivocation. Here then I am a Peripatetic' (xviii, 248). Galileo was confirming here his lifelong adherence to the conception of truly scientific demonstration set out by Aristotle in the Posterior Analytics and most perfectly examplified in mathematics (cf. above ch. 9, below ch. 13). He went on in a letter of January 1641 to insist that, concerning the content as distinct from the the form of natural philosophy, he was far from being a Peripatetic. Natural philosophy, as he had said so often before, was not 'what is contained in Aristotle's books', but rather 'I truly hold the book of philosophy to be that which stands perpetually open before our eyes; but because it is written in characters different from those of our alphabet, it cannot be read by everyone: and the characters of such a book are triangles, squares, circles, spheres, cones, pyramids and other mathematical figures, fittest for this sort of reading' (xviii, 295). As his old friend Mazzoni had declared and he had illustrated in all his mature investigations: 'Aristotle, from failure to apply mathematical demonstrations in the proper places, has widely departed from the true method of philosophizing' (above p. 197). Galileo himself failed to understand that the criterion of range of confirmation as the test of a theory, which he so brilliantly used, put an end to the possibility of reaching in natural philosophy Aristotle's epistemological goal of necessary apodeictic demonstration (cf. above ch. 9, p. 161).


Pietro Redondi, Galileo eretico (Torino, 1983) [with Adriano Canugo]

This fascinating and important book is a brilliantly perceptive and learned study of the cultural context of Galileo's Copernican disputes. Unfortunately it is flawed by an untenable specific thesis based on a document of dubious authorship. The following are comments by Adriano Carugo and myself published in the Times Literary Supplement on 28 October - 3 November 1988, p.1203: Sir, - Your reviewer of Pietro Redondi's Galileo: Heretic (September 23-29) correctly casts some doubts on the authorship of the document on which alone the entire argument of the book is based, but he seems none the less to agree with the argument itself: namely, that the first and main motive that started the sequence of events which led to Galileo's trial and recantation was his atomistic explanation in // Saggiatore of the sensory qualities and its heretical implications for the dogma of the Eucharistic transubstantiation; and that this motive was deliberately kept secret and never surfaced in the documents relating to the trial because Pope Urban VIII, an old friend of Galileo and the dedicatee of // Saggiatore, wanted to avoid the scandal of condemning him for heresy. Anyone familiar with the National Edition of Galileo's works and writings, which contains every document hitherto known concerning his life, is aware that the new document brought to light by Redondi has nothing to do with the trial, but is connected with a much less dramatic event already well known through the National Edition. The Jesuit Orazio Grassi, who had been violently attacked by Galileo in // Saggiatore, replied with a lengthy and detailed rebuttal in which he exploited every chance of paying back Galileo in the same coin of mockery and insinuation. When he came to discuss Galileo's digression on the cause of heat, Grassi, among many other things, expressed en passant 'some scruple' about the difficulty of reconciling Galileo's explanation of the sensory qualities as pure names with the miracle taking place in the Sacrament of the Eucharist, where the properties of bread and wine are preserved while the substance is transformed. At first Galileo dismissed such a scruple as nonsense. In his own copy of Grassi's work he annotated: 'I leave this scruple for you, since // Saggiatore was printed in Rome, with the permission of the superiors, and


Science, Art and Nature in Medieval and Modern Thought

dedicated to the supreme head of the Church; it was revised by those who are responsible for the protection of true faith and who, by approving it, must also have thought of the way to remove such a scruple' (National Edition, Volume VI, page 486). On the other hand, Galileo was quick to point out, Grassi had encountered the opposition of the Jesuits themselves over having his own book printed in Rome and had to publish it abroad, in Paris, as Galileo wrote 'without his superiors' permission' ('senza licenza dei superiori'). Later on Galileo must have had some scruple himself, for in January 1628 he wrote to his Benedictine friend Benedetto Castelli in Rome to ask him to inquire of Padre Riccardi, Maestro del Sacro Palazzo, whether he was taking Grassi's objections seriously. Castelli assured Galileo that Padre Riccardi was on his side: 'He said that your opinions are not against the Faith, since they are merely philosophical . . . and he intends to help you if any trouble should be caused to you in the Tribunal of the Holy Office' (XIII, 393). The question was never raised again in Galileo's correspondence, nor is it mentioned in any other document in the National Edition. The new document found by Redondi, which is an anonymous assessment of Galileo's atomism in relation to the dogma of transubstantiation, and is addressed to an unnamed Padre (possibly Padre Riccardi himself), throws further light on this episode in Galileo's life. As such it constitutes an interesting and important addition to the National Edition, but that is all. As for 'Why the Church really quarrelled with Galileo', as announced on the front page of the TLS, the unique issue of Copernicanism is unequivocally documented in the records of the trial. There is no other doctrinal issue there, but there was a disciplinary issue concerning Galileo's behaviour in breaking his promise formally made in 1616 to Cardinal Bellarmine 'not to maintain, teach, or defend in any way, in words of writing', the Copernican opinion. Urban did not know of this promise, neither had Galileo informed him, when in 1630 he gave Galileo permission to publish a dialogue discussing nonconclusively the philosophical and physical arguments for and against both the Copernican and the Ptolemaic systems. This permission was given on condition that the book was published in Rome with the imprimatur of the Maestro del Sacro Palazzo. Because of the plague Galileo decided to have it printed in Florence, and in order to start this he asked Riccardi to send him a formal imprimatur on condition that he sent Riccardi the proofs sheet by sheet for final approval. Galileo did not send the proofs except for those of the preface and conclusion. The Dialogo sopra i due massimi sistemi del mondo was published in 1632 in Florence with Riccardi's imprimatur, which applied only in Rome, together with a second imprimatur from the Florentine Inquisitor. When the Pope received his copy he was furious. The documents do not state explicitly why. The first Commission which he appointed to examine the case discovered among the earlier records that of Galileo's promise to Bellarmine. The trial proceeded from there. It seems to us that, like many complex and influential historical events, the trigger was probably something accidental and even trivial, namely Urban's

Appendix to Chapter 10


irritation at the apparently deceptive way in which Galileo had manipulated his permission to publish his book. Rivers of inky imagination have dramatized this event in ways that distort the real intellectual importance of its consequences. Recent writing on seventeenth-century history has been plagued, notoriously by the neo-puritan, neo-Marxist persuasion, with supposititious 'reasons of state' and other hidden motives behind the plain evidence of the documents. It would be a pity if Galileo studies were to go the same way.


Mario Biagioli, Galileo, Courtier: The Practice of Science in the Culture of Absolutism (Chicago, 1993); review published in the Washington Post; Book World, 12 December 1993, p. 9.

'It is in the royal interest to keep everybody suspended between fear and hope' (p.20). The author of the contemporary handbook on court manners under absolute princes quoted here went on to describe 'how the natural instability of favour is in the interest of the powerful' (p.325), how the successful competitor for 'the fruits of servitude' under princely patronage was permanently exposed to danger from mutations of princely interest of which he had neither intimate understanding nor control, and how on falling 'from the summit of favour one does not descend through the same steps which lead to the top. Often nothing stands between one's highest and lowest status' (p.327). The fallen favourite could not comprehend what he had done wrong; he found himself shunned by former friends at court; he did not just lose his privileges but had to be humiliated. The mythology of the system required that the princely patron possessed everything that he could possibly want. He received gifts, as he provided favours, by pure grace. Yet in fact both sides needed the other, the one for the benefits acquired, the other in order to manifest the honour and power on which his position rested. The problem for the ambitious client lay in the asymmetry of a relationship in which the prince alone had the power and could demand unlimited service and honour without any obligations. It is within a fascinating account of this courtly system that Mario Biagioli places the second and most celebrated half of Galileo's long scientific career. Galileo seems to have embarked in 1601 at the age of thirty-seven on the strategy that would enable him to escape from his position as a mathematical professor at Padua into an enhanced status at court. Along this social trajectory he constructed what Professor Biagioli calls 'a new socioprofessional identity for himself (p.5) as a philosopher creating at once a new natural philosophy and an audience for it. After some false starts with his military compass presented to the Gonzaga at Mantua, and an adroitly flattering emblematic play on the words cosmos and Cosimo II equating the attractive power of the ruling Grand Duke of Tuscany with that of William Gilbert's

Appendix to Chapter 10


great cosmic magnet, he hit upon the right formula with his discovery of Jupiter's four satellites early in 1610. By getting permission to call these the Medicean stars and to dedicate the Sidereus Nuncius describing them to the Grand Duke, he obliged this prince to endorse his discoveries. Since, he wrote in his preface, 'under Your auspices, Most Serene Cosimo, I discovered these stars unknown to all previous astronomers' (p. 132), they should rightly have his family name. His reward was his invitation back to Florence as the Grand Duke's chief mathematician and philosopher, a privileged entry into the world of the court. Galileo particularly requested that his title should include philosopher as well as mathematician, and this raises the interesting question of when and how he acquired his quite considerable knowledge of Aristotle. Certainly it was not as a student at Pisa, but some light may be thrown by the discovery some years ago by Adriano Carugo and myself that three unpublished essays in his hand on Aristotelian logic, physics and cosmology were based on well known textbooks written by, or associated with, Jesuit professors at the Collegio Romano. These (despite some unhappy American publications on the matter) cannot be dated by any known evidence, except that, as we have shown, the logical essay cannot have been written before 1597. Since Galileo's earlier interests were essentially in mathematics and its applications, it could be that his philosophical studies were part of his strategy of 'self-fashioning as a court philosopher' (p. 11). Besides this crucial move to the Florentine court, Biagioli gives detailed treatment on the same sociological lines of some further important episodes in Galileo's life: the dispute in 1611-13 over floating bodies which involved the fundamental difference between Aristotelian and mathematical (here Archimedean) physics; the transfer of his patronage focus to Rome; the dispute in 1619-28 with the distinguished Jesuit Orazio Grassi over comets to which Galileo contributed his brilliantly dialectical // Saggiatore (1623); and the publication of the Dialogo (1632) on cosmological systems, followed by his trial. The whole book makes interesting reading, despite its frequent repetitiveness, and it was a good and original idea to locate Galileo within the world of the courts, of which Biagioli gives so learned an account. Thus 'Galileo is presented not only as a rational manipulator of the patronage machinery, but also as somebody whose discourse, motivations, and intellectual choices were informed by the patronage culture in which he operated throughout his life' (p.4). He insists that Galileo's science was not 'determined by these concerns . . . Power does not censor or legitimate some body of knowledge that exists independently of it' (p.5). For all that he asserts repeatedly that Galileo's position and title as court philosopher was 'a crucial resource for the legitimation of Copernicanism and mathematical physics' (p.49); that this connection 'gave Galileo credibility' (p.58); that 'Galileo's strategy was aimed at legitimizing scientific theories by including them in the representation of his patron's power' (p. 125); that his recognition by the Medici 'allowed him to become even more credible and draw further assent to his discoveries from


Science, Art and Nature in Medieval and Modern Thought

others' (p. 133). Galileo certainly knew what he was doing in getting court patronage, both in Florence and in Rome, to support his scientific work and his personal career, but while he was a master of all the arts of rhetoric, persuasion and political manoeuvre, he certainly did not confuse the presentation and acceptance of his discoveries according to the manners of courtly culture with their credibility to his scientific peers. Court culture was irrelevant to scientific knowledge. Confirmation of the reliability of the telescope and of Galileo's discoveries made with it were requested by Cardinal Bellarmine from the competent Jesuit mathematicians at the Collegio Romano, and by the Emperor Rudolph II and the Medici ambassador from Kepler. They knew what they were doing. You cannot cheat nature was a favourite of Galileo's aphorisms, however much you may cheat your fellow men; and in the margin of the Dialogo: 'In the natural sciences the art of rhetoric is ineffective' (Opere, vii, 78; cf. below ch. 11). I had a sense in reading Professor Biagioli's reconstructions that Galileo and his contemporaries and disputes were being translated from 17th-century Italy into the world of 20th-century transatlantic sociology. Anthropological comparisons across cultures far apart in time and place may indicate certain constants of human behaviour, but may abstract these from recognizable distinctions of different cultures and from the individuality of real people. For all that the exercise can be illuminating, as in Biagioli's plausible, though not necessarily credible, interpretation of Galileo's fall from Papal favour. 'I do not hope for any relief, because I have not commited any crime', Galileo wrote on 21 January 1635 to Nicolas Fabri de Peiresc, who had been trying through the Pope's nephew Cardinal Francesco Barberini to get some relaxation of Galileo's house arrest at Arcetri. 'I could hope for and obtain mercy and pardon if I had erred, for faults are matters upon which a prince can exert mercies and dispensations, whereas upon someone who has been innocently condemned it is convenient to be rigorous, so that it seems that it has been done according to the law' (Opere, xvi, 215). Galileo certainly knew the score, even as a fallen favourite.

Corrections to Science, Optics and Music in Medieval and Early Modern Thought (1990)

p. vii, ch. 12: for Theory and Change read Theory Change. p. xvii: Science, Art and Nature 1995, Styles of Scientific Thinking 1994. p. 24, para. 3, line 9: "overweening". p. 29, para 3, line 3: "assertion". p. 55, Fig. 1 caption line 7: for "respectively; the rays" read "respectively, the rays". p. 117, line 2 from bottom: for "local" read "logical". p. 195, Fig. 17 caption line 4: after "ends" add "(labelled in reverse in MS)", and line 7: after "with" add "the". p. 228, Fig. 33 is printed upside down: see Fig. 49. p. 258, line 3 from bottom: for "(1986)" read "(1983)". p. 417: Further references were inadvertently omitted and will be found in the present volume at the ends of chapters 13 and 14.

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(Sub-headings are in alphabetical order, except where chronological order is more helpful) Abano, Pietro d' 292 Abd al-Rahman ibn 'Umar al-Sufi (Asophus) 62 Abu Ma'shar 60 academies: —, Academia Fiorentina del Disegno 173 —, Academie Royale des Sciences 299, 347, 409, 411, 460, 461 —, see also colleges and universities acoustics see hearing; music; sound Adam 275, 276, 279 Adelard of Bath 16, 31, 32, 56, 59 Adrastus 293 Agricola 320 Agrimi, Jole 471 Aguilon, Francois 347 AIDS 449 Ailly, Cardinal Pierre d' 59, 62 Aix-en-Provence 271, 287 al-Battani 47, 62 al-Bitruji 58 al-Farabi, Abu Nasr 59, 79, 96 al-Farghani 59, 60 al-Kindi see Alkindi Albert of Saxony 80, 277 Alberti, Leon Battista 89, 98-9, 132, 453 —, and history of optics 319, 473 —, and origins of language 277 Albertus Magnus 47, 52, 126, 454 albinism 418, 421,424 alchemy 52, 54, 57, 63, 155 Aldobrandini, Ippolito see Clement VIII, Pope Alembert, Jean le Rond d' 392, 409, 462 Alexander of Aphrodisias 221 Alexander of Hales 52

Alexandria (city) 70 Alfarabi, Abu Nasr 59, 79, 96 Alhazen (Ibn al-Haytham) 55, 56, 132, 292, 336 —, critics 331, 333, 334 —, and history of optics 76, 305-17, 323, 326-7, 471, 473 —, —, model of eye 38 —, —, Optica 316, 319 —, visual theories 304, 325, 327-8, 329, 354-5 Alkindi (Al-Kindi) 55, 305 Alphonsine tables 62 Ambrosian Library of Milan 175, 187, 288 America see United Sates anatomical research 278, 320, 334 'Ancients and Moderns' 36, 453, 454, 460-1 Anglicus, Robertus 60 animals: —, and albinism 421 —, antelope 288 —, ass 418, 420 —, chickens 412, 421 —, dogs 418 —, monkeys 418 —, and origins of language 278, 280, 282 —, pigeons 418 —, salamander 411 —, scorpion 412 antelope 288 antibiotics 448 Apollonius 341-2 Apuleius, Lucius 357 Aquinas, St Thomas 77, 81, 126, 183-4, 228


Science, Art and Nature in Medieval and Modern Thought

—, and assent 370 —, and Galileo 189, 190, 193 Arabic texts 32-3 Aranzi, Giulio Cesare 324 Arber, Agnes 471 Arcetri (Italy) 24, 494 Archimedes 95, 102, 126, 129, 131 —, and the balance 208, 224, 469 —, and Galileo's undated writing 222, 223, 224, 225 —, and gravity 175 —, and mathematics 59, 151, 197 —, and scientific revolution 456 —, and theology 470 —, alluded to 149, 204, 486 architects/architecture 101, 103, 132, 212, 320 Archytus of Tarentum 9, 129, 219 argument, history of 12, 180-1, 357-400, 443-9, 467 Argyll, Duke of 398 Aristides Quintilianus 293 Aristotle 60, 190, 191, 192, 261 —, and acoustics 297-8 —, on art & nature 93-5 —, and causality 440-1 —, and Christian theology 22, 151, 470 —, on comets 177 —, and ethics 16 —, and expectation and choice 358, 3624, 367, 387, 390, 391 —, and false premise 182 —, and gravity 259, 260 —, as historian of science 37 —, and history of optics 325, 471 —, and influence on Galileo 149-61 —, and logic 51, 369, 440-1, 467 —, and mathematics 197, 198, 200 —, on mechanics 129 —, on morals 94 —, and music 292 —, and origins of language 275, 278 —, and philosophy 20, 21, 127 —, and physics 16 —, on politics 95 —, and primary & real properties 218, 219 —, and rhetoric 232, 236-40, 243, 247-8, 250-2, 362-3 —, and scientific revolution 456 —, and scientific style 159, 467, 468 —, and undated writing of Galileo 222, 226

—, alluded to 17-18, 40, 42, 43, 68, 71, 82-3, 87, 102, 121, 128, 132, 180, 183, 189, 206, 211, 357, 358, 414, 469, 470, 483,486, 488 Aristotelian/Thomist revival 166 Aristoxenus 131, 219, 292, 293, 295 arithmetic 59, 115, 178 —, commercial 377 —, political 385 Arnauld, Antoine 379, 382-4 artists, rational 89-114 art(s) 19 —, and geometry 99 —, and nature —, —, Aristotle on 93-5 —, —, Ficino on 100, 136 —, rational 473 Arundel, Lord (Thomas Howard) 288 Aselli, Gasparo 111 Ashmolean Museum 288 Asophus (Abd al-Rahman ibn 'Umar alSufi) 62 assent/judgement 367, 369-74, 380, 381 asses 418, 420 astrology 61, 115, 132, 136, 470 —, R. Bacon on 52, 54, 58, 60-1 —, Bonaventura on 52 —, Grosseteste on 47 —, and Possevino 132 —, Vieri on 136 astronomy 42, 181, 209, 257, 470, 471 —, Babylonian 86 —, and R. Bacon 54, 58, 61 —, and calendar reform 61 —, and camera obscura 320-3 —, and Clavius 155, 177, 178 —, clocks 82 —, and Copernicus 155, 209 —, education in 115, 117 —, and Galileo 178, 185, 209, 258, 486 —, Greek 86, 413, 441 —, Grosseteste on 40, 42, 46, 47 —, Hebrew tables 62 —, Leonardo da Vinci on 100-1 —, mathematical, & celestial motion 99, 155, 183 —, new star of 1604 177, 178 Atestinus, Cardinal 129 Athenaeus132 Athens, plague of 13 atomism 58, 71, 72, 157, 158, 490 atomists 68, 204 auditory perception 107-10, 291-9

Index Augustine, St (Augustine of Hippo) 69, 72, 127, 469, 470 —, and expectation and choice 368 —, and hearing 292 —, on laws of nature 69, 72-5, 77 —, and origins of language 276 —, and Platonism 139 —, and providential creation 27, 33 Augustine to Galileo (Crombie) 475-6 Avempace 153 Averroes 79, 126, 153, 189, 191 epicycles & eccentrics 181-2, 183 Avicenna (Ibn Sina) 56, 76, 79, 190 Avignon 125 Babel 109, 276, 279 Babylonian astronomy 86 Bach, J. S. 427 Bacon, Francis 211, 258, 387, 454 —, and expectation and choice 379-80, 383 —, and history of optics 343 —, and intellectual reform 17 —, and new science 35, 36, 279, 459 —, and scientific revolution 456, 457-60, 463 —, and universal language 278 Bacon, Roger 276, 278, 471 —, biography —, —, birth, date of 51 —, —, family background 51 —, —, education 51, 54 —, —, and Franciscan order 52, 53 —, —, imprisonment 53, 61 —, —, last written work 53 —, on alchemy 57, 63 —, analytical skills of 58 —, on astrology 52, 54, 58, 60-1 —, and astronomy 54, 58, 61 —, and benevolent destiny 27 —, and calendar reform 58, 61, 62, 63 —, and causality 441 —, on church reform 53 —, on experience 53-4 —, and geography 59 —, on geometry 58 —, and Grosseteste 39, 47, 52, 55, 56, 61 —, and language 51, 52, 56, 276 —, on mathematics 52, 54, 56, 60, 97 —, —, and logic 59 —, —, usefulness of 58 —, nature, and laws of 75-7, 472 —, optics 52, 54, 55, 56, 63, 292


—, —, history of 316, 317-19, 326 —, at Oxford 51, 52 —, at Paris 51, 52,58 —, on radius of earth 60 —, and rainbows 472 —, and reform 16-17, 33 —, and scientific revolution 454 —, scientific thought 53-63 —, on truth 53 —, written work 51, 52, 53, 57-8, 62-3 Bailly, J.S. 463 balance, theories of 208, 224, 469 Balduino, Girolamo 155 Bale, Bishop John 455 Baliani, Giovanni Battista 161, 208, 2245,487 Barbaro, Daniele 101, 132, 212 —, and history of optics 324, 327, 343 Barberini, Cardinal Francesco 272, 287, 494 Bardi, Count Giovanni 294, 295 Baronio, Cardinal Cesare 126 Barozzi, Francesco 117, 122, 131, 175, 194 —, and mathematics 195 Basel 324 Basil, St (of Cappadocia) 56, 127, 470 al-Battam 47, 62 Bayes, Thomas 387, 448 Bayle, Pierre 36, 456 'Beagle' voyages of Darwin 429, 431, 433 Beaulieu, Armand 287 Beeckman, Isaac 108, 296 The Beginnings of Western Science (Lindberg) 465, 468-74, 476-7 belief and doubt 166, 490 —, 'Bibliotheca selecta' (Possevino) 126 —, Christian 54, 61,68 —, Hebrew thought 68, 69 —, Islam 54, 61 —, Judaism 54 —, see also Catholicism; Creator; God; theology Bellarmine, Cardinal Robert 126, 184 186, 257, 258 —, Galileo's promise to 490 —, alluded to 185, 486, 494 Bellini, Lorenzo 118 Benedetti, Giovanni Battista 108, 132n, 219, 294, 296 —, and optics 327-8, 329 benevolent destiny, concept of 27 Berkeley, George 354


Science, Art and Nature in Medieval and Modern Thought

Berlin Academy of Frederick the Great 407, 410 —, see also colleges and universities Bernard of Chartres 31, 454 Bernardino of Siena 375 Bernoulli, Daniel 448 Bernoulli, Jakob 384-5, 387, 388, 392, 427 —, and expectation and choice 379, 384 —, and mathematics 447 Besson, Jacques 320 Biagioli, Mario 492-4 Bianchi, Luca 470 Biblioteca Nazionale Centrale di Firenze 167 Bibliotheca selecta (Possevino) 126-32 biology 21-2, 27, 106, 118, 435 Biondo, Flavio 453 al-Bitruji (Alpetragius) 58 Bodin, Jean 35, 383 Boethius, Anicius Manlius 18, 59, 219, 469 —, and music 42, 292, 293 Bologna 115, 117, 118, 139 Bonamico, Francesco 126, 158 Bonaventura, St 52 Bonnet, Charles Etienne 427 Borelli, Giovanni Alfonso 118 Borri, Girolamo 135, 139 Bossuet, Jaques Benigne 462 Bouchard, Jean-Jacques 272 Bourdelot, Pierre Michon 272 Boyle, The Hon. Robert 67, 84-5 Bradwardine, Thomas 59, 80, 454 Brahe, Tycho 177, 329-30, 331, 334, 471 Brengger, Johann 301, 342 Breslau (town) 387 Bresson, Agnes 287 Briggs, William 345 Britain 264, 399 —, see also England Broad, C.D. 263 Broussais, Francois 447 Brunelleschi, Filippo 319, 320, 473 Brunei, Pierre 407 Bruni, Leonardo 453 Bruno, Giordano, 166, 249 Brunschvicg, Leon 263 Brussels 264 Buff on, George-Louis Leclerc, Comte de 387, 388, 417, 418, 432 —, and classification of species 418, 427 —, on geology 418 —, and history of science 462

—, and statistical analysis 448 Bulver, Ezekial (fict) 28 bulverism 28 Buridan, Jean 80, 82, 470, 473 Burnet, Thomas 385 Burtt, Edwin 264 Butler, Bishop Joseph 416 Byzantinum 470 Caietanus, Thomas de Vio see Cajetan Cajetan (Thomas de Vio) 126, 155 Calcidius 69, 469 calendar reform 19, 47, 61, 62 —, and al-Battani 47, 62 —, R. Bacon on 58, 61, 62, 63 —, Gregorian 62, 125-6, 156 —, Grosseteste on 40, 47, 62 Cambridge 263, 433 camera obscura 340, 345-7, 350 —, in astronomy 320-3 —, experiments with 305, 310-11 —, as model of the eye 38, 105, 327, 329, 336-8 —, and ocular physiology 301 —, and painting 343 —, and screen image 326, 332 —, and solar eclipses 329-30, 332 —, Straker's account of 473 —, and visual theory 326 Campanella, Tommaso 80, 456, 457 Campanus of Novara 59 Carbone, Ludovico 169, 222, 270, 480 —, and correspondences with Galileo's texts 169-72, 479 —, and undated writing of Galileo 222 Carcavy, Pierre 208 Cardano, Girolamo 115, 126, 131, 132n —, and expectation and choice 377 —, and origins of language 284 —, and rhetoric 249 Carneades of Cyrene 364-6 Carrara, Bellino 165 cartography 19, 99, 106 Carugo, Adriano 155, 156, 158, 484, 489 —, and Galileo's Jesuit sources 269-70, 479-80, 486, 493 —, and Pinelli collection 175, 187 —, and sources of Galileo's scholastic essays 151, 153, 156, 167-9, 487 Casaubon, Isaac 289 Casserio, Giulio 298, 320 Cassirer, Ernst 194 Castelli, Benedetto 118, 209, 211, 272, 490

Index Catena, Pietro 117 Catholicism 135, 166 —, see also belief and doubt; Creator; God; theology causality 68, 71, 455, 459, 466-7 —, language of 440-1 cause and effect 86, 446 Cavalieri, Bonaventura 118, 226, 485 Ceredi, Guiseppe 102, 132, 212, 301, 302 Cesi, Frederico 223, 226 chance, games of 381, 382, 384 Charles, E. 51 Charles V, King, of France 82 Charron, Pierre 167 Chatelet-Lomont, Gabrielle Emilie, Marquise du 462 Chaucer, Geoffrey 81, 469, 470 Chiaramonti, Scipione 244, 245 chickens 412, 421 Children's Crusade 54 Chillingworth, William 380 Chinese medical practice 446 Chinese and origins of languages 278, 283 Christian moral theory 99 Christian theology 5, 72, 79, 99, 469 —, and Aristotle 22, 151, 470 Christianity and cosmology 27 church reform 36, 53, 456 —, see also belief and doubt Cicero, Marcus Tullius 51, 127, 455, 469 —, and expectation and choice 366-7 Cimabue, Giovanni 34, 453 Cimento, Academia del 118 —, see also colleges and universities Clagett, Marshall 477 Clarke, Samuel 408 classical languages 118 classification of species 413 Claudius Galius 129 Clavelin, Maurice 270 Clavius, Christopher 119, 122, 132n, 182 —, on astronomy 155, 177, 178 —, and calendar reform 62 —, Galileo visits 156, 175, 479 —, and influence on Galileo 176, 181, 194, 269-70 —, and influence on Possevino 128, 131 —, and mathematics 119-21, 122, 196, 198, 216 —, and MS Galileiana 27, 479, 480 —, and optics 326-7 —, and science 181-3, 184, 185, 187 —, and telescope 217


—, and undated writings of Galileo 2212, 224, 226, 227, 486-7 Clement of Alexandria, St 127 Clement IV, Pope 52, 53, 60 Clement VIII, Pope (formerly Ippolito Aldobrandini) 116n, 126, 139, 140 clepsydra 56 climate 43, 387 clinical trials 447 clock, mechanical 19, 473 clocks 60, 82 Goiter, Volcher 298 colleges and universities 115-40, 455 —, Academic Roy ale des Sciences 299, 347, 409, 411, 460, 461 —, 'Accademia della dottrina Platonica' 133 —, Basel 324 —, Berlin Academy of Frederick the Great 407, 410 —, Bologna 115, 117, 118, 139 —, Cambridge 433 —, Cimento, Academia del 118 —, Collegio Romano 132n, 153, 154, 165, 167, 168 —, —, and Carbone 172 —, —, and Clavius 217 —, —, founded 119 —, —, and Pereira 133, 270 —, —, and Rocco 186 —, —, and Scheiner 345 —, —, and Vallius 169 —, decline of 476 —, Ferrara 139, 140 —, Fiorentina del Disegno, Academia 103, 173 —, Florentine Academy 134 —, Gymnasium Patavium Societatis Jesu 126 —, Louvain 345 —, Messina 118 —, Padua 140, 172, 175, 177, 198, 484 —, —, and Galileo 178, 225, 227, 492 —, —, and mathematics 117, 118, 134 —, —, and philosophy 125, 133 —, —, and Possevino 126 —, Pavia 140 —, Pisa 116, 117, 118, 134-5, 139-140, 150, 486 —, Prague 334 —, Rome 133, 139, 140, 153 —, —, mathematics at 115, 116, 122 —, Venice 151, 294 Collingwood, R.G. 263


Science, Art and Nature in Medieval and Modern Thought

Colombe, Cristoforo delle 245-6 Colombo, Realdo 324, 325 colour and light 45 Columbus, Christopher 59 comets 43, 177, 178, 187, 211, 269, 485 —, Galileo v Grassi dispute 493 Commandino, Frederico 131 commerce/book-keeping methods 19 communism and truth 29 compass 175, 492 computer 90 Comte, Auguste 259, 260, 262, 463 Condillac, Etienne Bonnet de 410 Condorcet, Marie Jean Antoine Nicolas de Caritat, Marquis de 461, 463 Constantine I 453 Cooper, Lane 259 Copernicus 61, 131, 182, 187, 258 —, and astronomy 155, 209 —, and Galileo 153, 176, 177, 181, 186 —, —, and undated writings 222 —, and rhetoric 244 —, alluded to 344, 486, 487 coral reefs 433 Cosimo I, Grand Duke of Tuscany 117 Cosimo II, Grand Duke of Tuscany 179 cosmography see cosmology cosmology 22, 178, 228, 486 —, and Christianity 27 —, and Duhem 37 —, and Galileo 23, 80, 155, 167, 177, 487 —, and Grosseteste 470 —, and Kepler 433 —, and Maupertuis 420 Cotrugli, Benedetto 375 Council of Trent 136, 165, 166 Cournot, Antoine-Augustin 387 court manners 492 creation 27, 33, 67, 139 Creator 389, 396, 397, 441 —, benevolent 20, 22 —, eternal/onmnipotent 69, 72, 87, 113, 161 —, see also belief and doubt; Catholicism; God; theology Cremonini, Cesare 133 crime 372 Crisciani, Chiara 471 Crombie, Alistair C. 168, 172, 465-77, 471,472 Crowley, T. 51 Ctesibus 132 Cuvier, Georges 463

d'Abano, Pietro see Abano, Pietro d' d'Ailly, Cardinal Pierre see Ailly, Cardinal Pierre d' d'Alembert, Jean le Rond see Alembert Dalton, John 9 Dante, Alighieri 156 —, on origins of language 276, 441 —, and vernacular philosophy 469 —, and poetical revival 34 —, and Western science 471 Danti, Egnazio 132 Darwin, Charles —, and 'Beagle' voyages 429, 431, 433 —, and biology 21-2, 435 —, criticism of predecessors 430 —, and evolutionary theory 9, 38 —, and expectation and choice 393-8, 399 —, and letters 430, 432 —, and natural selection 425, 431, 435, 436, 437 —, rhetoric of 6 scientific method 429-37 —, and transmutation of species 434 —, see also evolution Darwin, Erasmus 429 Darwin, Francis Charles 432 de Honnecourt see Villard de Honnecourt de 1'Epee, Abbe Charles-Michel 285 De Morgan, Augustus 62 De motu gravium (Galileo) 201-5 deaf and dumb 109, 110, 276, 279, 283-4 Dee, John 48, 62, 63 Delambre, Jean Joseph 463 Delfino, Frederico 117 Delia Valle see Paulus Vallius Democritus 218 demography, population 385 Descartes, Rene 67, 83-4, 106, 408, 414 —, and expectation and choice 383, 391 —, and history of optics 345, 348-52, 353, 354 —, —, and camera obscura 350 —, and intellectual reform 17 —, on laws of nature 67, 83-4 —, and natural philosophy 228 —, and origins of language 282 —, and rainbow 38 —, and rhetoric 6 —, and scientific revolution 456, 457-8, 460 —, and scientific style 229, 270, 467, 472 —, and sound 296

Index d'Este, Cardinal Alessandro see Este, Cardinal Alessandro d' destiny, benevolent 27 determinism 22, 79 Dialogue (Galileo) 210-11 Diderot, Dennis 417, 427, 461 digestive system 111 Digges, Leonard 63 Dini, Piero 185 Diodati, Elie 271 —, and undated writing of Galileo 225 disease 372, 372-3, 443-9 —, AIDS 449 —, records 386, 386-7 —, smallpox 392 Disputationes (Galileo) 187-95 dissection 420, 433 dogs 418 Dominican order 53 Dondi, Giovanni de' 82, 473 Doni, Giovanni Battista 271, 272 Drake, Stillman 149, 161 Dryden, John 461 du Chatelet, Madam see ChateletLomont, Gabrielle Emilie, Marquise du du Laurens, Andre 298 Duhem, Pierre 37, 38, 132n, 257, 471 Duns Scotus, John 47 Diirer, Albrecht 99, 132, 320, 332 Duverney, Joseph Guichard 299 dynamics 180, 185 Earth, planet 160, 179 —, movement of 183, 184-5, 470, 487 —, orbit of 181 —, radius of 60 Eastwood, Bruce 465 eclipses 52, 329-30 ecology 7 economy 16, 22, 392 Edgerton, Samuel Y., Jr 473 education 115-40 —, arts/natural science 118 —, in astronomy 115, 117 —, classical languages 118 —, history 118 —, literature 118 —, logic 118 —, mathematics 118-40 —, metaphysics 118 —, moral science 118 —, oriental languages 118 —, physics 118


—, theology 118 —, see also colleges and universities Edwards, William F. 484 Elizabeth I, Queen of England 62 Empedocles 391 empiricism 262 Engels, Friedrich 394n engineering 23, 58, 96-7, 106, 320 England 35 —, and calendar reform 62 —, Peiresc travels to 286 —, see also Great Britain English philosophy 452 enlightenment 35 Enriques, Federigo 477 Epee, Charles Michel de L' 285 Epicurus 69 epicycles and eccentrics 181-2, 183, 184, 185 Erasmus 36, 455 Este, Cardinal Alessandro d' 254 ethics, Aristotelian 16 Ethiopia 288 Euclid 122, 123, 131, 132, 175, 486 —, on acoustics 96 —, and geometry 16, 17, 96, 217, 432-3, 469 —, and logic 369 —, and mathematics 96, 161, 196, 200 —, and music 18, 293, 295 —, and optics 55, 302-3, 305, 308, 471 —, —, and perspective 46, 137 —, —, treatise on 18 —, andProclus 101, 175 —, on ratios 58-9 —, and science, language of 441 —, and scientific argument 95 Eudoxus of Cnidus 68, 467 Euler, Leonhard 410 European groups and origins of languages 278 European interest in medieval history 37 ever-burning lamps 57 evolution 22, 398, 407, 412, 428, 429-37 —, see also Darwin, Charles; natural selection; transmutationof species evolution and the ass 418 expectation and choice 357-400 experience 53-4 experimental method 257 experimental philosophy 258, 262 experimental science 89-114, 467, 471 explosive powder 57 eyes 303-17, 319-28, 329, 333-42, 344-55


Science, Art and Nature in Medieval and Modern Thought

—, and camera obscura 38, 105, 327, 329, 336-8 —, see also under Alhazen; Ptolemy; see also optics Fabrici d'Acquapendente, Girolamo 126, 279 —, and language 278, 281, 282 —, and optics 320, 325, 334 falling bodies 104, 176, 208, 215-16, 268, 486, 487 Falloppio, Gabriele 126 false/true premise 182 falsification, method of 43 al-Farabi, Abu Nasr 59, 79, 96 Faraday, Michael 3, 441 al-Farghani 59, 60 Favaro 175, 205 —, and writings of Galileo 151, 156, 167, 222, 224 Ferdinand The Catholic' (Ferdinand II of Aragon) 59 Ferguson, Wallace K. 455 Ferrara 133, 139, 140 Ficino, Marsilio 19, 69, 95, 127 —, on art and nature 100, 136 —, and Catholicism 135 —, and music 293 —, and philosophy 166 —, and platonism 139 —, and rhetoric 249 —, and undated writings of Galileo 226 First Cause theory 22 First Council of Lyons (1245) 41 First Letter about the Sunspots (Galileo) 87, 150, 180, 186, 215, 216 Fisher, R.A. 448 Florence 156, 158, 159, 173, 271, 493-4 —, and Galileo's writings 224, 225, 490 —, and mathematics 118 —, Michelini returns to 272 Florence, Council of 125 Florentine Academy 134 —, see also colleges and universities Florentine Accademia del Disegno 103 Fludd, Robert 111 flying machines 33, 57 Fogliano, Lodovico 99 Fontenelle, Bernard le Bovier de 461 fossils 418, 433, 434 France 35, 125, 264, 287 —, deaf and dumb teaching 285 —, economy 399 —, and science 461

Francesca, Piero della see Piero della Francesea Francesco I, Grand Duke of Tuscany 134 Franciscan order 39, 52, 53, 59 Frederic, Jean 384 Frederick II, (the Great) King of Prussia 35, 276, 409-10, 411 Frisius, Gemma 323-4 Gaffurio, Franchino 99 Gagliardi, Achille 119, 125, 126, 133 Galapagos Islands 434 Galen (Claudius Galenus) 218, 305, 306, 456, 457, 471 —, atomist doctrine 157 —, and hearing 297 —, and micro/macrocosm 469 —, and optics 303, 307, 308, 309, 31516, 325 —, as philosopher 156 —, alluded to 102, 486 Galilei, Galileo see Galileo Galilei, Vincenzo 103, 108, 150, 156, 173, 486 —, and acoustics 174 —, and mathematics 198 —, and music 131, 151, 219 —, and sound 294-6 —, death 1591 295 Galileo 105, 260, 414 —, biography —, —, background 173 —, —, biographers 103-4, 149, 259 —, —, career —, —, —, at Padua 134, 492 —, —, —, at Pisa 117, 134, 198, 479 —, —, as court philosopher 493 —, —, critics 261 —, —, friends 24, 272 —, —, intellectual 168, 172, 173, 188 —, —, trial & house arrest 24, 489, 493, 494 —, and Aristotelian theories 149-61, 229, 259 —, and astronomy 178, 185, 209, 258 —, and causality 441 —, and Clavius 176, 181, 194, 270, 479 visits Clavius 156, 175, 479-80 —, on comets 177, 493 —, and Copernicus 153, 176, 177, 181, 186 commitment to 22, 177

Index —, and correspondences with Carbone's texts 169-72, 479 —, and cosmology 23, 80, 155, 167, 177 —, and court patronage 492-4 —, and dynamics 185 —, Earth, on motion of 184-5 —, on epicycles and eccentrics 185 —, and expectation and choice 383 —, and experimental enquiry 258, 262 —, and experimental physics 206-7 —, on gravity 104 —, on heat and light 219, 489 —, and Koyre's understanding of 26770, 477 —, letters 488 —, —, to Baliani 208 —, —, to Carcavy 208 —, —, to/from Castelli 211, 490 —, —, to Dini 185, 486 —, —, to father 198, 486 —, —, to/from Liceti 216-17, 229 —, —, to Mazzoni 198, 486 —, —, to Mazzoni/Kepler 176-7 —, —, to Vmta 179, 486 —, and light 215 —, and mathematics 118, 196, 197, 198, 212 —, —, his interest in 173, 217 —, Mazzoni, studies with 486 —, and mechanics 23, 103, 185, 212-13 —, and moon 106 —, and music 103, 219 —, and natural philosophy 23, 139-61, 167, 208, 213, 267 —, and new star of 1604 177 —, and optics 217, 343 —, meets Peiresc 286 —, on pendulum 179, 208, 279-3, 485 —, pendulum ratio, and discovery of 270-3 —, and philosophy 179, 257-62, 486 —, and properties/qualities 218 —, and Redondi's document 490 —, and rhetoric 6, 180-1, 216, 231-55, 494 —, and science 20, 35 —, science, and language of 441 —, on science and nature 165-229 —, and scientific revolution 456 —, and scientific style 270, 468 —, on sunspots 211 —, —, First Letter 87, 150, 180, 186, 215, 216 —, —, Second Letter 213


—, —, Third Letter 215 —, and telescope 106, 177, 185, 214 —, and theology 229 —, on tides 185-6 —, on truth 23, 24, 25 —, writings —, —, chronology/paper 155-8, 162-3 —, —, dating of 155, 165, 166n, 172-4n, 220-8, 487-8 —, —, dated 175 —, —, undated 172, 220-8, 486, 493 —, scholastic essays of 151-61, 168, 187 —, sources of 167-9, 221-2, 226-8, 26970, 486 —, —, scholastic essays 151, 155, 165, 221, 479-94 —, —, Carbone, Ludovico 169, 172, 269-70, 479, 484 —, —, Clavius, Christopher 153, 168, 269-70, 479 —, —, Paulus Vallius 479, 484 —, —, Pereira, Benito 153, 158, 168, 205, 269-70 —, —, Toledo, Francisco de 153, 158, 168, 205, 269-70 —, watermarks of paper 156, 157, 162-3 —, highest rates of citation 155, 194 The Galileo Prize 161, 167 Garin, Eugenio 158 Gassendi, Pierre 228, 229, 287, 352-3 Gaultier, Joseph 286-7 Gelenius, Sigismundus 277, 288 Geminus 131, 183 Gemistus 139 genetical disputes, Soviet 28 geography 59, 132 geology 22, 27, 418, 433 geometry 55, 58, 115, 131, 178, 441 —, analysis 45 —, and art 99 —, of Euclid 16, 17, 96, 217, 432-3, 469 —, of Greek mathematicians 4, 95-6 —, of Pascal 113 George, Wilma 471 Gerald of Wales 39, 42 Germany 37, 125, 271, 453, 464 Gesner, Conrad 278, 288, 456 Gessner see Gesner Gherardini, Niccolo 149 Ghetaldi, Marino 224 Ghiberti, Lorenzo 319, 453 Gibbon, Edward 463 Gilbert, William 35, 111, 210, 471, 492-3 Gilles of Lessines 374


Science, Art and Nature in Medieval and Modern Thought

Gilson, Etienne 263, 469 Giorgio, Francesco 131 Giotto 34-5, 453 God 33, 71, 72, 79-81,85, 182 —, omnipotent 71, 77, 79, 84, 85 —, see also belief and doubt; Catholicism; Creator; theology Goethe, Johann Wolfgang von 461 Gogava, Antonio 295 Gondisalvo, Domingo 96 Gorgias and rhetoric 234 Grafton, Anthony 484 Graham, W. 398 Grassi, Orazio 485, 489, 490, 493 Graunt, John 379, 386-7, 447-8 gravitational clocks 82 gravitational theories 117-18, 215-16, 259, 260, 434 —, and Archimedes 175 —, of Galileo 104, 480 Gray, Asa 398 Graz, solar eclipse at 330 Great Britain 264, 399 —, see also England Greek astronomy 86, 413, 441 Greek grammar 54 Greek language 68 Greek mathematics 4, 95-6, 265, 441 Greek optical theory 302-4, 315 Greek philosophy 16, 265, 456, 469 —, causal continuity 3-4 —, causality in medicine 446, 447 —, and natural science 1, 21, 440, 443 —, and probability 360-7 —, scepticism 71, 72, 167 —, and theology 70 Greek science 16, 265, 456 Greek texts 32-3 Gregorian calendar 62, 125-6, 156 Gregory III, Pope 125 Grienberger, Christopher 119, 217 Grosseteste, Robert 39-47, 472 —, background 39 —, career —, —, as bishop & statesman 40 —, —, clerk at Hereford 42 —, —, at Oxford 39 —, —, as scholar & teacher 40 —, ecclesiastical appointments 39, 41 —, Aristotle, influence of 42, 43 —, on astrology 47 —, and astronomy 40, 42, 46, 47 —, and R. Bacon 39, 52, 55, 56, 61 —, on calendar reform 40, 47, 62

—, and cosmology 470 —, and falsified conclusions 43 —, and Franciscans 39 —, and geometry 55 —, letters 39 —, on light 40, 41, 42-3, 44, 45 —, and mathematics 97 —, on methodology (4 essays on) 43-6 —, and music 42 —, and optics 316-17 —, philosophy of 40, 42-3 —, and scientific revolution 454 —, scientific writing 42 —, and sound 292 —, written work 40, 42, 43, 44, 45-6, 47-8 Grotius, Hugo 380 Guidi, Guido 298 Guiducci, Mario 215 Guy de Foulques, Cardinal see Clement IV, Pope Gymnasium Patavium Societatis Jesu of Padua 126 —, see also colleges and universities Halley Edmund 379, 387 Haly Ibn Sma 60 Harriot, Thomas 106, 349 Hartsoeker, Nicolaas 422 Harvey, William 111, 112, 414, 469 hearing 96, 107-10, 291-9 —, see also music; sound heat and light 219, 489 Hebrew. —, astronomical tables 62 —, doctrine 68, 69 —, grammar 54 —, language 275, 276, 277, 279 —, theology 27, 70, 469 Henry III, King of England 51 Herbert of Cherbury 380 Hereford 39, 42 heresy 372 Hermes Trismegistus 139 Hero of Alexandria 101, 102, 132 Herodotus 275 Hesiod 68 Hiero II, King of Synacuse, and undated writings of Galileo 223 hieroglyphics 289 Hipparchus 47, 153, 221 Hippocrates, and medical science 445 —, and rhetoric 235 —, and scientific revolution 456

Index 'Historical Commitments of European Science' (Crombie) 474-5 history —, of argument 12, 180-1, 357-400, 4439,467 —, human 458-9 —, Jesuit education 118 —, of science 451-64 Hobbes, Thomas 48, 63, 352-3, 381, 394n Hoeniger, David 473 Hohenburg, Hewart von 368 Holcot, Robert 81 Holy Scriptures 41, 53, 182, 470 Homer 68 Hook, Robert 418 Hooker, Joseph 431 Howard, Thomas, 2nd Earl of Arundel 288 Hudde, Jan 384 Hugh, Bishop of Lincoln 39 Hugh of St. Victor 33 humanists and scientific revolution 455 humankind, Western visions of 1-12 Humboldt, Alexander Baron von 59 Hume, David 258, 461, 463 Hunain (Hunayn) ibn Ishaq 56, 306 Hungary 125 Hutchinson, Evelyn 471 Huxley, Thomas Henry 398-9 Huygens, Christiaan 113, 347, 379, 3812,387 —, and expectation and choice 384 —, and mathematics 447 hydrostatic balance 224 hydrostatics 209, 211, 269 hypothesis 262, 467 Ibn al-Haytham see Alhazen Ibn Sfna (Avicenna) 56, 76, 79, 190 Ignatius see Loyola Indian medical practice 446 infinite power 67-88 inoculation 392 insurance 374, 384, 447 intellectual reform 16-17, 33 intellectual styles 2-6 Isabella of Castile 59 Islam 5, 54, 61, 470 isolated child, origins of language and 275, 276, 277, 280-1 Italian historians 453 Italian mathematicians 447


Italian universities, mathematics and Platonism in 115-40 Italy 35, 36, 82, 150, 452 —, Greeks flee to 456 —, Peiresc journey's to 286 —, spectacles invented in 317 Ivan IV, Czar (the Terrible) 125 Jandun, Jean de 176, 283-4 Japanese thinking 4 Javelli, Chrisostomo 126, 127 Jenner, Edward 446 Jerome, St 127 Jessen, Johannes 334, 342 The Jesuit 'Constitutions' (1556) 118, 121 Jesuits 134, 165-229 —, Aristotelian/Thomist revival 166 —, education —, —, arts/natural science 118 —, —, classical languages 118 —, —, history 118 —, —, literature 118 —, —, logic 118 —, —, mathematics 118-40 —, —, metaphysics 118 —, —, moral science 118 —, —, oriental languages 118 —, —, physics 118 —, —, theology 118 —, philosophy 132 —, as source of Galileo's writings 165, 167-9, 269-70, 493 —, and undated writing of Galileo 221, 222, 226, 227, 228 Jewish philosophy 72 Jews 127 Jews in Alexandria 70 John of Damascus 40 John of London 59 John (pupil of Roger Bacon) 53 John of Salisbury 369, 454 Johnson, Dr Samuel 416 Jordanus de Nemore 59 judgement/assent 369-74 Julian year 61, 62 Jupiter 185, 217 satellites 258, 287, 493 Justin, St (the Martyr) 139 Kant, Immanuel 260, 262 Kemp, Martin 473 Kepler, Johann 111, 176, 331, 334, 473 —, and astronomy 471, 485


Science, Art and Nature in Medieval and Modern Thought

—, and camera obscura 332, 336-8, 343 —, and cosmology 433 —, and expectation and choice 368 —, and history of optics 304-5, 329-45, 347-8, 350, 354-5, 485 —, and innovation 7 —, letters from Galileo 176, 487 —, and optical physiology 38 —, and planetary intervals 21 —, and retinal image 105 —, and solar eclipse 330 kinematics 180 Kirby, William 394n Kircher, Anthanasius 289 Kohlhans, Johann Christoph 347 Koyre, Alexandre 263-4, 267-70, 476, 477 La Galla, Giulio Cesare 215, 217 La Hire, Philippe de 347 La Mettrie, Julien Off ray de 410 Lactantius 469-70 Laertius, Diogenes 275 Lagrange, Joseph Louis de, Comte 258 Lalande, Joseph Jerome Le Francois de 410 Lamarck Jean-Baptiste Pierre Antoine de Monet de 394n language 54 —, of animals 278, 280, 282 —, Arabic 288 —, Babel 276 —, and R. Bacon 51, 52, 56, 276 —, of causality 440-1 —, Chinese groups 278 —, deaf and dumb 276, 277, 283-4 —, and electro-chemistry 441-2 —, English 91, 439 —, European groups 278, 288 —, French 439 —, German 288 —, Greek 68 —, Hebrew 275, 276, 277, 279, 288 —, history of 275-89 —, isolated child theory 275, 276, 277, 280-1 —, Italian 439 —, Latin 3, 68, 276, 439, 441, 453 —, of mathematics 442 —, of music 442 —, new terminology 3, 442 —, and the occult 276, 278, 279 —, origins of 275-85, 288-9 —, Persian 278, 288

—, philosophical 279 —, of science 3, 439-42 —, and Semitic groups 278 —, technical 442 —, universal 277, 278, 282 Laplace, Pierre-Simon, Marquis de 394, 396, 399, 448, 463 —, and analysis of numbers 392-3 —, and inverse probability 387 Larroque, Philippe Tamizey de 287 Latin language 3, 68, 276, 439, 441, 453 latitude/longitude 59, 60 laws of nature —, defined 86 —, St Augustine on 69, 72-5, 77 Le Clerc, Daniel 462 Leaning Tower of Pisa 259 least action, principal of 21, 389, 411 Lebegue, Raymond 287 Leeuwenhoek, Anton van 422 Leibniz, Gottfried Wilhelm 289, 408, 426, 462 —, and expectation and choice 379, 384, 385 —, and history of optics 301-2, 354 Leicester 39 Lenin, Vladimir Ilyich 28 Lenoble, Robert 263 lens 55, 56, 303, 304, 320, 343 Leo X, Pope 115 Leon, Pedro Ponce de 284 Leonardo da Vinci 19, 99, 100-1, 132n, 136, 252 —, and history of optics 320-3, 327, 334 1'Epee, Abbe Charles-Michel see Epee, Charles-Michel de L' Lessius (Leonard Leys) 378 letters, unidentified, of Galileo 187 Leurechon, Jean 344 Lewis, C.S. 28 Leys, Leonard (Lessius) 378 Libri, Guglielmo 463 Liceti, Fortunio 140, 216, 217, 229, 488 light 40, 42, 42-43, 44, 45, 215-6 Lincoln 39, 41 Lindberg, David C. The Beginnings of Western Science 465, 468-74, 476-7 linear scale 203 Linnaeus, Carolus (Carl von Linne) 41314, 414-15, 417, 418, 425 Linnean Society 431 Linz, Wotton 343 literature 118, 453, 455-6 Little, A.G. 51, 61, 62

Index Locher, Giovanni Giorgio 487 Locke, John 354, 461 logic 51, 118, 260, 369, 440-1, 467 London 264 —, population statistics 447 Louvain 345 Loyola, St. Ignatius 118-9, 121 Lucretius, Titus 56 —, and expectation and choice 366, 390, 391 —, nature, laws of 69-70, 388 —, and origins of language 275 Lull, Ramon 278, 384 Lavrov, P.L. 394n Lyell, Charles 6, 436 McCarthy, Senator Joseph 28 Mach, Ernst 260, 261 Machiavelli, Niccolo 35, 104, 453 macrocosm/microcosm 40 McVaugh, Michael 471 magic 57, 63, 278 Magiotti, Rafaello 272 magnetism 57, 59, 97, 111, 471, 493 magnification 55, 56, 316-17 Maieru, Alfonso 469 Malebranche, Nicolas 354 Malpighi, Marcello 118, 354 Malthus, Thomas 393, 434 Mantua 492 manual industry 97-8, 98, 100 Marciana library 288 Maricourt, Pierre de 57, 59, 97, 471 Mariotte, Edme 299, 347 Mars 185 Marseilles 288 Marsh, Adam 39, 52 Marsili, Cesare 226 Marsilius of Inghen 277 Martini, Francesco di Georgio 106, 320 Marx, Karl 394n Mastlin, Michael 330, 344 mathematics 57, 87, 97, 442 —, 16th century debate 21, 195-201 —, and Archimedes 59, 151, 197 —, and astronomy 99, 155, 183 —, and Bacon, R. 52, 54, 56, 60, 97 —, —, and logic 59 —, —, and usefulness of 58 —, at Bologna 115 —, and Clavius 119-21, 122, 196, 198, 216 —, and Euclid 96, 161, 196, 200 —, and Galileo 118, 196, 197, 198, 212, 488


—, —, his interest in 173, 217 —, Italian 447 —, in Jesuit education 118-40 —, and Platonism 115-40 —, and Possevino 128-31 —, at Rome 115 —, students 120-1 —, tutors 119-20 Mather, Cotton 456 Maupertuis, Pierre Louis Moreau de 407 —, biography/background 407, 410 —, —, Battle of Molwitz 410, 412, 428 —, and albinism 418, 421, 424 —, and animal studies 411-12 —, and cosmology 420 —, critics (Voltaire) 409, 410, 411, 417, 427 —, and expectation and choice 388-92, 394n, 395, 396 —, and history of science 462 —, least action, theory of 411 —, and probability 389-92 —, and salamander 411 —, and scorpion 412 Maurolico, Francesco 63, 119, 326-7, 330 Mazzoni, Jacopo 127 —, and Galileo 156, 176, 177, 198, 222, 486, 487, 488 —, —, letters from 176 —, and mathematics 196, 197, 198, 216 —, at Pisa 134, 139-40 —, and Platonism 139-40, 150 —, and Possevino 131 measurement and physical research 86-7 mechanical clock 60 mechanics —, clock 60 —, Guidobaldo del Monte and 212 —, Galileo and 23, 103, 185, 212-13 —, and scientific revolution 459 Meckel, Johann Friedrich 410 medical astrology 61 medical science 445-9 Medici, Cosimo de' 139 medicine, history of 462 medicine, university teaching of 115 Mediterranean Sea, measurement of 287 Mei, Girolamo 294 Mendel, Gregor 436 Mercurius Trismegistus 139 Mercury (planet) 185 Mersenne, Marin 132n, 186, 258, 286, 383, 384 —, and history of optics 348, 352


Science, Art and Nature in Medieval and Modern Thought

—, and Jesuits 228 —, on language 285 —, on mathematics 105-6 —, and music 107-10, 296, 297 —, and Neoplatonism 229 —, and origins of language 275-85 —, and pendulum ratio debate 270-3, 485 —, and sound 296, 297 —, and virtu 113 Mery, Jean 347 Messahala 60 Messina 118, 119 metaphysics 52, 54, 79, 118 Micanzio, Fulgenzio 271 Michelangelo 101, 101-2 Michelini, Famiano 272 microcosm/macrocosm 40 microscope 91 Milan 102 Mill, John Stuart 260, 431 Mirandola see Pico della Mirandola, Giovanni Moivre, Abraham de 387 Moleto, Gioseffe (Giuseppe) 117-18, 126, 134, 175 Molwitz 410, 412, 428 Molyneux, William 354 monkeys 418 Montaigne, Michel de 167, 184, 379 Monte, Cardinal Frances^.. Maria del 117 Monte, Guidobaldo del 102-3, 126, 132, 175-6 —, and mathematics 198 —, and mechanics 212 —, and undated writings of Galileo 225, 480 Montesquieu, Charles de Secondat, Baron de la Brede et de 461 Montpellier 286 Montucla, John Etienne 258, 463 moon 43, 47, 106, 177, 179, 186 —, mountains on 258 moral science in Jesuit education 118 morals 94, 99, 118 Morcillo, Sebastian Fox 127 More, Thomas 104, 447 mortality records 386-7 Moscow 125 Moses 139 Moslem philosophy 72 Moss, Jean Dietz 231-2 motion, inertial 38

Miiller, Adolph 165 Miiller, Johannes see Regiomontanus music 18, 96, 103, 174, 219 —, arithmetically quantified 99 —, and astronomy 42 —, fifth interval 263 —, and hearing 291-9 —, history of 291-9 —, new language of 442 —, and origins of language 282-3 —, pendulum ratio debate 270-3 —, science of 107-10 —, theories of 86 —, and vibration 219 —, see also hearing; sound musical academy of the Camerata 294 —, see also colleges and universities Muslim theology 79 mutation of species 418 National Edition of Galileo 489, 490 natural philosophy 20, 82, 149-61, 153, 228 —, and Galileo 23, 139-61, 167, 208, 213, 267 natural selection 425, 431, 435, 436, 437 —, see also Darwin, Charles; evolution; transmutation of species nature, laws of 67, 68, 69, 75-7, 470, 472 —, and St Augustine 69, 72-5, 77 —, and R. Bacon 75-7 —, Descartes on 83-4 —, designation of 86 —, and Lucretius 69-70, 388 —, medieval conceptions of 67-88 —, and Newton 67, 85, 186 —, and Philo Judaeus of Alexandria 70-2 —, and Suarez 83 —, and Bishop Etienne Tempier 80 —, and William of Ockham 77-8 nature, Western visions of 1-12 navigation/cartography 19 Neckham, Alexander 369 Neoplatonism and Catholicism 166 Nero 60 Netherlands 35, 286 Neuperg, Comte 410 new cosmology 177, 433 new philosophy see experimental philosophy New Star of 1604 177, 178, 487 Newton, Sir Isaac 408, 409, 415, 417, 430

Index —, and causality 441 —, and expectation and choice 389 —, and language of science 441 —, and laws of gravitation 434 —, on laws of nature 67, 85, 186 —, and mechanistic theory 434 —, and scientific revolution 461 —, translated by Madame du Chatelet 462 'Nicholas, Master' (teacher) 59 Nicholas (Nicolaus) of Cusa 61, 62, 99, 453 Nicole, Pierre 379, 382-4 Nicomachus 293 Nifo, Agostine 184 Noailles, Francois de 272 North, John 471 Novara, Domenico Maria 115 objectivity, scientific 13-30 Olschki, Leonardo 473 omnipotent Craftsman 247 Opus tertiwn (Bacon, R.) 52 Optica (Alhazen) 316, 319 optics 54, 55, 56, 58, 63, 99 —, and art 105 —, and colour 45 —, and Galileo 217, 343 —, history of —, —, Alhazen 38, 301-28, 471, 473 —, —, Bacon, R. 52, 292, 316, 317-19, 326 —, —, Crombie 471 —, —, Descartes 345, 348-52, 354 —, —, Euclid 55, 302-3, 305, 308, 471 —, —, Fabrici 320, 325, 334 —, —, Galen 303, 307, 308, 309, 315-16, 325 —, —, Grosseteste 316-17 —, —, Kepler 38, 304-5, 329-45, 347-8, 350, 354-5 —, —, Leibniz 301-2, 354 —, —, Lindberg 471 —, —, Mersenne 348, 352 —, and ocular physiology 301, 473 —, see also eyes Oresme, Nicole 80, 82-3, 277, 454 —, and earth's rotation 470 —, and the world clock 473 —, and scientific vernaculars 469 oriental languages 118 The Origin of the Species (Darwin) 6, 429, 431, 435, 436 Oryx beisa (antelope) 288


Osiander, Andreas 257 Oxford 39, 52, 151,264 Pacioli, Luca 115, 131, 376 Pacius, Jules 286 Padua 140, 172, 175, 177, 198, 484 —, and Galileo 134, 178, 225, 227, 492 —, and mathematics 117, 118, 134 —, Peiresc explores 286 —, and philosophy 125, 133 —, and Possevino 126 —, see also under colleges and universities painting 34, 96-7, 173, 320, 343 Paley, William 416, 433 Palladio 132 Pappus 102, 206, 225, 269 Paris 39, 52, 80, 82, 153, 264, 490 —, Leibniz studies in 384 Paris, Matthew 39 Pascal, Blaise 113, 379, 381-2, 384, 3989,447 Pasteur, Louis 446 Pastoreaux rebels 52, 54 Patrizi, Francesco 127, 139-40, 166 Paul of Middleburgh 61 Paul, St 135 Pavia 140 Pecham, John (also Pisanus) 316, 319, 326, 332, 344 Peiresc, Nicolas Claude Fabri de 271, 278, 286-9, 494 —, background 286 —, collections of 288 —, correspondence 287 —, Lettres a Claude Saumaise et a son entourage 287-9 —, and origin of language 288-9 Peiresc (village) 286 Pena, Jean 131, 295 pendulum 179, 208, 270-3, 485 Pequet, Jean 111, 347 perception 26 Pereira, Benito 119, 122-4, 127, 132-3 —, on astromomical hypotheses 184 —, and mathematics 194 —, as source for Galileo's writings 153, 158, 168, 205, 269-70, 485 —, and undated writings of Galileo 221, 226, 227, 486, 487 —, and Vallius 485 —, alluded to 123 periodisation (ancient, medieval, modern) 34, 36, 452, 453


Science, Art and Nature in Medieval and Modern Thought

Perrault, Claude 299, 347 Persian language 278 Persio, Antonio 134 perspective 46, 98, 105, 106, 320, 473 —, and Greek mathematicians 441 —, Vieri on 137-8 persuasion see rhetoric Petrarch, Francesco Petrarca 34, 452-3 Petty, William 379, 385 Peurbach, Georg 99 Phaedrus (Plato) 133-6 Philander 132 Philo of Byzantium (2nd C B.C.) 132 Philo Judaeus of Alexandria (1st C A.D.) 70-2, 469-70 Philoponus, John 153, 221 philosophers, mechanistic 27 philosophy 35, 37, 52-3, 54, 126 —, Christian 72 —, empiricism 262 —, English 452 —, ethics 16 —, of Galileo 179, 257-62, 488 —, Greek see Greek philosophy —, of Grosseteste 40, 42-3 —, history of 458, 459 —, humanism 455 —, Italian 166 —, Jesuit 132 —, metaphysics 52, 54, 79, 118 —, natural 149-61, 166 —, Neoplatonism 166 —, Platonic 127, 134 —, positivism 259, 260, 261 —, psychology 26 —, rationalism 89-114 —, scepticism 20, 72, 128, 167 —, Stoics/Stoicism 21, 68, 71, 72, 128 —, see also God; logic; truth physical research and measurement 86-7 physick, history of 462 physics —, experimental 206-7 —, Greek 16 —, in Jesuit education 118 Piccolomini, Alessandro 122, 124, 132, 194, 195 —, and mathematics 123 —, and mechanics 175 —, and rhetoric 236-42, 243, 245, 250 Pico della Mirandola, Giovanni 126, 139, 166 Pico, Gianfrancesco 131 Pico, Giovanni 127

Piero della Francesca 99 Pieroni, Giovanni 271 pigeons 418 pin hole image see camera obscura Pinelli, Giovanni Vincenzo 117, 126, 134, 175, 286 —, and library 288 —, manuscripts 187 —, and undated writings of Galileo 225 Pinelli library 288 Pisa 156, 173, 181, 198 —, and Galileo's writings 227, 479, 486 —, Peiresc's background 286 —, see also under colleges and universities Pisa, Leaning Tower of 259 Pisanus see Pecham, John planets 54, 61, 99, 178, 181, 185 —, Jupiter 179, 217, 287 —, planetary intervals 21 —, Venus 186 —, see also astronomy; cosmology; telescope plants and longevity 57 Plater, Felix 320, 324-5, 329, 334, 335 Plato 32, 134, 139,261,275 —, and acoustics 292 —, and architecture 91-2 —, and creation 71 —, critics of 127 —, and expectation and choice 362 —, and mathematics 123, 196, 197, 198, 200 —, and nature —, —, as a deductive system 21 —, —, laws of 68, 69 —, and origin of language 275 —, philosophy 127, 134 —, and properties/qualities 219 —, and rhetoric 92-3, 237, 362 —, and scientific style 467 —, and undated writings of Galileo 222, 226 —, alluded to 31, 95, 149, 358, 486 Platonism 115-40, 150 Platter see Plater, Felix Plempius, Vopiscus Fortunatus 345 Pliny the Elder 60, 469 Plotinus 72, 138 Plutarch 127, 129, 130 poetry 34 Poland 125, 126 political —, bulverism 28

Index —, history 453 —, role of science 21 politics 21, 28, 29, 95, 453 Ponce de Leon, Pedro 110, 284 population 385 Porphyry 293 Port-Royal 382 Porta, Giambattista della, 223, 301, 328, 329, 335 Posidonius 129 positivism 259, 260, 261 Possevino, Antonio 124-32 —, on astrology 132 —, and calendar reform 125-6 —, diplomatic missions 125 —, friendships 175 —, and influence of Clavius 128, 131 —, and Jesuit society 125, 126 —, as Papal Nuncio 125 —, written work —, —, Bibliotheca selecta 126-32, 133, 175 —, —, on Jesuit universities 125 —, —, on peace mission to Russia 125 Postel, Guillaume 288 postulation, theoretical, of Galileo 268-9 power 27, 67-88, 79-81 power, propogation of 55 Prado, Jeronimo 132n Prague 334 Priestley, John 463 primary properties/secondary qualities 157, 218-19 Princeton 264 Priscian (Priscianus Caesariensis) 31, 223 probabilities 359, 468 —, history of 360-7, 369-74 —, —, arguments from 357-400 —, —, and natural selection 388-400 —, see also expectation and choice probability theories 360-7,387, 389-92 Proclus 123, 131, 217, 269 —, analysis and synthesis 209 —, on Euclid 101, 175 —, and mathematics 195, 196, 198, 216 proof, concept of 68, 466 Protestant reformation 36 Protestantism 455 Psalms, translation of 40 Psellus, Michael 131 psychiatry, Western 446 psychology 26 Ptolemy 59, 60, 62, 131, 175 —, and astronomy 209


—, and R. Bacon 55, 58 —, and calendar 47 —, and Clavius 182 —, and experimental argument 467 —, and Grosseteste 45, 46 —, and music 293, 295 —, and optics 96, 303, 308, 313, 317, 471 —, —, eye, history of the 305, 306 —, and planetary tables 469 —, primary properties/secondary qualities 219 —, and refraction 86, 472 —, and rhetoric 238 —, and scientific revolution 456 —, and scientific style 467 —, and tables of refraction 332 —, and undated writings of Galileo 225 public health 448 Pythagoras 127, 131, 139, 149, 296 Querengo, Antonio 254 Quintilian, Marcus Fabius 367 Quintilianus, Aristides 293 Raimondi, Giambattista 116, 139 rainbows 38, 40, 45, 57 —, studies of 471-2 Ralegh (Raleigh), Sir Walter 36 Ramelli, Agostino 320 Ramus, Peter 36 Rashdall, H. 54 ratio 58-59, 268, 270-3, 332 rational artist 89-114 Ray, John 413, 415, 425 Reael, Laurens 270 Redi, Francesco 414 Redondi, Pietro 485, 489, 490 reefs, coral 433 reflection 56, 177 Reformation of Religion 36, 456 refraction 55, 56 Regiomontanus 61 religion and scientific revolution 455 religious reform 36, 456 renaissance 96, 452, 455 reproduction, theories of 422-3 resolution and composition (Galileo) 209 rhetoric 92-3, 231-55, 436 —, and Aristotle 232, 236-40, 243, 2478, 250-2, 362-3 —, and Cardano 249 —, and Colombe 245-6 —, and Copernicus 244


Science, Art and Nature in Medieval and Modern Thought

—, and Darwin 6 —, and Descartes 6 —, and Ficino 249 —, and Galileo 6, 180-1, 216, 231-55, 485, 494 —, and Gherardini 149, 239 —, and Gorgias 234 —, and Hippocrates 235 —, and J.D. Moss 231-2 —, and Plato 92-3, 237, 362 —, and Ptolemy 238 Riccardi, Padre, Maestno del Sacro Palazzo 490 Richard of Wallingford 82, 470, 473 Ristoro, Juliano 117 Robertson, William 463 Rocco, Antonio 161, 186 Romanticism 37 Rome 271, 272, 346, 453, 489, 490, 494 —, see also under colleges and universities Ronchi, Vasco 471 Rose, Cipriano de 294 Roshdi Rashed 470 Rossi-Monti, Paolo 267n Rousseau, Jean Jacques 461 Royal Society Catalogue of Scientific Papers 436 The Royal Society 258, 460, 461 Rudolph II, Emperor 331, 494 Rushworth, William 381 Russell, Gul 470 Sabra, A.I. 471 Sacrament of the Eucharist 489 Sacrobosco, Johannes de 60, 486 'Sagredo' (and Galileo) 226, 244, 251 salamander 411 'Salviati' as Galileo 226, 243-5, 247-8, 250-3, 261 Santillana, Giorgio de 257 Santorio Santorio 485 Sarpi, Pietro 176 Saturn 185 Saumaise, Claude 287, 289 Savoy 125 Scaliger, Joseph-Juste 278, 288 Scaliger, Julius Caesar 153 scepticism 20, 72, 128, 167 —, see also Stoics/Stoicism Scheiner, Christopher 180 and history of optics 345-7 science: —, and Clavius 181-3, 184, 185, 187

—, experimental 89-114 —, history of 31-8, 263-70, 440, 443-4, 451-64 —, and Islam 54 —, language of 3, 439-42 —, of music 107-10 —, and nature 1, 19, 54, 165-229 —, new science 35, 36, 279, 459 —, quantitative 20 —, of vision 302 —, —, see also optics —, Western visions of 1-12 scientific language 439-42 scientific method of Darwin 429-37 scientific method of inquiry 10, 11, 12, 467-8 scientific objectivity, Western experience of 13-30 scientific revolution 451-64 scientific style 159, 229, 270, 467-8, 472 scientific thought of R. Bacon 53-63 scorpion 412 Scriptures, Holy 41, 53, 182, 470 sculpture, Galileo's interest in 173 Sedgwick, Adam 433 Semitic groups and origins of language 278 Seneca, Lucius ('the Younger') 34, 51, 60 Sextus Empiricus 218, 365, 366, 379 Shakespeare, William 105, 416 Shea, William 157, 158 shell, tropical, at Shrewsbury 433 Shirley, John 473 Siculus, Diodorus 275 Silvestris, Bernard 33 Simon de Montfort 41, 59 'Simplicio' —, as Aristotle 243, 247, 250, 252, 253 —, and undated writings of Galileo 226 Simplicius 183, 221 Siraisi, Nancy 471 Smith, Adam 392, 394, 396 Snel, Willebrord 349 social responsibility 99 —, see also virtu Socrates 32, 200, 233-6, 466 solar eclipses 329-30, 332 solar radiation 43 Soto, Domingo de 126 sound 42, 108-9, 219, 292, 296, 297-8 —, see also hearing; music South America 431, 434 Spain 110, 284

Index species, classification of 413 Speculum astronomic, authorship question of 61 Speroni, Sperone 126 Sprat, Thomas 461 stars 43, 57, 177, 178, 179 —, see also astronomy; cosmology; planets statistics 11, 385-8, 399, 447, 448 —, and economy 392 —, and evolution 398 —, and Maupertuis 390 Stoffler, Johannes 62 Stoics/Stoicism 21, 68, 71, 72, 128 —, see also scepticism Straker, Stephen 471, 473 Sturm, Johann Christoph 347 Suarez, Francisco 83, 84 submarines 33, 57 sulpher drugs 448 sun 179, 186, 211, 213 sunspots 207, 269 —, Galileo on 211 —, —, First Letter 87, 150, 180, 186, 215, 216 —, —, Second Letter 213 —, —, Third Letter 215 Swammerdam, Jan 414 Sweden 125 Sydenham, Thomas 446 Taccola (Mariano di Jacopo) 106, 320 Tartaglia, Niccolo 132 Tartars 54 Tasso, Torquato 223 taxonomy and scientific style 11, 467-8 technology, modern 448-9 Tedeschi, Leonardo 177 telescope 87, 91, 186, 207, 217, 494 —, discoveries 177, 185, 214 —, of Kepler 343 —, observations 106, 179, 217, 286-7 Telesio 249 Tempier, Bishop Stephen 53, 61, 80 Thabit ibn Qurra 62 Thales 130 Themistius 239, 292 Theodoric of Freiberg 38, 471-2 Theodosius 59 theological letters of Galileo 229 theology 23, 34, 54, 151 —, and Archimedes 470 —, and Aristotle 22, 151, 470 —, Christian 5, 72, 79, 99, 469


—, and Galileo 229 —, Hebrew 27, 70, 469 —, Islamic 5 —, and Jesuit education 118 —, and modern science 16, 461 —, Muslim 79 —, see also belief and doubt; Catholicism; Creator; God Theon of Smyrna 219, 293 Theophratus 467 thermometers 111, 203, 485 Thierry of Chartres 31, 32 Thomas Aquinas see Aquinas, St Thomas Thomas de Vio see Cajetan Thorndike, Lynn 59-60 Thucydides 13, 14, 27 tides 43, 47, 160, 179, 185-6, 211 Times Literary Supplement 479, 484, 489-91 Toledan tables 60 Toledo, Francisco de (Toletus) 119, 126, 153, 158 —, written work 168, 172, 269-70, 484 Toletus see Toledo, Francisco de Torres, Balthassar 119 Torricelli, Evangelista 118 Toscanelli, Paolo dal Pozzo 59, 99 Tournefort, Joseph Pitton de 413 Tractationes de mundo et de caelo (Galileo) 151-60, 167, 194 transmutation of species 434 —, see also Darwin, Charles; evolution; natural selection Tribunal of the Holy Office 490 true/false premise 182 truth 23, 24, 53, 381 —, and bulverisation 28 —, and communism 29 —, in modern science 25 Turks' invasion of Greek churches 456 Tuscany 139 Tuscany, Grand Dukes of 134, 159, 247, 492-3 Tycho see Brahe, Tycho Tyndall, John 3 Tyson, Edward 413, 415, 418 United States 59, 264, 476 universal language 277, 278, 282 universities see colleges and universities Urban VIII, Pope 489, 490-1 Valerio, Luca 116, 207 Valla, Giorgio 100, 102, 131


Science, Art and Nature in Medieval and Modern Thought

Valle see Vallius Vallesius (Francisco Valles) 126, 177, 284 Vallius, Paulus (Paolo della Valle) 169, 479 —, and Galileo's writings 484 —, and Pererius 485 —, and Zabarella's tracts compared 480-4 Valori, Baccio 134, 139 Vasari, Giorgio 453 Vatican Library 294 Venice 48, 133, 153, 155, 271, 293 —, see also under colleges and universities —, Vincenzo Galilei studies in 294 Venus 185,186 Vere, William de 39 Vesalius, Andreas 320, 324, 325, 328 Vick, Henri de 82 Vickers, Brian 232-3 Vico, Giovanni Battista (Giambattista) 461 Vieri, Francesco 134-9 —, background 134, 138 —, and astrology 136 —, on perspective 137-8 —, Platonic philosophy —, written work 135, 138, 139 Viete, Francois 225, 442, 485, 487 Villalpando, Juan Batiste 132n Villani, Filippo 34, 453 Villard de Honnecourt 97, 473 Vinta, Belisario 179, 224, 227 Vio, Tommaso de see Cajetan Virgil 75 virtu 89-91, 98-9, 104, 112, 113 —, and the Renaissance 89, 453, 477 Vitelleschis, Mutius 485 Vitelo see Witelo Vitruvius 101, 132, 212, 223

Vitry, Philippe de 293 Viviani, Vincenzo 103, 156, 203, 224, 225, 259 Voltaire 258, 408, 409 —, on Maupertuis 409, 410, 411, 417, 427 —, and scientific revolution 451-2, 456, 457, 461, 462-3 Waard, Cornelis de 270, 287 Wallace, Alfred Russel 431, 432, 435 Wallace, William 156, 158, 172-4n, 479, 484, 485 Walter of Odington 293 watermarks on Galileo's paper 156, 157, 162-3 weather 43, 387 weather glass 111 weather, prediction of 52, 136 Welser, Mark 126 Whewell, William 3, 258, 260, 441, 463 William of Auvergne 52 William of Conches 31 William of Ockham 77-8, 80-1 Willis, Thomas 299, 353 Wisan, Winifred 208, 215, 270 witchcraft 372 Witelo 63, 132, 316, 330-1, 342, 344, 471 —, critics 331, 333, 334 —, Ptolemy's tables 332 —, and rainbows 472 Witt, Jan de 379, 384, 387 world, conceptions of 21, 22 Wotton, Henry 343 Young, Thomas 463 Zabarella, Giacomo 140n —, and Vallius tracts compared 480-4 Zarlino, Gioseffe 131, 293, 294, 295, 296 Zonca, Vittorio 320 Zorzi, Benedetto 134

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