Steno and the Philosophers offers an account of the life and works of the Danish scientist and theologian Nicolas Steno (1638-1686). Its aim is to study the intricate relations between philosophy, theology, and the emerging sciences (anatomy, medicine and geology in particular) in the early modern Republic of Letters through the biographical prism of one of its most fascinating members. Concentrating on Steno’s contributions to natural philosophy and his relations to philosophers, the volume portrays Steno, not only as an influential scientist and theologian, but also as a natural philosopher who played a pivotal, albeit ambivalent, role in the intellectual networks amongst philosophers and natural scientists in the late seventeenth century.
Contributors include Raphaële Andrault, Jakob Bek-Thomsen, Daniel Garber, Vasiliki Girgoropoulo, Eric Jorink, Troels Kardel, Mogens Lærke, Sebastian Olden-Jørgensen, Justin E. H. Smith, Frank Sobiech and Pina Totaro.
Raphaële Andrault, Ph. D. (2010), ENS de Lyon, is researcher at the CNRS. She has published monographs on early modern philosophy and life sciences, and a critical edition of Steno’s
Discours sur l’anatomie du cerveau (Classiques Garnier, 2009).
Mogens Lærke, Ph. D. (2004), Paris IV; Hab. (2014), ENS de Lyon, is senior researcher at the CNRS. He authored
Leibniz lecteur de Spinoza (Champion, 2008) and
Les Lumières de Leibniz (Classiques Garnier, 2015), and more than seventy articles on early modern philosophy.
Table of contents
List of illustrations
List of contributors
Raphaële Andrault and Mogens Lærke
I. From Natural Philosophy to Theology
1. Modus politicus vivendi. Nicolaus Steno and the Dutch (Swammerdam, Spinoza and other friends), 1660–1664
2. Jesuits, Women, Money or Natural Theology? Nicolas Steno’s Conversion to Catholicism in 1667
3. Leibniz and Steno, 1675–1680
II. Anatomy and Metaphysics: Steno and Cartesianism
4. Human Brain and Human Mind. The Discourse on the Anatomy of the Brain and its philosophical reception
5. Steno’s Critique of Descartes and Louis de La Forge’s Response
6. Steno’s Myology: The Right Theory at the Wrong Time
III. The Natural History of the Earth
7. Thinking from Traces Nicolas Steno’s Palaeontology and the Method of Science
Justin E. H. Smith
8. Steno, Leibniz, and the History of the World
IV. Steno at the Medici Court
9. Steno’s Historia. Methods and Practices at the Court of Ferdinando II
10. Some observations on Nicolas Steno as a critical reader at the borderline of natural science and theology: André Martin and Giordano Bruno
11. Steno in Italy. From Florence to Rome
Index of names
Readers with an interest in the history of philosophy and the history of science in the 17th century, and anyone interested in the relationships between theology and life sciences.