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Teaching Cartesian Philosophy in the Early Modern Age
The volume offers the first large-scale study of the teaching of Descartes’ philosophy in the early modern age. Its twenty chapters explore the clash between Descartes’ “new” philosophy and the established pedagogical practices and institutional concerns, as well as the various strategies employed by Descartes’ supporters in order to communicate his ideas to their students. The volume considers a vast array of topics, sources, and institutions, across the borders of countries and confessions, both within and without the university setting (public conferences, private tutorials, distance learning by letter) and enables us thereby to reconsider from a fresh perspective the history of early modern philosophy and education.
A new edition of the Arabic text and first-time English translation
Editor / Translator: Oliver Kahl
ʿAlī ibn Sahl Rabban aṭ-Ṭabarī's Indian Books, completed in the year 850 CE as an appendix to his medico-philosophical chef-d'œuvre "Paradise of Wisdom", belong to the most remarkable texts in Arabic scientific literature. The Indian Books offer a unique, interpretative summary of the main tenets of Ayurvedic medicine, as understood by Arabic-speaking scholars on the basis of now lost translations from Sanskrit. The present book centres around a critical edition and annotated translation of this crucial text, framed by a detailed introduction and extensive glossaries of terms. Ṭabarī's learned exposé of Ayurveda also throws a more nuanced light on the allegedly uncontested supremacy of Greek humoralism in 9th-century Arabic medicine.
Volume Editors: Ana Simões and Maria Paula Diogo
Why write a book about science, technology, and medicine in Lisbon? No one questions the value of similar studies of European capital cities such as Paris or London, but they are not reflective of the norm. Alongside its unique characteristics, Lisbon more closely represents the rule and deserves attention as such. This book offers the first urban history of science, technology and medicine in Lisbon, 1840-1940. It addresses the hybrid character of a European port city, scientific capital and imperial metropolis. It discusses the role of science, technology, and medicine in the making of Lisbon, framed by the analysis of invisibilities, urban connections, and techno-scientific imaginaries. The book is accompanied by a virtual interactive map.
Author: Aderemi Artis

Abstract

In his Confession of Faith, Francis Bacon makes the striking claim that the laws of nature have changed over time. While the connections between this claim and theology are outlined in the Confession itself, it is not clear what role the proposal of mutable laws of nature might play in Bacon’s program of reform for natural philosophy. I argue that the notion that the laws of nature have changed over time plays a significant role in shaping the character and content of much of Baconian natural philosophy. I explore this role as it evolves in published works from the 1597 Meditationes Sacrae to the 1623 Historia Vitae et Mortis, while also showing how unpublished material can provide important clarification and illumination of the published works.

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In: Early Science and Medicine
Author: Mark Thakkar

Abstract

Rudolf Schuessler has argued that sixteenth-century thinkers developed a concept of equal probability that was virtually absent before 1500 and that may have contributed to the birth of mathematical probability shortly after 1650. This note uses additional textual evidence to argue that the concept of equal probability was in fact generally available to medieval thinkers. It is true that ascriptions of equal probability are comparatively rare in medieval texts, but this can be explained without positing a conceptual blind spot.

Open Access
In: Early Science and Medicine
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In: Early Science and Medicine
In: Early Science and Medicine
Author: Lukáš Lička

Abstract

In examining the roles of the shadow (umbra) in medieval science, this paper analyses a hitherto unstudied early fourteenth-century optical treatise with the incipit Perspectiva cum sit una (PCSU), which, on the basis of medieval evidence, may arguably be attributed to Thomas Bradwardine. The third part of this treatise, on shadows, presents the doctrine of three shadow shapes – a doctrine which was popular in pre-modern optics and astronomy and was important in explaining eclipses – as well as the theory of umbra recta and versa, parallels of (co)tangent functions, which were essential for (instrumental) measurements. While the bulk of the treatise draws on John Peckham’s Perspectiva communis, an extensive analysis of medieval canons to astronomical tables, manuals of practical geometry and texts on instruments leads us to Campanus of Novara’s Practica quadrantis as the chief source of the last chapter of PCSU. Finally, the paper reflects on whether the light-centred conception of optics embodied in the PCSU may echo an alternative current to the otherwise predominantly sight-centred approach in pre-modern optics.

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In: Early Science and Medicine

Abstract

This article examines the use of astronomical observations of the austral sky in treatises written by Italian astrologers during the sixteenth century. The references made to navigators’ accounts and diagrams of southern stars in the works of Agostino Nifo, Girolamo Cardano, Francesco Giuntini and Francesco Pifferi show their attempts to include previously unknown stars in Ptolemaic framing. Although this approach implies the defence of traditional astrology by recognising the need to broaden its contents, none of the authors studied here put forward an astrological interpretation of the new information available.

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In: Early Science and Medicine
Author: Anna Derksen

Abstract

When the former Danish colony Greenland obtained Home Rule in 1979, becoming an autonomous region within the Danish Realm, it faced the challenge of having to establish a comprehensive social welfare system. This article looks at disability care and its interrelations with post-colonialism and national identity formation, as previous practices of medical care and accommodation in Danish institutions were replaced with local solutions. Frame analysis reveals the outlines of the responsibilities of Danish experts for disabled Greenlanders under colonial rule and during the modernization period until 1979. The transition phase of the early 1980s was a central arena for Greenlandic national discourse wherein care responsibilities in welfare policies, disability care institutions, advocacy organizations and the media were framed and renegotiated. The ‘Greenlandization’ of disability care and the respective shift in responsibilities was a highly uneven process that continued to be suffused with Danish norms and practices.

Open Access
In: European Journal for the History of Medicine and Health