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In: Transformations of the Soul
Author: Ian Maclean

Abstract

This paper reassesses the role of sceptical thinking in the emergence of the new science of the seventeenth century, in the context of the seminal but contestable History of Scepticism by Richard Popkin. It investigates the anti-sceptical essay by Galen De optimo modo docendi (on the best method of teaching), which was retranslated in the sixteenth century by Erasmus and later published as an adjunct to the works of Sextus Empiricus, in order to highlight the currency of ideas about hyperbolic doubt, and links this to the long tradition of free enquiry (libertas philosophandi) in which doubting authority is seen as a profitable exercise closely associated with the independence of philosophy from theological domination; and it argues that this long tradition (along with a number of other factors) played an important role in the emergence of the new science.

In: Early Science and Medicine
Author: Ian Maclean
In Episodes in the Life of the Early Modern Learned Book, Ian Maclean investigates intellectual life through the prism of the history of publishing, academic institutions, journals, and the German book fairs whose evolution is mapped over the long seventeenth century. After a study of the activities of Italian book merchants up to 1621, the passage into print, both locally and internationally, of English and Italian medicine and ‘new’ science comes under scrutiny. The fate of humanist publishing is next illustrated in the figure of the Dutch merchant Andreas Frisius (1630–1675). The work ends with an analysis of the two monuments of the last phase of legal humanism: the Thesauruses of Otto (1725–44) and Gerard Meerman (1751–80).
In: Early Modern Universities
In: Episodes in the Life of the Early Modern Learned Book
In: Episodes in the Life of the Early Modern Learned Book
In: The Worlds of Knowledge and the Classical Tradition in the Early Modern Age
Author: Ian Maclean
This collection of essays examines the operation of the market for learned books in Early Modern Europe through a series of case studies. After an overview of general market conditions, issues raised by the transmission of knowledge and the economics of the book trade are addressed. These include the selection of copy, the role of legal and religious controls in the production and diffusion of texts, the paths open to authors to achieve publication, the finances and interaction of publishing houses, the margins of the European book trade in England and Portugal, and the development of bibliographical tools to assist purchasers in their pursuit of scholarly works.