Late Medieval and Early Modern Corpuscular Matter Theories


This volume deals with corpuscular matter theory that was to emerge as the dominant model in the seventeenth century. By retracing atomist and corpuscularian ideas to a variety of mutually independent medieval and Renaissance sources in natural philosophy, medicine, alchemy, mathematics, and theology, this volume shows the debt of early modern matter theory to previous traditions and thereby explains its bewildering heterogeneity.
The book assembles nineteen carefully selected contributions by some of the most notable historians of medieval and early modern philosophy and science.
All chapters present new research results and will therefore be of interest to historians of philosophy, science, and medicine between 1150 and 1750.


EUR €127.00USD $153.00

Biographical Note

Christoph Lüthy, Ph.D. (1965), Harvard, is a Fellow at the Center for Medieval and Renaissance Natural Philosopy at Nijmegen University, The Netherlands. His publications deal with early modern philosophers and scientists (J.C. Scaliger, Bruno, Basson, Sennert), with theories of matter, microscopy, and scientific imagery. John E. Murdoch is Professor of the History of Science at Harvard University, where he teaches ancient and medieval science and philosophy. Although he has published in medieval Latin mathematics, most of his articles deal with fourteenth-century natural philosophy. William R. Newman is Professor in the Department of History and Philosophy of Science at Indiana University. He has written numerous articles on medieval and early modern alchemy and matter theory, and his most recent book is Gehennical Fire: The Lives of Georges Starkey. An American Alchemist in the Scientific Revolution (Harvard University Press, 1994).

Table of contents

Preface Introduction: Corpuscles, Atoms, particles, and Minima, Christoph Lüthy, John E. Murdoch, Williams R. Newman Minima in Twelth-Century Medical Texts from Salerno, DanielleJacquart Roger Bacon's Corpuscular Tendencies (and some of Grosseteste's too), George Molland Ramon Lull's Theory of the Continuous and Discrete, Charles Lohr The Medieval and Renaissance Tradition of Minima Naturalia, John E. Murdoch Void Space, Mathematical realism and Francesco Patrizi da Cherso's Use of Atomistic Arguments, John henry Giordano Bruno's Soul-Powered Atoms: From Ancient Sources towards Modern Science, Hilary Gatti Corpuscular Matter Theory in the Northumberland Circle, Stephen Clucas Francis Bacon and Atomism: A Reappraisal, Silvia A. Manzo David Gorlaeus' Atomism, or: The Marriage of Protestant Metaphysics with italian Natural Philosphy, Christoph Lüthy Experimental Corpuscular Theory in Aristotelian Alchemy: From Geber to Sennert, William R. Newman Sennert's Sea Change: Atoms and Causes, Emily Michael Wine and Water: Honoré abri on Mixtures, Dennis Des Chene Galileo's and Gassendi's Solutions to the Rota Aristotelis Paradox: A Bridge between Matter and Motion Theories, Carla Rita Palmerino How Mechinal Was the Mechanical Philosophy? Non-Epicurean Aspects of Gassendi's Philosophy of Nature, i>Margaret J. Osler Mechanical Philosophies and their Explanations, Alan Gabbey Gassendi, Charleston and Boyle on Matter and Motion, Antonio Clericuzio Boyle against Thinking Matter, Peter Anstey The Uses of Mechanism: Copuscularianism in Drafts A and B of Locke's , Lisa Downing Wilhelm Homberg: Chymical Corpuscularianism and Chrysopoeia in the Early Eighteenth Century, Lawrence M. Principe Bibliography Index of Names List of Contributors


Readers generally interested in the history of medieval, Renaissance, and early modern philosophy, and particularly scholars interested in the history of science and medicine.