Sentiments of devotion and experimental philosophy in seventeenth-century England

Harrison, Peter (2014) Sentiments of devotion and experimental philosophy in seventeenth-century England. Journal of Medieval and Early Modern Studies, 44 1: 113-133. doi:10.1215/10829636-2389515

Author Harrison, Peter
Title Sentiments of devotion and experimental philosophy in seventeenth-century England
Journal name Journal of Medieval and Early Modern Studies   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1082-9636
Publication date 2014-01-01
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1215/10829636-2389515
Open Access Status Not Open Access
Volume 44
Issue 1
Start page 113
End page 133
Total pages 21
Place of publication Durham, NC, United States
Publisher Duke University Press
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Historians of science have become increasingly aware of the connections between religion and science in the early modern period. Science, or more strictly “natural philosophy,” is understood as having pointed to the existence of a designing deity. Conversely, religion is seen as providing a fledgling science with social legitimation. Another connection between seventeenth-century science and religion is less well known, and that is the way in which the experimental practices of the new science were then thought to promote a particular kind of moral and religious formation. As Robert Boyle put it, the study of nature would instill “sentiments of devotion and particular virtues.” This feature of experimental science represents a significant link with the classical notion of philosophy (including natural philosophy), which stressed the importance of the moral formation of the philosopher. The intellectual labors of the experimentalist could thus be understood as a form of spiritual exercises.
Keyword Experimental science
Seventeenth century
Robert Boyle
Science and religion
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2015 Collection
Centre for the History of European Discourses Publications
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 2 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
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Created: Thu, 16 Jan 2014, 23:00:02 EST by Peter Harrison on behalf of Centre for History of European Discourses