Article ID: CBB000330700

The Arguments on Void in the Seventeenth Century: The Case of Francis Bacon (2003)

unapi

Francis Bacon's position on the existence of void and its nature has been mostly studied with regard to his views on the atom. This approach is undoubtedly right, but it disregards further topics related to Bacon's account of void, namely the world system and the transmutation of bodies. Consequently, a more comprehensive study of Bacon's view on vacuum seems desirable where all the contexts are taken into account. To address this desideratum, the present paper examines Bacon's different views on vacuum drawing attention to the various contexts of the discussion. It also gives an evaluation of the arguments put forward in support of his positions. The first section presents a reconstruction of Bacon's consecutive positions and the reasons for his changes of mind. The second section lists the experimental facts traditionally cited in debates about vacuum and Bacon's interpretation of these. The final section evaluates the role that these experimental facts played in Bacon's arguments. As a result, it is shown that Bacon fits entirely into the general pattern of the early seventeenth century. Empirical arguments by themselves had little value for solving the question of the void; it was also necessary to have a formerly established theory.

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Description “Empirical arguments by themselves had little value for solving the question of the void; it was also necessary to have a formerly established theory.”


Citation URI
https://data.isiscb.org/isis/citation/CBB000330700/

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Authors & Contributors
Jalobeanu, Dana
Pastorino, Cesare
Merchant, Carolyn
Rusu, Doina-Cristina
Anstey, Peter R.
Corneanu, Sorana
Journals
Early Science and Medicine: A Journal for the Study of Science, Technology and Medicine in the Pre-modern Period
Centaurus: International Magazine of the History of Mathematics, Science, and Technology
Isis: International Review Devoted to the History of Science and Its Cultural Influences
Perspectives on Science
British Journal for the History of Science
Circumscribere: International Journal for the History of Science
Publishers
Indiana University
Cornell University Press
Concepts
Experiments and experimentation
Natural philosophy
Vacuum; emptiness; nothingness
Natural history
Scientific apparatus and instruments
Experimental method
People
Bacon, Francis, 1st Baron Verulam
Boyle, Robert
Della Porta, Giovan Battista
Hooke, Robert
Bacon, Francis
Descartes, René
Time Periods
17th century
16th century
Early modern
Places
England
Great Britain
Institutions
Royal Society of London
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