Article ID: CBB246385847

Modelling the History of Early Modern Natural Philosophy: The Fate of the Art-Nature Distinction in the Dutch Universities (2019)


The ‘model approach’ facilitates a quantitative-oriented study of conceptual changes in large corpora. This paper implements the ‘model approach’ to investigate the erosion of the traditional art-nature distinction in early modern natural philosophy. I argue that a condition for this transformation has to be located in the late scholastic conception of final causation. I design a conceptual model to capture the art-nature distinction and formulate a working hypothesis about its early modern fate. I test my hypothesis on a selected corpus of 25 works published in the Dutch academic milieu between 1607 and 1748. I analyse the corpus through a procedure based on concordancing of keywords associated with the model. I argue that the results obtained constitute a successful pilot study for the implementation of the model approach on larger scale research.

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Authors & Contributors
Reeves, Eileen A.
Stroup, Alice
Brabers, Jan
Crocker, Robert
Ducheyne, Steffen
Abou-Nemeh, S. Catherine
Perspectives on Science
Studies in History and Philosophy of Science
History of Science
Notes and Records: The Royal Society Journal of the History of Science
Journal of Jesuit Studies
Princeton University
de Gruyter
Natural philosophy
Universities and colleges
Science and art
Descartes, René
Ariew, Roger
Newton, Isaac
Hartsoeker, Niklaas
Leibniz, Gottfried Wilhelm von
Gravesande, Willem Jakob van's
Time Periods
17th century
18th century
16th century
13th century
15th century
14th century
Leiden (Netherlands)
Académie des Sciences, Paris
Jesuits (Society of Jesus)
Katholieke Universiteit Brabant (Netherlands)

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