Article ID: CBB442161394

Appetitive Matter and Perception in Ralph Austen’s Projects of Natural History of Plants (2018)


In this article I argue that, through the use of experimental practice and by following Bacon’s general prescriptions for natural history, Ralph Austen developed an appetitive theory of matter of Baconian inspiration. There are at least three areas of similarity between the two authors’ theories of matter: the presence and activity of spirits as the main entities animating matter; the relations of sympathy and antipathy between different elements of matter; and perception as an appetitive property of plants that can produce motion. I conclude that Austen developed his theory of matter on the basis of these three central points, which bear a significant resemblance to Bacon’s own theory, a connection that is best exemplified by its appetitive character.

Included in

Article Fabrizio Baldassarri; Oana Matei (2018) Manipulating Flora: Seventeenth-Century Botanical Practices and Natural Philosophy. Introduction. Early Science and Medicine: A Journal for the Study of Science, Technology and Medicine in the Pre-modern Period (pp. 413-419). unapi

Citation URI

Similar Citations

Article Doina-Cristina Rusu; (2018)
Same Spirit, Different Structure: Francis Bacon on Inanimate and Animate Matter (/isis/citation/CBB723943257/)

Article Guido Giglioni; (2023)
Large as life: Francis Bacon on the animate matter of plants (/isis/citation/CBB062014741/)

Book Fabrizio Baldassarri; (2024)
René Descartes’s Natural Philosophy and Particular Bodies (/isis/citation/CBB923571073/)

Article Dana Jalobeanu; (2018)
Spirits Coming Alive: The Subtle Alchemy of Francis Bacon’s Sylva Sylvarum (/isis/citation/CBB868354009/)

Chapter Downing, Lisa; (2012)
Maupertuis on Attraction as an Inherent Property of Matter (/isis/citation/CBB001500348/)

Chapter Biener, Zvi; Smeenk, Chris; (2012)
Cotes' Queries: Newton's Empiricism and Conceptions of Matter (/isis/citation/CBB001500342/)

Article Antonio Clericuzio; (2018)
Plant and Soil Chemistry in Seventeenth-Century England: Worsley, Boyle and Coxe (/isis/citation/CBB365909346/)

Book Jim Baggott; (2017)
Mass: The Quest to Understand Matter from Greek Atoms to Quantum Fields (/isis/citation/CBB398599175/)

Book Fors, Hjalmar; (2015)
The Limits of Matter: Chemistry, Mining, and Enlightenment (/isis/citation/CBB001510055/)

Article Evelyn Fox Keller; (2016)
Active Matter, Then and Now (/isis/citation/CBB303169325/)

Article Alfonso-Goldfarb, Ana Maria; Ferraz, Marcia H. M.; (2013)
Gur, Ghur, Guhr or Bur? The Quest for a Metalliferous Prime Matter in Early Modern Times (/isis/citation/CBB001252456/)

Article Rees, Graham; (1977)
Matter theory: A unifying factor in Bacon's natural philosophy? (/isis/citation/CBB000028247/)

Book Gemelli, Benedino; (1996)
Aspetti dell'atomismo classico nella filosofia di Francis Bacon e nel Seicento (/isis/citation/CBB000074955/)

Book Manzo, Silvia; (2006)
Entre el atomismo y la alquimia: la teoría de la materia de Francis Bacon (/isis/citation/CBB001220228/)

Article Manzo, Silvia Alejandra; (1999)
Holy Writ, mythology, and the foundations of Francis Bacon's principle of the constancy of matter (/isis/citation/CBB000081584/)

Article Turner, James; (1978)
Ralph Austen [c. 1612-1676], an Oxford horticulturist of the 17th century (/isis/citation/CBB000021324/)

Thesis Rickman, Melissa L.; (2011)
Making the “Herball”: John Gerard and the Fashioning of an Elizabethan Herbarist (/isis/citation/CBB001567334/)

Book Robert Huxley; (2020)
The Collectors: Creating Hans Sloane's Extraordinary Herbarium (/isis/citation/CBB888649046/)

Authors & Contributors
Giglioni, Guido Maria
Rusu, Doina-Cristina
Alfonso-Goldfarb, Ana Maria
Baggott, Jim
Biener, Zvi
Clericuzio, Antonio
Early Science and Medicine: A Journal for the Study of Science, Technology and Medicine in the Pre-modern Period
Ambix: Journal of the Society for the History of Alchemy and Chemistry
British Journal for the History of Science
Centaurus: International Magazine of the History of Mathematics, Science, and Technology
Garden History
History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences
Natural History Museum (London, England)
University of Oklahoma
Oxford University Press
Matter theory
Properties of matter
Natural history
Philosophy of science
Bacon, Francis, 1st Baron Verulam
Austen, Ralph
Beeckman, Isaac
Boerhaave, Herman
Boyle, Robert
Cotes, Roger
Time Periods
17th century
16th century
18th century
19th century
20th century
21st century
British Isles
London (England)
Royal Society of London
Natural History Museum (London, England)

Be the first to comment!

{{ comment.created_by.username }} on {{ comment.created_on | date:'medium' }}

Log in or register to comment