Article ID: CBB553458231

Light and Void. The Philosophical Background of Valerian Magni's Vacuum Experiments (2019)


The subject of the article is the interpretation of a series of experiments proving the existence of vacuum. This was performed by the Capuchin Valerian Magni in 1647 and described in the treatise Demonstratio ocularis, which is the first printed text referring to successful experiments with vacuum. The work generated great controversy at the time, not only with opponents of void, but also with French scholars, who accused Magni of plagiarism. The article reconstructs both the situation around the work's publication and the reaction to it, with an aim of presenting the philosophical background behind Magni's experiments. Magni understood the experiments as confirmation of his anti-Aristotelianism, and placed them among his metaphysics and natural philosophy, in which he attributes the key epistemological and ontological function to light.

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Authors & Contributors
Blank, Andreas
Schmid, Jelscha
Spink, Aaron
Zubov, Vasilii P.
Zimmermann, Albert
Zemplén, Gábor Á.
Perspectives on Science
Galilæana: Journal of Galilean Studies
British Journal for the History of Science
VIET: Voprosy Istorii Estestvoznaniia i Tekhniki
Studies in History and Philosophy of Science
Monist: An International Quarterly Journal of General Philosophical Inquiry
Guida Editori
Pickering & Chatto
Oxford University Press
Cambridge University Press
Experiments and experimentation
Natural philosophy
Vacuum; emptiness; nothingness
Newton, Isaac
Liceti, Fortunio
Galilei, Galileo
Descartes, René
de Granada, Luis
Schelling, Friedrich Wilhelm Joseph von
Time Periods
17th century
18th century
16th century
Padua (Italy)

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