PhilSci Archive

Using Representations of Space to Study Early Modern Physical Science: An Example of Philosophy in the Service of History

Miller, David Marshall (2007) Using Representations of Space to Study Early Modern Physical Science: An Example of Philosophy in the Service of History. In: UNSPECIFIED.

[img] Microsoft Word (.doc)
UsingRepsOfSpace_9-10-07.doc

Download (92kB)

Abstract

Most historians of science eagerly acknowledge that the early modern period witnessed a shift from a prevailing Aristotelian, spherical, centered conception of space to a prevailing Cartesian, rectilinear, oriented spatial framework. Indeed, this shift underlay many of the important advances for which the period is celebrated. However, historians have failed to engage the general conceptual shift, focusing instead on the particular explanatory developments that resulted. This historical lacuna can be attributed to a historiographical problem: the lack of an adequate unit of analysis by which to investigate the conceptual change. Here, a philosophical argument is made for representations of space as an appropriate category of historical investigation, and methods of textual interrogation are suggested to this end. Finally, two examples, taken from Aristotle and Newton, demonstrate the feasibility and importance of this project.


Export/Citation: EndNote | BibTeX | Dublin Core | ASCII/Text Citation (Chicago) | HTML Citation | OpenURL
Social Networking:
Share |

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (UNSPECIFIED)
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Miller, David Marshall
Keywords: representation of space conceptual framework historiography
Subjects: Specific Sciences > Physics > Classical Physics
General Issues > History of Philosophy of Science
General Issues > History of Science Case Studies
Depositing User: David Marshall Miller
Date Deposited: 11 Sep 2007
Last Modified: 07 Oct 2010 15:15
Item ID: 3504
URI: http://philsci-archive.pitt.edu/id/eprint/3504

Monthly Views for the past 3 years

Monthly Downloads for the past 3 years

Plum Analytics

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item