This analysis begins by examining the use of experiments, mathematics, and natural philosophy in seventeenth-century Italy. Once these topics are clearly defined, it becomes easier to understand the intellectual interests and motivations of each of the Cimentos members. Case studies regarding the Cimentos work on air-pressure, the vacuum, the freezing process, and the properties and effects of heat and cold, reveal the groups natural philosophical skills, commitments, and agendas. Meanwhile, in an attempt to avoid religious pressure and to maintain an uncontroversial reputation for the academy, Leopoldo censored the academicians from publicly expressing their views on a number of issues. The purpose of this work is to counter historiographies that search for the origins of modern science within the experimental practices of Europes first scientific institutions, such as the Cimento. It proposes that we should look beyond the experimental rhetoric found in published works, to find that the Cimento academicians were participants in a culture of natural philosophical theorising that existed throughout Europe.

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