Front cover image for Gassendi the Atomist : Advocate of History in an Age of Science

Gassendi the Atomist : Advocate of History in an Age of Science

Lynn Sumida Joy (Author)
This account of Gassendi's life and work offers a provocatively new perspective from which to view the influence of humanism on seventeenth-century thought. As Professor Joy makes clear, his reform of philosophy raised questions about the aims of science, which we ourselves are still asking.
eBook, English, 1988
Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1988
1 online resource (328 pages)
9780511521416, 9780521301428, 9780521522397, 0511521413, 0521301424, 0521522390
Preface; List of illustrations; Introduction; 1. Other atomists, other skeptics, and other Epicureans: the problem of determining the context of Gassendi's career; Part I. Humanist Historiography: 2. Refuting Aristotle is not enough: how to acquire the skills of a French humanist; 3. Gassendi's Life of Peiresc: the humanist's unattainable goal of writing a universal history; 4. The growth of Gassendi's Epicurean project: from biography and commentary to a history of philosophy; Part II. Physics and the History of Philosophy: 5. Unrecognized cultural baggage: the incoherence of contemporary debates about atoms; 6. Uncertainties of observation and explanation: the role of optical anomalies in astronomy; 7. Skepticism is based on bad history: Gassendi interprets Epicurus' arguments concerning the existence and qualities of atoms; 8. Epicurus' conception of proof and Gassendi's historical justification of an atomist metaphysics and physics; 9. Between culture and nature: was Gassendi a historian, a scientist, an empiricist?; List of abbreviations used in the notes; Notes; Index of names.