## Discipline and Experience: The Mathematical Way in the Scientific RevolutionAlthough the Scientific Revolution has long been regarded as the beginning of modern science, there has been little consensus about its true character. While the application of mathematics to the study of the natural world has always been recognized as an important factor, the role of experiment has been less clearly understood. Peter Dear investigates the nature of the change that occurred during this period, focusing particular attention on evolving notions of experience and how these developed into the experimental work that is at the center of modern science. He examines seventeenth-century mathematical sciences—astronomy, optics, and mechanics—not as abstract ideas, but as vital enterprises that involved practices related to both experience and experiment. Dear illuminates how mathematicians and natural philosophers of the period—Mersenne, Descartes, Pascal, Barrow, Newton, Boyle, and the Jesuits—used experience in their argumentation, and how and why these approaches changed over the course of a century. Drawing on mathematical texts and works of natural philosophy from all over Europe, he describes a process of change that was gradual, halting, sometimes contradictory—far from the sharp break with intellectual tradition implied by the term "revolution." |

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### Contents

One Induction in EarlyModern Europe | 11 |

Three Expertise Novel Claims and Experimental | 63 |

Four Apostolic Succession Astronomical | 93 |

Five The Uses of Experience | 124 |

The Growth | 151 |

Seven Pascals Void Natural Philosophers | 180 |

Eight Barrow Newton and Constructivist | 210 |

A Mathematical Natural | 245 |

251 | |

281 | |

### Other editions - View all

Discipline and Experience: The Mathematical Way in the Scientific Revolution Peter Dear Limited preview - 2009 |

Discipline and Experience: The Mathematical Way in the Scientific Revolution Peter Dear Limited preview - 1995 |

Discipline and Experience: The Mathematical Way in the Scientific Revolution Peter Dear No preview available - 1995 |

### Common terms and phrases

accepted appears argument Aristotelian Aristotle Aristotle's assertions astronomical authority Barrow behavior Blancanus bodies Cabeo called causes chap chapter claims Clavius common concept concerning conclusions considered constructed course demonstration Descartes described discussion distinction early effect empirical especially established event evident example experience experimental explanation fall figures Galileo geometry given historical Ibid idem induction issue Jesuit kind knowledge known letter light material mathematical sciences mathematicians matter means mechanics Mersenne Method mixed motion move natural philosophy Newton notes objects observations Opere optics particular Pascal physics position postulates practice presentation principles problem procedure proper propositions question reason reference regarding relation reports Riccioli Royal rules says Scheiner scholastic scientific seen sense served seventeenth century similar singular Society specific statements status term things tion tradition trans treatise true truth universal usual weight