Welcome to Scientiae: A new international research group at the nexus of Renaissance/early-modern studies and history/philosophy of science. The epistemological and methodological innovations of the period ca. 1450-1750 continue to be decisive for the shape of knowledge in modernity. Yet the early-modern innovators, by definition, worked within fields that were remote from later applications or syntheses. The period’s intellectual culture, therefore, offers a unique opportunity to get back behind modern ideas of knowing, dominated as they are by science and technology. By the same token, however, the early-modern origins or antecedents of these ideas cannot be investigated except via the discrete and internally-coherent disciplines in which they actually occurred.
These include, but are not limited to: Biblical exegesis, humanism, scholastic logic, art theory, and antiquarianism; as well as natural history, natural philosophy, cosmography, craft traditions, medicine, magic, and alchemy (the list is not exhaustive). We welcome any and all scholars of the period’s literature, history, philosophy, music, print culture, social networks, and intellectual geography – in short, all scholars of early-modern intellectual culture – whose research finds a focal point in issues relating to the period emergence of modern natural science.
The central activity of the Scientiae is an annual spring conference. As much as possible, sessions at the conference will be organized, not by discipline, but by subject-matter: scholars, whatever their training, who are talking about the same topic, talking with each other. Our goal is to reproduce, in our academic conversations, the interdisciplinarity that informs our common field.