Gassendi the Atomist

Advocate of History in an Age of Science

by Lynn Sumida Joy

Series: Ideas in Context (No. 8)

Subject categories
ISBNs
  • 9780521522397
  • 9780511869877
Scholars in the early seventeenth century who studied ancient Greek scientific theories often drew upon philology and history to reconstruct a more general picture of the Greek past. Gassendi's training as a humanist historiographer enabled him to formulate a conception of the history of philosophy in which the rationality of scientific and philosophical inquiry depended on the historical justifications which he developed for his beliefs. Professor Joy examines this conception and analyzes the nature of Gassendi's historical training, especially its relationship to his career as a physicist and astronomer. She shows how he rehabilitated Epicurean atomism by bringing together the arguments of the Greek atomists and those of his contemporaries. In doing so, he produced an account of the natural world which made it an object of empirical study and mechanical explanation.

  • Cambridge University Press; August 2002
  • ISBN: 9780511869877
  • Read online, or download in secure PDF format
  • Title: Gassendi the Atomist
  • Series: Ideas in Context (No. 8)
  • Author: Lynn Sumida Joy
  • Imprint: Cambridge University Press
Subject categories
ISBNs
  • 9780521522397
  • 9780511869877