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Lecture: Natural Philosophy and the Cultural Status of ReasonAdd to Queue

  • Posted by : CSTMS Berkeley

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  • Date posted : Jan 01, 1970


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Dr. Peter Dear of Cornell University delivers this lecture, entitled "Natural Philosophy and the Cultural Status of Reason." Seventeenth-century natural philosophy is often associated with empiricism and experimentalism. But reason too, as an element of knowledge-production, played a role as much theorized in practice as in principle. Reason lent an aspect of transcendence to knowledge of nature because it went well beyond the application of mere logical rules of inference. Even experimental philosophy could only represent itself as true natural philosophy by incorporating a central role for reason. Reason could be glossed as causally structured, even mechanical, as long as it also reflected divine purpose, whereby "right reason" converged with experience.

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