The Mechanical Philosophy

Helen Hattab

in The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy in Early Modern Europe

Published in print January 2011 | ISBN: 9780199556137
Published online May 2011 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Philosophy

The Mechanical Philosophy

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This article analyses the underlying interpretation of the natural world as mechanical during the early modern period. It describes the so-called mechanical ideal and discusses three cases involving important (re)interpretations of the philosophical implications of this ideal. It suggests that the mechanical ideal raised new problems in different contexts and inspired antagonistic views of its philosophical implications in proponents who operated within the same intellectual context. It also discusses foundationalism versus mitigated scepticism and animated machines versus mechanical animations.

Keywords: natural world; mechanical ideal; philosophical implications; foundationalism; mitigated scepticism; animated machines; mechanical animations

Article.  11584 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy ; History of Western Philosophy ; Philosophy of Science

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