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Stockholm History of Philosophy Workshop: Sylvain Roudaut


Datum: fredag 22 april 2022

Tid: 13.15 – 15.00

Plats: D700 & Zoom

Artifacts and the Mechanization of Nature in Late Medieval Philosophy


In The Advancement of Learning, Francis Bacon writes: “An opinion has long been prevalent, that art is something different from nature, and things artificial different from things natural […] whereas men ought on the contrary to be surely persuaded of this, that the artificial does not differ from the natural in form or essence.” Whereas in the Middle Ages artifacts were commonly defined as ontologically different from natural beings, one of the most salient features of early modern philosophy is the use of machines as theoretical models for understanding nature while denying any essential difference between natural things and artificial ones. This talk will be about explaining how this change of paradigm happened between the late Middle Ages and the early modern period (between ca. 1300 and 1600) by highlighting the key moments of this theoretical transition, with a special emphasis on how the status of artifacts was discussed in the context of Paduan Aristotelianism.

For those that want to follow this on zoom, here is the link