Leviathan and the Air-Pump - WikipediaBernard Cohen, steven shapin and simon schaffer. Princeton: Princeton University Press. Most users should sign in with their email address. If you originally registered with a username please use that to sign in. To purchase short term access, please sign in to your Oxford Academic account above.
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Leviathan and the Air-Pump: Hobbes, Boyle, and the Experimental Life
Princeton University Press, originally published in Leviathan and the Air-Pump examines the conflicts over the value and propriety of experimental methods between two major seventeenth-century thinkers: Thomas Hobbes, author of the political treatise Leviathan and vehement critic of systematic experimentation in natural philosophy, and Robert Boyle, mechanical philosopher and owner of the newly invented air-pump. The issues at stake in their disputes ranged from the physical integrity of the air-pump to the intellectual integrity of the knowledge it might yield. Both Boyle and Hobbes were looking for ways of establishing knowledge that did not decay into ad hominem attacks and political division. Boyle proposed the experiment as cure. He argued that facts should be manufactured by machines like the air-pump so that gentlemen could witness the experiments and produce knowledge that everyone agreed on. Hobbes, by contrast, looked for natural law and viewed experiments as the artificial, unreliable products of an exclusive guild.
It examines the debate between Robert Boyle and Thomas Hobbes over Boyle's air-pump experiments in the s. In , Shapin and Schaffer were awarded the Erasmus Prize for this work. On a theoretical level, the book explores the acceptable methods of knowledge production, and societal factors related to the different knowledge systems promoted by Boyle and Hobbes. The book also contains a translation by Schaffer of Hobbes's Dialogus physicus de natura aeris. It attacked Boyle and others who founded the society for experimental research, soon known as the Royal Society. Shapin and Schaffer state, in their first chapter Understanding Experiment , that they wish to answer the question, "Why does one do experiments in order to arrive at scientific truth?
PDF | On Sep 1, , RICHARD C. JENNINGS and others published Leviathan and the Air-Pump: Hobbes, Boyle, and the Experimental Life.
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