Astronomer and Natural Philosopher
Author: Turner, A. J.
Source: Interdisciplinary Science Reviews, Volume 19, Number 2, June 1994 , pp. 135-139(5)
Publisher: Maney Publishing
Abstract:The four-hundredth anniversary of the birth of Pierre Gassendi occurred in 1992. Gassendi is well known as a philosopher, the refounder in Europe of Epicurean atomism, and as an important – though unacknowledged – influence on Locke and the beginning of British empiricism. Far less well known is Gassendi's work as an empirical scientist. One of the leading practical astronomers in Europe of his time, and a careful, precise observer of nature, Gassendi made important observations in such diverse fields as astronomy, geology and physics. At the same time he was a scrupulous archivist and a successful historian and biographer. These studies influenced and, to some degree, shaped his philosophical endeavours. Some of Gassendi's major discoveries are presented and summarised in the context of his empirical philosophy.
Document Type: Research Article
Affiliations: Le Mesnil-le-Roi, France
Publication date: 1994-06-01