Schuster Organizing the Experimental Life at the Early Royal Society, Ghent 2008

This paper invited by the Centre for the History of Science, University of Ghent, is based in part on work originally pursued with Dr Alan B. H. Taylor. It examines how knowledge claims were manufactured and communicated at the early Royal Society. We examine the Society’s organisationally sedimented patterns of decision-making and action-taking. This cuts across Shapin’s characterization of ‘the new Experimental Science’ in terms of a supposedly new ‘form of life’ which purportedly broke with the previously dominant culture of natural philosophy. Three case studies suggest that the contested culture of natural philosophy continued to play through and be played upon within the Royal Society. These findings are amplified in my monograph in progress dealing with ‘the fate of natural philosophy and the rise of modern sciences in the Scientific Revolution’.

Published by Dr. John A. Schuster

Honorary Reader, School of History and Philosophy of Science, University of Sydney and Honorary Research Fellow, Campion College, Sydney, and Fellow of the Australian Academy of the Humanities. I have published extensively on Descartes, the Scientific Revolution, the myth of scientific method and historiographical issues.

%d bloggers like this: