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Cavendish 1

Cavendish 1

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Cavendish 1. “ Experimental Philosophy” (empiricism) : observing, studying, experimenting upon and knowing nature. Cartesian. Epicurean. Atomistic Mind-body integrated (coming back into vogue!) Nature as animate Mindfulness. Atomistic Mind/body Nature as a machine - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

Text of Cavendish 1

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Cavendish 1

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“Experimental Philosophy” (empiricism): observing, studying, experimenting upon and knowing


CartesianAtomisticMind/body Nature as a machineNature as


EpicureanAtomisticMind-body integrated (coming

back into vogue!)Nature as animateMindfulness

Cavendish’s “corporeal figurative motions”

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Empiricism not necessarily disembodied

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..and not necessarily objective

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Visible Human Project

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Aristotle and Plato





Organic – immanent

“Things themselves” carry within them their own ideal forms

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Experimental Philosophy

A move toward matter/nature as inorganic, malleable, controllable


But this as much a result of the charges against science as a kind of mysticism and witchcraft (alchemy etc)….

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Cavendish and animate/organic nature

Poem: “A Dialogue Between an Oake, And A Man Cutting Him Down”

Handout and pp. 258-263

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Tree’s argument to “simple be” is lost on the logger…

Tree would only be spared if it could attain divine perfection…

A human project for which the tree is not equipped

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Bacon and Cavendish

Both Blazing World (1666) and New Atlantis (1627)

Are “science fiction” utopias (dystopias)Bacon = first model society based on empirical

science Cavendish = a counter-utopia; and a satire of


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ideally perfect state; especially in its social and political and institutional aspects

NostalgiaPerfectionThey can be alternative or resistant to

technoscience or embrace the idea of perfection through technoscience…

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“The Prolongation of Life.The Restitution of Youth in some Degree.The Retardation of Age.The Curing of Diseases counted Incurable.The Mitigation of Paine.More Easing and Less Loathsome Purgings.The Increasing of Strength and Activitie.The increasing of Ability to suffer Toruture or Paine.”

The New Atlantis

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“Not any particular state, kingdom or common wealth was contented with their own shares but endeavored to encroach upon their neighbors and that their greatest glory was in plunder and slaughter and yet their victories less than their expenses and their losses more than their gains, but their being over come in manner their utter ruine.” Blazing World