Boscovich's philosophical meditations in the history of contemporary thought

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Abstract

The content of Boscovich's Theoria philosophiae naturalis was well-known to his contemporaries, but both scientists and philosophers chiefly discussed it during the 19th century. The observations that Boscovich presented in this text, and that he himself defined as "philosophicas metitationes", soon showed their being a good programme for the forthcoming atomic physics, and contributed to get rid of the mechanistic paradigm in science. In this paper I will go back to some meaningful moments of the history of Boscovich's reception in the era of contemporary philosophy, by referring to what authors such as Popper, Cassirer, Nietzsche and Fechner wrote about him. These thinkers, indeed, particularly stressed the importance of the Theoria in the history of Western thought, and showed that it can easily be evaluated beyond the plane of a pure scientific investigation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)64-74
Number of pages11
JournalMemorie della Societa Astronomica Italiana - Journal of the Italian Astronomical Society
Volume23
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2013
EventRuggiero Boscovich: Astronomer, Man of Science and Letters, 300 Years After His Birth - Milan, Italy
Duration: 18 May 2011 → …

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