>> Go to Current Issue

Journal of Early Modern Studies

Volume 6
Gardens as Laboratories. The History of Botany through the History of Gardens

Already a subscriber? - Login here
Not yet a subscriber? - Subscribe here

Displaying: 1-20 of 24 documents


articles
1. Journal of Early Modern Studies: Volume > 6 > Issue: 2
Adamas Fiucci The Role of Solitude in Pierre Charron
abstract | view |  rights & permissions | cited by
This article aims to examine Pierre Charron’s conception of solitude, a task which is complicated by the fact that this conception underwent several changes between the two editions of De la sagesse. Unlike the 1601 edition, the 1604 edition includes passages on the importance of the social dimension of the good life, which may look like an exhortation to actively participate in social life in order to acquire civil prudence. In order to clarify the Charronian position on this issue, I undertake a comparative analysis of the two editions of De la Sagesse, as well as an enquiry into the letters sent to a Doctor of the Sorbonne and to Gabriel Michel de La Rochemaillet, in which Charron deepens his reflections on solitude. I will show that Charron describes solitude not only as a physical separation from a civil context, but also as an emotional autonomy which can be reached everywhere. Charron’s perspective on solitude is also the result of his reading of previous philosophers, such as Seneca, Aristotle and Michel de Montaigne, as well as an analysis of Renaissance discussions of the active and contemplative lives.
2. Journal of Early Modern Studies: Volume > 6 > Issue: 2
Stefan Heßbrüggen-Walter The Young and Clueless?: Wheare, Vossius, and Keckermann on the Study of History
abstract | view |  rights & permissions | cited by
In their debate on whether or not the young should be allowed to study history, Degory Wheare and Gerhardus Vossius quote Bartholomäus Keckermann and state that he wants to exclude the young from studying history, Wheare arguing for Keckermann’s purported position, Vossius opposing it. Their disagreement is part of a larger controversy on the relevance of history for moral instruction in general, contemplating the question whether or not history is best understood as ‘philosophy teaching by example.’ But the interpretation of Keckermann’s position presupposed by both Wheare and Vossius is wrong. Keckermann’s Ramist predecessors argued against a central presupposition of Wheare’s views, i.e., the exclusion of the young from studying moral philosophy. Keckermann’s own position in this regard is not fully clear. But a closer analysis of his distinction between methods for writing and for reading history shows that Keckermann did want the young to study history. If Keckermann had believed that such exclusion were necessary, it could only have been related to reading historical texts, not to writing them: writing texts about historical figures or events does not require moral precepts, but only the application of certain logical tools. A view that implies that writing a historical text should be possible for students, whereas reading such a text would go beyond their capabilities, is absurd. Hence, we can assume that Keckermann expected the young to study both history and moral philosophy.
3. Journal of Early Modern Studies: Volume > 6 > Issue: 2
Stefano Di Bella Thinking, Time and the Essence of Mind in the Descartes-Arnauld Correspondence
abstract | view |  rights & permissions | cited by
The 1648 exchange between Descartes and Arnauld focuses on several distinct but intertwined topics concerning Descartes’s philosophy of mind. Descartes’s acknowledgment of thinking as the essence of the mind implied a strong ‘actualist’ view of this essential activity. Arnauld’s objcetions reveal the problematic implications of this ontology of mind, from the role of memory and the temporal nature of our thought to the radical challenge of giving the status of an essence to such a temporal activity.
4. Journal of Early Modern Studies: Volume > 6 > Issue: 2
Guido Giglioni Orlando, Perseus, Samson and Elijah: Degrees of Imagination and Historical Reality in Spinoza’s Tractatus Theologico-Politicus
abstract | view |  rights & permissions | cited by
Historia, as both a type of critical inquiry and a source of information about nature and the human world, is a key category in Spinoza’s Tractatus theologico-politicus (1670). In this work, the Latin word cannot be simply and invariably translated as “history,” not even if we add the proviso that its meaning wavers inevitably between “history” and “story,” for its semantic range is too broad and complex. At the two ends of the semantic spectrum we have the impartial report, on the one hand, and the creations of sheer fantasy (phantasmata and nugae), on the other. Historia may therefore denote the detached observation of nature and the philological analysis of a text, but it can also refer to the free exercise of the imagination in a variety of narrative contexts. While Spinoza denies that the inquiry resulting from historia and its products may have true cognitive value, he acknowledges that historia plays a fundamental role in society and politics. The reason is that historia and the imagination are bound up together by a special relationship. This is apparent at all levels of the historical engagement with reality (description, criticism and fiction), but is particularly true in the case of religion, moral norms and belief systems, for in this variegated domain the link between imagination and historia functions as the connective tissue that keeps societies united and functioning. This specific nexus of imagination and historia is Spinoza’s original contribution to the early modern notion of “moral certainty.” More importantly, it is only at this level that Spinoza grants a modicum of intelligibility (perceptibilitas) to the ‘historical’ productions of the imagination, be they signa, revelationes, or even nugae. The fact remains, though, that to a certain extent humans keep having a distorted grasp of reality, indeed hallucinate, even when their ‘historical’ accounts of reality are socially and politically productive. Here the key element is the notion of fictional continuity based on a socially constructed trust (fides historiarum) in narrative accounts of reality: the imagination turns reality into stories, but in so doing it keeps the otherwise constitutively hallucinatory nature of humans at bay and under control. Perceptibilitas, that is, the ability to provide acceptable cognitive solutions between intelligible knowledge and moral certainty, is ultimately what defines the contribution of the imagination to the human work of knowledge.
5. Journal of Early Modern Studies: Volume > 6 > Issue: 2
Eduard Ghiţă Theological Underpinnings of Joseph Addison’s Aesthetics
abstract | view |  rights & permissions | cited by
Joseph Addison’s Spectator papers on the imagination have been read as a landmark in the development of aesthetic disinterestedness (Stolnitz). But this is problematic in light of Addison’s theological concerns, particularly as they bear on the final causes of aesthetic pleasures. This teleology of the aesthetic is far from a Kantian understanding, but rather part of a larger discourse of physico-theology. By drawing on the work of Zeitz and Mayhew, among others, this paper shows how Addison’s theological underpinnings of the aesthetic raise the broader question of the role theology played in the emergence and evolution of philosophical aesthetics. In eighteenth-century Britain, the aesthetic belonged to a disciplinary matrix comprising a set of confluent discourses, one of which was theology. Drawing on and expanding M.H. Abrams’s scheme, which explores how concepts such as ‘contemplation’ and ‘disinterestedness’ migrated from theology to aesthetic theory, this paper suggests that the concept of ‘aesthetic pleasure’ underwent a similar transformation. With Addison, the pleasures afforded by the imagination (greatness, novelty and beauty) acquire a new dominant position which allows one to speak of a text in modern aesthetics instead of a manual of Christian apologetics.
6. Journal of Early Modern Studies: Volume > 6 > Issue: 2
Edward Slowik Reconsidering Kantian Absolute Space in the Metaphysical Foundations of Natural Science from a Huygensian Frame
abstract | view |  rights & permissions | cited by
This essay explores Kant’s concept of absolute space in the Metaphysical Foundations from the perspective of the development of the relationist interpretation of bodily interactions in the center-of-mass reference frame, a strategy that Huygens had originally pioneered and which Mach also endorsed. In contrast to the interpretations of Kant that stress a non-relationist, Newton-inspired orientation in his critical period work, it will be argued that the content and function of Kant’s utilization of this reference frame strategy places him much closer to Huygens’ relationism than the absolute notions of space and motion favored by Newton and Euler.
book reviews
7. Journal of Early Modern Studies: Volume > 6 > Issue: 2
Barnaby R. Hutchins Cartesian Psychophysics and the Whole Nature of Man: On Descartes’s Passions of the Soul
view |  rights & permissions | cited by
8. Journal of Early Modern Studies: Volume > 6 > Issue: 2
Irina Georgescu Puritanism and Emotion in the Early Modern World
view |  rights & permissions | cited by
9. Journal of Early Modern Studies: Volume > 6 > Issue: 2
Alexandra Bacalu Distraction: Problems of Attention in Eighteenth-Century Literature
view |  rights & permissions | cited by
10. Journal of Early Modern Studies: Volume > 6 > Issue: 2
Books Received
view |  rights & permissions | cited by
11. Journal of Early Modern Studies: Volume > 6 > Issue: 2
Guidelines for Authors
view |  rights & permissions | cited by
articles
12. Journal of Early Modern Studies: Volume > 6 > Issue: 1
Fabrizio Baldassarri Introduction: Gardens as Laboratories. A History of Botanical Sciences
view |  rights & permissions | cited by
13. Journal of Early Modern Studies: Volume > 6 > Issue: 1
Florike Egmond Experimenting with Living Nature: Documented Practices of Sixteenth-Century Naturalists and Naturalia Collectors
abstract | view |  rights & permissions | cited by
This article discusses experimentation in the context of sixteenth-century natural history, or natural science as I prefer to call it here. It uses predominantly textual sources, many of them manuscript letters, from different European countries, mainly Italy, the Low Countries, France and Germany-Austria. The focus is on the practice of experimentation and its documentation, partly because I proceed from the assumption that the investigation of living nature did not necessarily entail the same type of experimentation as contempo­rary alchemy, pharmacy, or medicine, although all these domains of knowledge and their practitioners overlapped. The subject matter to some extent imposed its own rules. The first part of this essay analyses experimentation in the garden, which often combined practical purposes with research ones. The second and third parts discuss experimentation with both plants and animals that originated in more general questions or led to more wide-ranging conclusions about natural phenomena. The final section discusses the links with natural philosophy in these different types of experimentation in natural science, and addresses the possible implications for the concept of experimentation itself in the period shortly before the ”new science” of the seventeenth century.
14. Journal of Early Modern Studies: Volume > 6 > Issue: 1
María M. Carrión Planted Knowledge: Art, Science, and Preservation in the Sixteenth-Century Herbarium from the Hurtado de Mendoza Collection in El Escorial
abstract | view |  rights & permissions | cited by
The interactive correspondence of art, science, and preservation supports the composition of a four-volume anonymous herbarium originally belonging first to the Venetian library of Ambassador Hurtado de Mendoza, and later endowed to the Royal Library of the Monastery-Palace of El Escorial. This planted knowledge consist­ed of artistic and scientific practices (composition, writing, calligraphy, naming, drying, pressing, cataloguing, relating to health properties, and so on) to preserve not only the plants dried and glued to recycled paper, but the association of those plants, with names, stories, and contexts in ways that attest to the development of natural history and philosophy in sixteenth-century Italy and Spain. This article describes and analyzes the composition of the Hurtado herbarium, its provenance, and its place in the context of early modern European naturalism and botany. Finally, it considers problems of reading this collection, and possible solutions to better understand the herbarium in El Escorial as another piece of this network of dissemination of ethnobotanical knowledge in early modern Europe.
15. Journal of Early Modern Studies: Volume > 6 > Issue: 1
Ana Duarte Rodrigues The Role of Portuguese Gardens in the Development of Horticultural and Botanical Expertise on Oranges
abstract | view |  rights & permissions | cited by
In the early modern period, botany still remained a relatively new arrival at the top table of knowledge. Much botanical work was not done in universities, colleges, academies, laboratories, or botanic gardens (usually associated with univer­sities), but behind the walls of different kinds of gardens – of the royalty as well as of common people, of monasteries as well as public gardens. By following the circula­tion of oranges, especially taking into consideration the role of Portugal as a turn­table, this paper sheds light on several of the unexpected ways in which the history of botany and horticulture and the history of gardens encountered in the early modern world. The history of oranges has often made reference to the acclimatization of this citrus fruit in Europe and its transplantation to the New World. However, very few works have addressed the dissemination of oranges from the Iberian Peninsula. In this paper, I argue for a change in perspective by stressing the role played by the Portuguese on acclimatization and dissemination of oranges from Asia to Portugal, and from this country to the Old and New Worlds. I also stress the role Portugal played in building and popularizing horticultural expertise for orange growth and its corresponding botanical knowledge.
16. Journal of Early Modern Studies: Volume > 6 > Issue: 1
Oana Matei Reconstructing Sylva sylvarum: Ralph Austen’s Observations and the Use of Experiment
abstract | view |  rights & permissions | cited by
Bacon’s projects of natural history were extremely popular in the mid-seventeenth century, especially for a group of people devoted to experimental activities, namely the Hartlib Circle. Ralph Austen, one member of the Hartlib Circle, tried to construct his own project of natural history using Bacon’s Sylva sylvarum as a pattern and following the Baconian scheme with particular interest for the methodological aspects entailed by such an endeavor. This paper provides an account of Austen’s at­tempts at writing a natural history as found in his Observations upon some part of Sr Francis Bacon’s Naturall History. It discusses the methodology and aims served by such an enterprise, both practical and theoretical: the role of experimentation in the process of compiling a natural history as the most reliable activity able to provide accurate knowledge of the natural world and the determination to provide general rules and axioms about nature.
17. Journal of Early Modern Studies: Volume > 6 > Issue: 1
Alette Fleischer Leaves on the Loose: The Changing Nature of Archiving Plants and Botanical Knowledge
abstract | view |  rights & permissions | cited by
This paper focuses on the relationship between the compilation of a herbarium in early modern history and the search for a classification of nature. By looking at the histories of different herbaria and their compilers, this paper shows how the nature of ordering botanical materials changes along with the search for a system of ordering plant knowledge.
18. Journal of Early Modern Studies: Volume > 6 > Issue: 1
Sarah Cawthorne Experimenting with “Garden Discourse”: Cultivating Knowledge in Thomas Browne’s Garden of Cyrus
abstract | view |  rights & permissions | cited by
Books were materially and metaphorically botanical in the early modern period. This article uses The Garden of Cyrus (1658), Thomas Browne’s wide-ranging philosophical tract, to illustrate how the often self-conscious links between books and gardens could operate in epistemologically significant ways. It argues that Browne’s repeated positioning of his book as a garden creates a productive model for aesthetic, theological and scientific experimentation and innovation. The framework of the garden constructs a space in which the foremost, apparently contradictory, models of knowledge associated with the seventeenth-century garden—the analogical approach of the doctrine of signatures and the empirical approach associated with the “new science”—can coexist. Extrapolating from the book of nature to suggest the inherently discursive and rhetorical forms of Browne’s knowledge as well as its limitations, the article concludes by proposing a new spatial model for this kind of coterminous literary and experimental approach: the elaboratory.
19. Journal of Early Modern Studies: Volume > 6 > Issue: 1
Gabriel R. Ricci Science, Art and the Classical World in the Botanizing Travels of William Bartram
abstract | view |  rights & permissions | cited by
William Bartram would accompany his botanizing father, John, into the wilderness and he would famously memorialize his own explorations with an account that mixed romantic conventions with natural history and Quaker theology. William’s interior life corresponds to the spirit of Virgil’s Eclogues with its promise of the resto­ration of a Golden Age, replete with bucolic scenes of shepherds tending their flocks and singing nature’s praises. This paper addresses some of the political interpretations that Bartram’s work has received and argues that William was focused on a distant past which he was introduced to through the classical curriculum at the newly founded Academy of Philadelphia (1752). William’s curriculum guaranteed an introduction to the conventions of the sublime and the picturesque, since Addison’s Spectator was also required reading and he was well-versed in Linnaean nomenclature, but wherever William botanized his observations of the natural world were framed by classical literature. His tour of ancient Indian ruins where he imagined an Areopagus and a space free of strife and bloodshed is a dramatic example of William’s habit of importing a place defined by classical literature into his natural history.
20. Journal of Early Modern Studies: Volume > 6 > Issue: 1
Alexandru Mexi Early Modern Garden Design Concepts and Twentieth Century Royal Gardens in Romania: Peleş Castle and the Mannerist Landscape
abstract | view |  rights & permissions | cited by
Built in between the end of the nineteenth century and the beginning of the twentieth century in a mountainous region in Romania, the Peleş Castle and its gardens were conceived according to the mid sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries landscape design principles. Thus, the surrounding landscape, the park and gardens at the royal residence in Sinaia make up an overall image of a Mannerist landscape in which the Villa or, in this case, the castle, is integrated in a complex allegorical, alchemical and political programme. To explore this chronologically incongruent design and to explore gardening principles perhaps invisible in plain sight for modern eyes, the following study aims to emphasize the presence of early modern Western European gardens in the design of the park and gardens at Peleş. This analysis will also reveal the various ways in which, by manipulating nature according to Late Renaissance and Mannerism principles, nature was staged to achieve political goals.