Using instruments in the study of animate beings: Della Porta’s and Bacon’s experiments with plants

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In this paper, I explain Francis Bacon's use of plants as philosophical instruments in the context of his Historia vitae et mortis. My main claim is that Bacon experimented with plants in order to obtain knowledge about the hidden processes of nature, knowledge that could be transferred to the human case and used for the prolongation of life. Bacon's experiments were based on Giambattista della Porta's reports from the Magia naturalis, but I show how a different metaphysics and research method made Bacon systematically rework, reconceptualise, and put to divergent uses the results of the same experimental reports.

Originele taal-2English
Pagina's (van-tot)393-405
Aantal pagina's13
TijdschriftCentaurus
Volume62
Nummer van het tijdschrift3
DOI's
StatusPublished - aug-2020

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