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S. Berryman, Satisfaction to Ingenious Minds’: Powers, Mathematics and Mechanics in ancient Greek Natural Philosophy
December 6, 2017 @ 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Robert Boyle favoured mechanical explanations on account of their ability to persuade: I shall explore the earliest debates about the adequacy of mechanical analogies to account for the natural world, and why these were regarded as inadequate. Galen’s insistence on the need to appeal to certain kinds of powers within organisms helps understand what the perceived limitations of mechanical analogies were, and why the advocates of teleological natural philosophy doubted the explanatory range of mechanics.