Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
TechnologyCritical History of a Concept$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Eric Schatzberg

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780226583839

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: May 2019

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226584027.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM CHICAGO SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.chicago.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Chicago Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CHSO for personal use.date: 24 May 2022

Natural Philosophy and the Mechanical Arts in the Early Modern Era

Natural Philosophy and the Mechanical Arts in the Early Modern Era

(p.42) Four Natural Philosophy and the Mechanical Arts in the Early Modern Era

Eric Schatzberg

University of Chicago Press

The sharp medieval distinction between philosophy and the mechanical arts began to erode in the fifteenth century, in part because technical knowledge became increasingly important to political rulers, especially in fields such as gunpowder weapons, mining, and public architecture. The links between technical knowledge and political power encouraged a surge in authorship about the mechanical arts, with works written by both humanist scholars and artisan-practitioners. Francis Bacon drew from this tradition when be began arguing, about two centuries later, for a closer connection between natural philosophy and practical application. Yet respect for the mechanical arts did not imply respect for the artisan. Instead, natural philosophers maintained a conceptual hierarchy of mind over hand that mirrored the social hierarchy of the philosopher over the artisan.

Keywords:   natural philosophy, science versus arts, Francis Bacon, early modern science

Chicago Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.