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Cartesiaanse en newtoniaanse natuurwetenschap aan de Leuvense Artesfakulteit

Keywords: Cartesianism , Newtonianism , Leuven

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Abstract:

Cartesian and Newtonian science al the Leuven Faculty of Arts The dissemination of Cartesian and Newtonian science in the Leuven Faculty of Arts shows that in both cases the direct influence of Descartes and Newton was replaced by an indirect influence through the Cartesian and Newtonian textbooks. At the same time the sharp controversy between both systems did not occur at the level of science education. To define the 'Cartesian' and 'Newtonian' points of view in the curriculum, we cannot use the criteria of conceptual resemblance (e.g. between Descartes and Cartesianism) or controversial antithesis (between Cartesianism and Newtonianism). We have to look more closely at the role of the textbooks, the position of their authors, their styles, and the people who did or did not read them. Whatever may come out as 'Cartesian' or 'Newtonian' should in the first place be the description of a historical process, rather than based on rigorous methodological or epistemological issues.

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