Continental Empiricism in the Early Modern Period

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Continental Empiricism in the Early Modern Period


Revising a Historiographical Category


Bibliothèque du CIERL, Campus du Solbosch, Université libre de Bruxelles


January 17-18, 2023.


Organized by Rodolfo Garau and Arnaud Pelletier


Supported by the EOS project RENEW18, the FRS- FNRS, the Faculté de Philosophie et Sciences Sociales at ULB (PHISOC) and the Centre de recherche en philosophie (PHI)





09:40-10:00 Arnaud Pelletier, Rodolfo Garau, Welcome and introduction.


10:00-10:50 Mihnea Dobre (ICUB, University of Bucharest), The Usefulness of Historiographical Categories: What to do With “Continental Empiricism”?


10:50-11:40 Giuliano Mori (Università Statale di Milano), Vanini Reader of Cardano: A Typological Analysis of Experience in Renaissance Italian Naturalism.


12:00-12:50 Philippe Hamou (Sorbonne Université), Galileo's Telescopic Observations: Crux and Crisis of Aristotelian Empiricism.



14:30-15:20 Dana Jalobeanu (ICUB, University of Bucharest), A Baconian Science of Sounds: Marin Mersenne’s ‘Echometry’.


15:20-16:10 Rodolfo Garau (Università Ca’ Foscari, Venice), Gassendi’s Empiricism in Context.


16:25-17:15 Klaas van Berkel (University of Groningen), Descartes, Beeckman and the Empirical Foundations of the Mechanical Philosophy.






10:00-10:50 Marco Sgarbi (Università Ca’ Foscari, Venice), Pietro Pomponazzi’s Epistemic and Experiential Empiricism (online)


10:50-11:40 Peter Anstey (The University of Sydney), Proof by Experiment in Seventeenth-Century Europe.


12:00-12:50 Sophie Roux (ENS Paris),"The French Naturalists Are More Discursive, than Active or Experimentall”: Deconstructing the Cliché that Early Modern French Natural Philosophers Were Cartesians Engaged in Speculative Philosophy".



14:30-15:20 Daniel Garber (Princeton University), Descartes, Steno and the Anatomy of the Earth.


15:20-16:10 Arnaud Pelletier (ULB), Leibniz, the First Principles of Experience and the Invention of Empiricism.


16:30-17:20 Paola Rumore (Università di Torino), Varieties of ‘Empiricism’ in the Early German Enlightenment.


17:20-17:40 Concluding remarks. 


Please note: The program may be subject to slight changes. For information, please contact Rodolfo Garau ( or Arnaud Pelletier (