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Main page / "Knowledge. Understanding. Skill" Journal / Contents / 2015 / 1

Lisovich I. I. "Baroque Science": Problems of Applying the Concept

The article was written within the framework of the project Virtual Shakespearean Sphere: Transformations of Shakespearean Myth in Modern Culture supported with a grant from the Russian Foundation for the Humanities (No. 14-03-00552).

(Moscow University for the Humanities)

Abstract ♦ The article looks at the concept of the "Baroque science" as applied to the period of the scientific revolution by the authors of Science in the Age of Baroque(Ed. O. Gal, R. Chen-Morris. Springer, 2013) and Baroque Science (Gal, ., Chen-Morris, R. University of Chicago Press, 2013). These books can be viewed as an attempt to develop a new terminology and find new connections between the phenomena of science in the wake of Steven Shapins criticism of the term "scientific revolution".

The modern humanities find it normal when terms and methods are borrowed from hard sciences. In these books, the authors try to extrapolate the terminology originally developed in the studies of architecture and then applied to the general worldview of an era, onto the history of the natural and exact sciences. Looking at their attempt in terms of history of science as a whole, its periodization and specificity, we can see that such a concept creates a number of methodological and historical problems.

However, if we do not accentuate the linear history of science and the history of ideas, and study the cultural history of science instead, the interconnections between scientific inventions, ideas, discoveries and practices and the various fields of art are obvious. They can be found in painting, architecture, theology, philosophy, poetry, drama, rhetoric, and in the migration of terminology. Moreover, the scientists themselves often used the new aesthetic and rhetorical forms for visual and verbal representations of their scientific papers. From this perspective, the study of interference between scientific and humanitarian discourses is the most productive, and the term baroque science obviously incorrect. We can at best speak of the influence baroque aesthetics had on the representation of scientific knowledge in the 17th century and the reverse impact of scientific practices and ideas on the worldview of the baroque. 

Keywords: early modern period, England, scientific revolution, baroque science, baroque, classicism, history of science, cultural history of science. 

Lisovich Inna Ivanovna - Candidate of Philology, Associate Professor, Department of Philosophy, Culturology and Politology, Moscow University for the Humanities. Postal address: 5 Yunosti St., Moscow, Russian Federation, 111395. Tel.: +7 (499) 374-55-11. E-mail:


Citation: Lisovich I. I. (2015) "Baroque Science": Problems of Applying the Concept [ ]. Znanie. Ponimanie. Umenie, no. 1, pp. 270-281. (In Russ.). DOI: 10.17805/zpu.2015.1.26

Submission date: 12.01.2015.



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