Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online

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Natural philosophy
(3,400 words)

1. Concept and research positions

The term “natural philosophy” lacks a unanimous definition. In the first centuries of the early modern period, it was still largely synonymous with a general science of nature that was a central component of philosophy. As empirical knowledge came to be regarded as the prototype of reliable (philosophical) knowledge (Empiricism; see below, 3.), so the term natural philosophy even bega…

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Meinel, Christoph, Stengel, Friedemann, Evers, Dirk, Rueger, Alexander and “Natural philosophy”, in: Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online, Editors of the English edition: Graeme Dunphy, Andrew Gow. Original German Edition: Enzyklopädie der Neuzeit. Im Auftrag des Kulturwissenschaftlichen Instituts (Essen) und in Verbindung mit den Fachherausgebern herausgegeben von Friedrich Jaeger. Copyright © J.B. Metzlersche Verlagsbuchhandlung und Carl Ernst Poeschel Verlag GmbH 2005–2012. Consulted online on 01 December 2020 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2352-0272_emho_COM_024655>
First published online: 2015
First print edition: 20200128



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