Stéphane Van Damme: "The nature of doubt: towards a historical epistemology of early modern sceptical knowledge"

  • Datum: –15.00
  • Plats: Engelska parken 6-3025 (Rausingrummet)
  • Arrangör: Institutionen för idéhistoria
  • Kontaktperson: Otto Sibum
  • Seminarium

Vetenskapshistoriska seminariet

Forskningspresentation av Stephane Van Damme, Ecole Normale Supérieure, Paris. 


In the last ten years or so, Italian, French, German and English historiography has seen a proliferation of studies on dissimulation, divided between a highly doctrinal and philosophical history (centred on prohibitions, anathemas, controversies or tramsission of ancient philosophical traditions such as scepticism) and a highly culturalist history of deception or even imposture. In this framework, works on sceptical epistemology are rare. Studies have preferred to focus on the political and moral dimension without taking an interest in scientific production. However, between the 17th and 18th centuries, these scientific practices offered a different view of the dominant institutions and gave space to dissident and dissonant voices, particularly when it came to the colonisation of knowledge or dogmatism. Largely based on the collection of cases rather than on investigation, it valued a scientific culture confronted with the experiences of distant worlds and other non-European scholarly cultures. In this paper, we will see to what extent this perspective offers a counter-history of the scientific revolution.