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Koyre Revisited

Autumn, 1998

THE French historian of science Alexandre Koyré is often cited among historians of instrumentation as a prime example of extreme antipathy towards allocating any significant role in the development of science to such grubby agencies as instruments, apparatus and experiment.

The Museum has, nonetheless, in a magnaminous gesture, been happy to cooperate in arranging a series of seminars in All Souls College in Hilary Term 1999, based upon Koyré’s influential book From the Closed World to the Infinite Universe (Baltimore, 1957).

The seminar series begins on the 20th January with an introduction by Professor Ian Maclean entitled ‘Renaissance concepts of infinity’. Speakers in subsequent weeks will present current assessments of historical figures treated by Koyré. These include some who had more than a passing interest in instruments, such as Thomas Digges, William Gilbert and Isaac Newton.

The seminars will be held on Wednesdays in All Souls College. Full details may be found in the Calendar on the right.