‘Simon Stevin’s Age of the Sages. In search of an Alternative Renaissance: Exploring Scientific Methods Based on Pre-Classical Authorities, Emperical Data and Pure Languages.’

Research output: Chapter in book/volumeChapterScientificpeer-review

Abstract

Here, the claim will be put forward, that the publication of the Age of the Sages is not only important for Stevin’s views on the Dutch language, but is illustrative as well for the impact of the educational turn in his career when he started to teach the Stadholder, later Prince Maurits. Furthermore, we put the hypothesis forward that the development of Stevin’s ideas on the Age of the Sages might explain the discontinuity in the history of his most important polymathematical publication the Wisconstighe ghedachtenissen (Mathematical Memoirs) and some of the contents of his unpublished works on architecture, music and military affairs. To this end we will demonstrate that the Age of the Sages that Dijksterhuis dismissed as “outside the sphere of his [Stevin’s] competence” is in fact crucial for understanding developments in Stevin’s scientific methodologies, i.e. the shift from theory toward the use of empirical data and the extension of his views on the purity of the Dutch language to other (mathematical, musical, architectural) languages. Finally, the Age of the Sages sheds light on Stevin’s views on natural order and his creation of an alternative Renaissance that challenged the reception of classical authorities and that reveals a more instrumental use of the legacy of pre-classical sources compared to the studies of his contemporaries that approached ancient wisdom before the Greek and Roman civilisations purely in a philological way
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationRethinking Stevin, Stevin Rethinking. Constructions of a Dutch Polymath
EditorsC.A Davids, Fokko Jan Dijksterhuis, Ida H. Stamhuis, Rienk H. Vermij
Place of PublicationLeiden Boston
Chapter8
Pages206-233
Number of pages28
ISBN (Electronic)978-90-04-43291-8
Publication statusPublished - 20 Oct 2020

Publication series

NameNuncius Series
PublisherBrill
Number6
ISSN (Print)2405-5077

Keywords

  • Simon Stevin
  • Wijsentijt
  • Wisonstighe Ghedachtenissen
  • pre-classical authority
  • pure languages
  • History of Science

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