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The Role Of Mechanics In Francis Bacon’s Great Instauration

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Chapter Summary

This chapter deals with early devices, which can be described as non-sealed air-thermometers. It investigates the factors which brought this specific experimental set-up to the attention of natural philosophers, eventually lending it such significance that it at times rivalled that of weight-driven clockworks. The starting point of the discussion is an anonymous experiment in natural magic involving air, water and fire, as well as a glass vessel. The chapter then offers a short sketch of the role of meteors and their explanation in late Renaissance Europe. Weather phenomena ? or rather, meteors ? had great importance in late Renaissance Europe, both for the explorers of the secrets of nature and for the broader public of the new medium, the press. As a premise to discussing Della Porta?s meteors, the chapter finally makes a few general remarks on ancient and modern opinions on the origin of winds.

Keywords: Della Porta; glass vessel; late Renaissance Europe; meteors; natural philosophers; non-sealed air-thermometers; secrets of nature; weather phenomena

10.1163/ej.9789004170506.i-582.45
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