Mersenne — Reading Session


Marin Mersenne reading group [1 MAY 2024]

Led by Emily Kent (University of Edinburgh).

This reading session will look at Mersenne’s Questions theologiques, physiques, morales, et mathematiques (1634), a text which details a series of questions (both answered and unanswered) on topics mechanical, musical, chemical, aesthetic, natural philosophical, sociological, and moral. Historians have typically read this text as a disjointed series of scientific inquiries. However, this reading session will focus on a number of compelling features which emerge when reading the text as a whole, including Mersenne’s discussions of ‘wonder’ and ‘curiosity’; the means with which he justifies scientific collaboration; the use of ‘questions’ as a genre for philosophizing; and the unique relationship between the ‘questions’ and their corresponding ‘corollaires’, the latter of which Mersenne uses to draw out the spiritual potential of the knowledge generated from each particular question.

Participants: Places are limited (max. 10 persons). Please contact the NOTCOM project manager to sign up: The PDF will be distributed to attendants.

Location: Maison Française d’Oxford. Notcom offices.

Time: 2-4pm.



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