CFPs in Renaissance Intellectual History

Philosophies of Technology: Francis Bacon and his Contemporaries (Intersections 11)

Source of Information: FICINO@LISTSERV.UTORONTO.CA 2006-04-23
Date of Event: n.a. (volume of collected essays, to appear in 2008)
Location of event: n.a. (volume of collected essays, to appear in 2008)
Deadline for abstracts etc.: 2006-05-30


 Intersections - Yearbook for Early Modern Studies
(Brill: Leiden and Boston)
 General Editor: Karl Enenkel
Intersections brings together new material on well
considered themes within the wide area of Early
Modern Studies. Contributions may come from any of
the disciplines within the humanities: history, art history,
literary history, book history, church history, social
history, history of the humanities, of the theatre,
 of cultural life and institutions. The themes are carefully
selected on the basis of a number of criteria, the most
important of which are that they should address issues
about which there is a lively and ongoing debate within
the international community of scholars and that they
should be of interest to a variety of disciplines.

Call for Papers for Volume 11:
Philosophies of Technology: Francis Bacon and his

Francis Bacon and the Baconian sciences contributed
to European sciences and philosophy by successfully
suggesting and propagating experiments and controlled
observations as fundamental for empirical research.
Historical studies have focussed on clockworks,
vacuum pumps and automata, but there is a wealth of
other technical models used and experimented with in
the Leonardo- and Bacon-inspired philosophical
communities that calls for a revision of an assumed
clear-cut mechanistic paradigm.
We invite articles in addition to those emerging from
papers to be read and discussed on occasion of the
International Conference "Philosophies of Technology:
Francis Bacon and his Contemporaries"(Frankfurt am
Main, July 6-8, 2006). Essay topics might include:

1. The impact of technical models for structuring
knowledge production in natural philosophy, natural
history and the philosophy of history
Technical innovations  - actual or envisioned - call for
and make possible new world views. They generate
the urge for a revision of traditional assumptions and at
the same time they offer explanations. How did
technical models serve as explanatory models for the
world at large? What were the implications of using
them in this way? What technical models (apart from
clockworks, vacuum pumps and automata) were
debated as explanatory models in Early Modern
scientific discourse (thermo- or hydrodynamic models
such as the oven, distillation apparatusses, mills, looms,
paper producing machines, printing machines, mining
technology)? What was the impact of technical
innovations on the debate about nature, arts and
techne? What was the role of technical innovations in
magical theory and practice? And what is their impact
on new concepts of history and progress?

 2. Technical developments in the Renaissance and
Early Modernity
 In particular, contributions are encouraged that
contextualize the epistemological problems and raise
the following questions: In which regions did the
technical inventions occur and in what economic/
political sphere) Was there an exchange of innovations
 throughout different European regions? Which
contacts can we observe between European regions
and between regional centres and their peripheries?
What were the effects of  colonialism? How and why
were techical innovations either supported or resisted
and by whom?
Bacon advocated a scientific ideal inspired by
cooperation in the service of the commonwealth,
which, however, did not include "the public" as
controlling the technical know how. Was this a
Baconian idea or does it indicate the general limitations
of his time in regard to restrictions regulating the access
to and command of  technical and scientific knowledge?

The volume is scheduled to appear in 2008.
Proposals, about 300 words, should be sent
(preferably electronically) no later than May 30th 2006
to one of the following  email addresses:
Claus Zittel,
Gisela Engel,
Nicole C. Karafyllis,
Romano Nanni,

The authors of the proposals that have been accepted
will be invited to write a paper before November 15th
2006. The final decision on the acceptance of any
paper will be made  by the editors following receipt of
the complete text.