•  18
    Many prominent arguments for epistemic relativism take their departure from the observation that a certain kind of epistemic symmetry is present in particular empirical cases. In this paper, we seek to attain further clarity about the kind of symmetry at issue, and the sort of relativism to which such symmetry can reasonably be taken to give rise. The need for such an investigation is made apparent, we believe, by the fact that prominent anti-relativist arguments such as that advanced by Boghoss…Read more
  •  491
    Applying Mathematics to Nature
    In David Marshall Miller & Dana Jalobeanu (eds.), The Cambridge History of Philosophy of the Scientific Revolution, Cambridge University Press. pp. 254-273. 2021.
  •  167
    An Archeaology of Galileo's Science of Motion
    Dissertation, University of Ghent. 2006.
  •  246
    Causality and the reduction to art of Simon Stevin's mechanics
    In Karel Davids, Fokko Jan Dijksterhuis, Ida Stamhuis & Rienk Vermij (eds.), Rethinking Stevin, Stevin rethinking : constructions of a Dutch polymath, Nuncius. pp. 155-181. 2020.
  •  13
    The novel use of symbolism in early modern mathematics poses both philosophical and historical questions. How can we trace its development and transmission through manuscript sources? Is it intrinsically related to the emergence of symbolic algebra? How does symbolism relate to the use of diagrams? What are the consequences of symbolic reasoning on our understanding of nature? Can a symbolic language enable new forms of reasoning? Does a universal symbolic language exist which enable us to expre…Read more
  •  514
    Mechanical philosophy: science of mechanics
    Encyclopedia of Early Modern Philosophy and the Sciences. 2020.
  •  777
    Renaissance concept of impetus
    with Ivan Malara
    Encyclopedia of Renaissance Philosophy. 2019.
    The concept of impetus denoted the transmission of a power from the mover to the object moved. Many authors resorted to this concept to explain why a projectile keeps on moving when no longer in contact with its initial mover. But its application went further, as impetus was also appealed to in attempts to explain the acceleration of falling bodies or the motion of the heavens. It was widely applied in Renaissance natural philosophy, but it also raised a number of ontological questions concernin…Read more
  •  218
    Horology
    Encyclopedia of Early Modern Philosophy and the Sciences. 2020.
    Horology refers to the measurement of time, as well as the art of building instruments with which to study and measure time. There were two important developments in the early modern period: the dramatic improvement of the quality of mechanical clocks due to highly skilled craftsmen, and the introduction of the pendulum as time-keeper in the escapement mechanism. The latter innovation not only allowed a further jump in precision, it also had important conceptual implications.
  •  168
    Varieties of wonder: John Wilkins' Mathematical Magic and the perpetuity of invention
    with Koen Vermeir
    Historia Mathematica 41 (4): 463-489. 2014.
    Akin to the mathematical recreations, John Wilkins' Mathematicall Magick (1648) elaborates the pleasant, useful and wondrous part of practical mathematics, dealing in particular with its material culture of machines and instruments. We contextualize the Mathematicall Magick by studying its institutional setting and its place within changing conceptions of art, nature, religion and mathematics. We devote special attention to the way Wilkins inscribes mechanical innovations within a discourse of w…Read more
  •  394
    Renaissance Idea of Natural Law
    Encylopedia of Renaissance Philosophy. 2018.
    The introduction of laws of nature is often seen as one of the hallmarks of the Scientific Revolution of the seventeenth century. The new sciences are thought to have introduced the revolutionary idea that explanations of natural phenomena have to be grounded in exceptionless regularities of universal scope, i. e. laws of nature. The use of legal terminology to talk about natural regularities has a longer history, though. This article traces these earlier uses.
  •  214
    Del Monte, Guidobaldo
    Encylopedia of Renaissance Philosophy. 2019.
  •  132
    Wetenschappers en hun geschiedenis
    Karakter 72 22-24. 2020.
  •  10
    Under Time's Spell
    Binders Media/Boekentoren. 2017.
  •  149
    Michel Foucault, epistemoloog
    de Uil Van Minerva 32 (2): 174-179. 2021.
  •  376
    Idealization and Galileo’s Proto-Inertial Principle
    Philosophy of Science 85 (5): 919-929. 2018.
    Galileo proposed what has been called a proto-inertial principle, according to which a body un horizontal motion will conserve its motion. This statement is only true in counterfactual circumstances where no impediments are present. This paper analyzes how Galileo could have been justified in ascribing definite properties to this idealized motion. This analysis is then used to better understand the relation of Galileo’s proto-inertial principle to the classical inertial principle.
  •  326
  •  17
    This paper offers a reassesment of Simon Stevin’s mechanics, by focusing on how Stevin tries to anchor his mathematical demonstrations in the behavior of material instruments. It is shown how his views on the relation between spiegheling and daet are crucial to correctly understand his famous proof of the law of the inclined plane and his experimental test of the Aristotelian law of free fall. The distance separating spiegheling and daet is reproduced in that between instruments at rest and inst…Read more
  •  576
    Hoe Galileo Galilei de valwet ontdekte, en het verschil dat dit maakt
    Algemeen Nederlands Tijdschrift voor Wijsbegeerte 113 (1): 81-105. 2021.
    How Galileo Galilei discovered the law of fall, and the difference that this makes Galileo’s law of fall is one of the crucial building blocks of classical mechanics. The question how this law was discovered has often been a topic of debate. This article offers a reconstruction of the developments within Galileo’s research that led to the discovery of the law. This reconstruction is offered to make a philosophical point regarding the epistemic status of experimental results: Galileo’s experiment…Read more
  •  45
    In the past 25 years, many philosophers have endorsed the view that the practical value of causal knowledge lies in the fact that manipulation of causes is a good way to bring about a desired change in the effect. This view is intuitively very plausible. For instance, we can predict a storm on the basis of a barometer reading, but we cannot avoid the storm by manipulating the state of the barometer (barometer status and storm are effects of a common cause, viz. atmospheric conditions). In Sectio…Read more
  •  36
    In this article we criticize two recent articles that examine the relation between explanation and unification. Halonen and Hintikka (1999), on the one hand, claim that no unification is explanation. Schurz (1999), on the other hand, claims that all explanation is unification. We give counterexamples to both claims. We propose a pluralistic approach to the problem: explanation sometimes consists in unification, but in other cases different kinds of explanation (e.g., causal explanation) are requ…Read more
  •  684
    Dynamics of reason and the Kantian project
    Philosophy of Science 76 (5): 689-700. 2009.
    I show why Michael Friedman’s idea that we should view new constitutive frameworks introduced in paradigm change as members of a convergent series introduces an uncomfortable tension in his views. It cannot be justified on realist grounds, as this would compromise his Kantian perspective, but his own appeal to a Kantian regulative ideal of reason cannot do the job either. I then explain a way to make better sense of the rationality of paradigm change on what I take to be Friedman’s own terms.
  •  131
    Unification and explanation
    with Erik Weber
    Synthese 131 (1). 2002.
    In this article we criticize two recent articles that examinethe relation between explanation and unification. Halonen and Hintikka (1999), on the one hand,claim that no unification is explanation. Schurz (1999), on the other hand, claims that all explanationis unification. We give counterexamples to both claims. We propose a pluralistic approach to the problem:explanation sometimes consists in unification, but in other cases different kinds of explanation(e.g., causal explanation) are required;…Read more