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Pierre Gassendi's Philosophy and Science: Atomism for Empiricists
03.08.2021 Edward James
philosophy
Pierre Gassendi

In his Preface, Fisher writes: ‘My focus is the epistemological and scientific element of Gassendi's thought and in particular the relation between his empiricism and atomism’. 

His discussion will be most fully understood by the philosopher of science, but despite some discrepancy between American and British idiom (one may note the frequent occurrence of the expression ‘just in case’ in the sense, apparently, of ‘supposing only that’), the main lines of argument can be adequately followed by the ordinary historian of ideas. Fisher's own summaries and recapitulations are helpful and are drawn on here. A broad, if unstated, goal of Gassendi's work, which we can readily detect from his extensive quotations from, and lengthy interpretations of, past thinkers, is to address a variety of questions...

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