Skip to content
Register Sign in Wishlist
Occult Scientific Mentalities

Occult Scientific Mentalities

$58.99 (C)

Nicholas H. Clulee, Mordechai Feingold, William L. Hine, Robert S. Westman, Ian Maclean, Edward Rosen, Judith V. Field, Graham Rees, Richard S. Westfall, Robin Briggs, Stuart Clark, Lotte Mulligan
View all contributors
  • Date Published: June 1986
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521338363

$ 58.99 (C)

Add to cart Add to wishlist

Other available formats:

Looking for an examination copy?

This title is not currently available for examination. However, if you are interested in the title for your course we can consider offering an examination copy. To register your interest please contact providing details of the course you are teaching.

Product filter button
About the Authors
  • The essays in this volume present a collective study of one of the major problems in the recent history of science: To what extent did the occult 'sciences' (alchemy, astrology, numerology, and natural magic) contribute to the scientific revolution of the late Renaissance? These studies of major scientists (Kepler, Bacon, Mersenne, and Newton) and of occultists (Dee, Fludd, and Cardano), complemented by analyses of contemporary official and unofficial studies at Cambridge and Oxford and discussions of the language of science, combine to suggest that hitherto the relationship has been too crudely stated as a movement 'from magic to science'. In fact, two separate mentalities can be traced, the occult and the scientific, each having different assumptions, goals, and methodologies. The contributors call into question many of the received ideas on this topic, showing that the issue has been wrongly defined and based on inadequate historical evidence. They outline new ways of approaching and understanding a situation in which two radically different and, to modern eyes, incompatible ways of describing reality persisted side-by-side until the demise of the occult in the late seventeenth century. Their work, accordingly, sets the whole issue in a new light.

    Reviews & endorsements

    'The essays are stimulating and provocative … [an] excellent book.' Brian Easlea, The American Historical Review

    'The collection provides a valuable introduction to the state of the problem as well as to the work which remains to be done.' Katharine Park, Journal for the History of Astronomy

    'A collection of papers which are often intelligent, well-written and admirably clear, and which are nearly always immensely stimulating.' Alastair Hamilton, The Heythrop Journal

    'Le présent volume nous présente les actes d'une colloque, édités avec le plus grand soin. Chacune des contributions est une étude approfondie, rédigée par un spécialiste d'une incontestable compétence, et apportant des vues novatrices, à partir d'un retour au texte ou aux sources manuscrites. Alors même que les conclusions des auteurs ne sont pas toujours concordantes, le volume offre un modèle de ce que peut accomplir un travail collectif. Questions bien posées, colloque sans temps morts, travaux qui se complètent, excellente présentation synthétique (par Brian Vickers): le cas est assez rare pour qu'il vaille la peine d'être salué. C'est un livre important qui nous est offert, et dont la lecture s'impose à tous ceux qui étudient le premier essor de la pensée scientifique aux XVIe et XVIIe siècles.' Jean Starobinski, Gesnerus. Swiss Journal of the History of Medicine

    'This stimulating and scholarly collection of essays … will be of interest not only to students of the history of science but also to all who have occasion to reflect on the nature of history itself.' British Book News

    See more reviews

    Customer reviews

    Not yet reviewed

    Be the first to review

    Review was not posted due to profanity


    , create a review

    (If you're not , sign out)

    Please enter the right captcha value
    Please enter a star rating.
    Your review must be a minimum of 12 words.

    How do you rate this item?


    Product details

    • Date Published: June 1986
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521338363
    • length: 424 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 28 mm
    • weight: 0.64kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Editor's preface
    Introduction Brian Vickers
    1. At the crossroads of magic and science: John Dee's Archemastrie Nicholas H. Clulee
    2. The occult tradition in the English universities of the Renaissance: a reassessment Mordechai Feingold
    3. Analogy versus identity: the rejection of occult symbolism, 1580–1680 Brian Vickers
    4. Marin Mersenne: Renaissance naturalism and Renaissance magic William L. Hine
    5. Nature, art, and psyche: Jung, Pauli, and the Kepler–Fludd polemic Robert S. Westman
    6. The interpretation of natural signs: Cardano's De subtilitate versus Scaliger's Exercitationes Ian Maclean
    7. Kepler's attitude toward astrology and mysticism Edward Rosen
    8. Kepler's rejection of numerology Judith V. Field
    9. Francis Bacon's biological ideas: a new manuscript source Graham Rees
    10. Newton and alchemy Richard S. Westfall
    11. Witchcraft and popular mentality in Lorraine, 1580–1630 Robin Briggs
    12. The scientific status of demonology Stuart Clark
    13. 'Reason,' 'right reason,' and 'revelation' in mid-seventeenth-century England Lotte Mulligan

  • Author

    Brian Vickers


    Nicholas H. Clulee, Mordechai Feingold, William L. Hine, Robert S. Westman, Ian Maclean, Edward Rosen, Judith V. Field, Graham Rees, Richard S. Westfall, Robin Briggs, Stuart Clark, Lotte Mulligan

Sorry, this resource is locked

Please register or sign in to request access. If you are having problems accessing these resources please email

Register Sign in
Please note that this file is password protected. You will be asked to input your password on the next screen.

» Proceed

You are now leaving the Cambridge University Press website. Your eBook purchase and download will be completed by our partner Please see the permission section of the catalogue page for details of the print & copy limits on our eBooks.

Continue ×

Continue ×

Continue ×
warning icon

Turn stock notifications on?

You must be signed in to your Cambridge account to turn product stock notifications on or off.

Sign in Create a Cambridge account arrow icon

Find content that relates to you

Join us online

This site uses cookies to improve your experience. Read more Close

Are you sure you want to delete your account?

This cannot be undone.


Thank you for your feedback which will help us improve our service.

If you requested a response, we will make sure to get back to you shortly.

Please fill in the required fields in your feedback submission.