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LE PÈRE MERSENNE - ON THE ROLE OF A MENTOR IN THE SEVENTEENTH CENTURY
Studii-de-Știinta-și-Cultură - Anul VI numarul 4 (23) 2010
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LE PÈRE MERSENNE - ON THE ROLE OF A MENTOR IN THE SEVENTEENTH CENTURY

LE PÈRE MERSENNE - DESPRE ROLUL UNUI MENTOR ÎN SECOLULUI AL XVII-LEA

 

Mădălina GIURGEA

Faculty of Philosophy

University of Bucharest, Romania

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Abstract

Giving attention to the scientific communities and more precisely to the intellectuals who were ‘patrons’ of such communities or mentors of important natural philosophers could offer a new interpretation of the story of the scientific revolution. It is certain that these important figures, embodied by the two roles of the mentor and the mediator, had a great influence on changing the attitudes of the scientists at the time and this change could be seen as a cause for the production of a new type of scientific inquiry. Based on this assumption, I want to argue that thinking about these ‘intelligencers’ as mentors or mediators and using these categories as interchangeable, is a fallacious way to understand their activities and even their purpose. Therefore, aiming to trace some distinction between these two notions I will try to give a plausible interpretation of their relation, arguing for the importance of the mediator’s activity for the development of the mentor’s role. More precisely, I will use the case of Marin Mersenne to argue that being in the center of a network helped him to efficiently accomplish his mentor’s role.

 

Key-words: mentor, Mersenne, scientific communities, correspondence, scientific revolution.

Cuvinte cheie: mentor, Mersenne, comunităţi ştiinţifice, corespondenţă, revoluţie ştiinţifică.

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Studii de Stiinta si Cultura