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
Faculty of Philosophy
University of Bucharest, Romania
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.