Mihnea Dobre

Affiliation: 

University of Bucharest

Experimental Cartesianism and the problem of space

Notoriously, Descartes does not have a concept of space. Or better said, he uses space as indistinguishable from matter or extension. Yet, to some of his contemporaries, his physics was successful at providing mechanical descriptions of the natural world. In this paper, I shall discuss the problem of “space” within a larger Cartesian framework, focusing on how experimentally-minded Cartesians took the challenge provided by Descartes’s restrictive ontology and tried to accommodate it with experimental results.