1618 was a crucial year in what is now known as the Scientific Revolution. In September of that year the Dutch artisan, theologian, schoolmaster and natural philosopher Isaac Beeckman (1588-1637) was promoted to doctor of medicine in the French city of  Caen. To his dissertation he added a number of Corrolaria in which Beeckman laid down the principles of a new and revolutionary way to account for natural phenomena, the mechanical philosophy. Then, in November 1618, Beeckman met the young military officer René Descartes in the city of Breda. In a series of highly stimulating conversations he put Descartes on the track towards his own philosophy of nature. The rest is history.

On September 27 and 28, 2018, an international conference, to be held at the premises of the University College Roosevelt in Middelburg, the Netherlands, will commemorate these pivotal moments of 1618. Beeckman was a native of Middelburg and it was in this bustling commercial city that he was groping with his revolutionary insights in the years before 1618. Here he was deeply embedded in a cosmopolitan culture, a world in which sophisticated artisanal skills, riches from the overseas trading routes, humanistic culture and the study of nature were merging into a new culture of knowledge.

Attendance is free, but registration is required. To register, please send an email to a.vandixhoorn@ucr.nl

To see the program, click here: Beeckman