PRINCETON UNIVERSITY
DEPARTMENT OF HISTORY

HISTORY 591, SPRING 1997
ENGINEERING CULTURE:
MECHANICAL ARTS, MATHEMATICS, AND MECHANICAL PHILOSOPHY

Professors Mary Henninger-Voss and Michael S. Mahoney

This course will examine aspects of early modern engineering that bound together the practical work of mechanical building and the mathematical constructs that entered into the science of mechanics. While historiography on artisanal culture, history of technology and the scientific revolution offers some pathways for communication between the arte mechaniche and the mechanical philosophy, part of our work will be to decide what are the interesting questions in this study. We will follow engineering culture as it flourished in Italy, France, the Netherlands, and England.

ITALY

2/11 ARTISANAL ARTISTS AND SCIENTIFIC ENGINEERS
Paolo Rossi. Philosophy, Technology and the Arts in the Early Modem Era (Salvator Attanasio, trans; Benjamin Nelson, ed). Harper and Row: New York, Evanston and London, 1972, Introduction and Chapter One.
J.R. Hale. Renaissance Fortifications: Art or Engineering. Thames and Hudson, 1977
Pamela Long. "Power, Patronage, and the Authorship of Ars: The fifteenth-century Renaissance of Technical Authorship," London SHOT Meeting: August 1-4, 1996. (also, a longer version forthcoming in Isis).
Nicholas Adams. "Architecture for Fish: The Sienese Dam and the Bruna River --Structures and Designs, 1468-ca. 1530" in Technology and Culture, 1984: 768-797.
Primary Sources:
Vasari s Lives of the Painters (Alberti, Brunelleschi, Francesco di Giorgio Martini)
Alberti s introduction to Book VII of On Architecture
2/18 MACHINE THEATRES AND SCIENTIFIC FACADES
Ladislao Reti. 'Francesco di Giorgio Martini's Treatise on Engineering and Its Plagiarists" in Technology and Culture 4(1963), 287-98
Catherine Wilkinson. "Renaissance Treatises on Military Architecture and the Science of Mechanics" in Les traités d'architecture à la Renaissance. Picard: Paris, 1988.
Entre Mécanique et Architecture. Patricia Radelet de Grave and Edoardo Benvenuto, eds. Birkhauser: Basel, 1995. Introductory essay by Benvenuto.
William Eamon. "Technology as Magic in the Late Middle Ages and the Renaissance" in Janus, 1983:171-211.
A.G. Keller. "Mathematicians, Mechanics, and Experimental Machines in Northern Italy in the Sixteenth Century" in The Emergence of Science in Western Europe (Maurice Crosland, ed.). Science History Publications: New York, 1976, pp. 15-34.
Jose A. Garcia-Diego. "Giovanni Francesco Sitoni, an Hydraulic Engineer of the Renaissance" in History of Technology, 1984 (9): 104-125.
Primary Sources:
Niccolò Tartaglia, selections from Quesiti et Inventioni and Guidobaldo's introduction to Le Mecchaniche in Drake and Drabkin, eds., The Science of Mechanics in Sixteenth-Century Italy.
Ramelli's introduction to The Various and Ingenious Machines of Agostino Ramelli. Dover: New York, 1987.
2/25 THE FORMATION OF A NEW MECHANICS
Roy Laird. "The Scope of Renaissance Mechanics" in Osiris 1986, 2:43-68.
Michael S. Mahoney. 'Diagrams and Dynamics: Mathematical Perspectives on Edgerton's Thesis." in Science and the Arts in the Renaissance (John W. Shirley and F. David Hoeniger, eds). Folger Books: Washington, London and Toronto
Mary J. Voss. "Working Machines and Noble Mechanics," London SHOT meeting, August 1-4, 1996.
Maurice Clavelin. The Natural Philosophy of Galileo: Essay on the Origins and Formation of classical Mechaincs. (A.J. Pomerans, trans.) MIT Press: Boston, 1974, pp 118-174.
Maurice Clavelin, "Conceptual and Technical Aspects of the Galilean Geometrization of the Motion of Heavy Bodies" in Nature Mathematized (W.R. Shea, ed.), pp. 23-50, with Shea's commentary pp 50-60.
Primary Sources
Galileo, Le Mechaniche. (Stillman Drake, trans).University of Wisconsin Press: Madison, 1960, pp. 135-186, and Day One of Discourses and Demonstrations Concerning Two New Sciences

THE NETHERLANDS

3/4 SIMON STEVEN: ENGINEERING AND MECHANICS
C. Maccagni, "Mechanics and hydrostatics in the late Renaissance: relations between Italy and the Low Countries", in Italian Scientists in the Low Countries in the XVII and XVIIIth Centuries, 79-99
E.J. Dijksterhuis, Simon Stevin: Science in the Netherlands around 1600, Chaps. 1,3,4,7,8
Alan Gabbey, "The mechanical philosophy and its problems: Mechanical explanations, impenetrability, and perpetual motion", in Change and Progress in Modern Science, ed. Joseph C. Pitt. (Dordrecht/Boston/Lancaster: D. Reidel, 1985), pp. 9-84.
Primary Sources
Simon Stevin, The Elements of the Art of Weighing, in The Principal Works of Simon Stevin, Vol. I
---, "On the Most Perfect Cogs and Staves" and "New Manner of Fortification by Means of Pivoted Sluice Locks", in Principal Works, Vol. V
3/11 BEECKMAN AND DESCARTES
Reijer Hooykaas, "Science and Religion in the Seventeenth Century", Free University Quarterly 1(1951), 169-183
Alan Gabbey, "The Case of Mechanics: One Revolution or Many?", in Reappraisals of the Scientific Revolution, ed. David C. Lindberg and Robert S. Westman, Chap. 13
Primary Sources
René Descartes, The World, or Treatise on Light (1632), Chaps. 13 and 14
Descartes, "Explication des engins par l'aide desquels on peut avec une petite force lever un fardeau fort pesant" (1637)
Descartes, La dioptrique (Optics), first and second discourses.
3/25 LONGITUDE, CLOCKS, AND THE MECHANICS OF THE PENDULUM
Silvio A. Bedini, The Pulse of Time: Galileo Galilei, The Determination of Longitude, and the Pendulum Clock (Florence: Leo S. Olschki, 1991)
Michael S. Mahoney, "Christiaan Huygens, The Measurement of Time and Longitude at Sea", in H.J.M. Bos et al. (eds.), Studies on Christiaan Huygens (Lisse: Swets, 1980), 234-270
J.H. Leopold, "Christiaan Huygens and his Instrument Makers", in Ibid., 221-233
Primary Sources
Christiaan Huygens, Horologium oscillatorium (Paris, 1673). [English translation by Richard J. Blackwell, Christiaan Huygens' The Pendulum Clock, or, Geometrical Demonstrations Concerning the Motion of Pendula as Applied to Clocks (Iowa State U.P., 1986); translation of Chap. 4 by MSM, xerox copy]
Esthetic Intellectual Experience
William J.H. Andrewes, The Quest for Longitude (Harvard Collection of Historical Scientific Instruments, 1996)

ENGLAND

4/1/97 BACON AND BACONIANISM
Antonio Perez-Ramos, Francis Bacon's Idea of Science and the Maker's Knowledge Tradition (Clarendon Press: Oxford, 1988), Chapters 1,2,5,12,13.
Paolo Rossi, Francis Bacon: From Magic to Science (Sacha Rabinovitch, trans; Routledge & Kegan Paul: London, 1968), Chapter 1.
Marie Boas Hall, "Oldenburg, The Philosophical Transactions, and Technology" in John G. Burke, ed., The Uses of Science in the Age of Newton (University of California Press: Berkeley, Los Angeles, London, 1983), pp. 21-48.
Primary Sources
Francis Bacon, Novum Organon; cf. Benjamin Farrington's The Philosophy of Francis Bacon.
4/8/95 ROBERT HOOKE AND THE WORLD OF MATHEMATICAL PRACTICE
Stephen Johnston, "Mathematical Practitioners and Instruments in Elizabethan England", Annals of Science 48(1991), 310-344
D.J. Bryden, "Evidence from Advertising for Mathematical Instrument Making in London, 1556-1714", Annals of Science 49(1992), 301-336
Mordechai Feingold, The Mathematicians' Apprenticeship (Cambridge UP, 1984), Chap. V on Gresham College
J.A. Bennett, "The Mechanics' Philosophy and the Mechanical Philosophy", History of Science 24(1986), 1-27
J.A. Bennett, "Hookes's Instruments for Astronomy and Navigation", in Robert Hooke: New Studies, ed. Michael Hunter and Simon Schaffer (Boydell Press, 1989), 21-32
A.D.C. Simpson, "Robert Hooke and Practical Optics: Technical Support at a Scientific Frontier", ibid., 33-62
Primary Sources
Robert Hooke, Micrographia, Preface
Philosophical Transactions, passim
Optional and Background
Richard J. Sorrenson, "Scientific instrument makers at the Royal Society of London, 1720-1780" (Ph.D., Princeton, 1993)
David [Graham] Burnett, "Mechanical Lens-Making in the Seventeenth Century: Philosophers, Artisans and Machines" (Princeton Sr. Thesis No. 4159, 1993)
4/15/97 NEWTONIAN MECHANICAL PHILOSOPHY
Bernd Ludwig, "What is Newton's Law of Inertia About: Philosophical Reasoning and Explanation in Newton's Principa", Science in Context 5,1(1996), 139-164
Simon Schaffer, "Machine Philosophy: Demonstration Devices in Georgian Mechanics", Osiris 9(1994), 157-182
Alan Gabbey, "Newton's Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy: A Treatise on 'Mechanics'?", in The Investigation of Difficult Things, ed. P.M. Harman and A.E.Shapiro (Cambridge UP, 1992), 305-322
Primary Sources
Isaac Newton, Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy, Preface, Axioms or Laws of Motion, and Book I, Sect. 2 (passim)
Isaac Newton, "Letters on Colors" and "Answers to Some Considerations" in Philosophical Transactions for 1672

FRANCE

4/22 MARIOTTE AND THE EXPERIMENTAL LIFE IN FRANCE
Michael S. Mahoney, "Mariotte, Edme" in Dictionary of Scientific Biography, IX, 114-122
Antoine Picon, Claude Perrault, ou La curiosité d'un classique, esp. "Le Monde de Monsieur Perrault, de l'explication de la pesanteur au frottement des machines" and "L'Observatoire"
Alice Stroup, A Company of Scientists, Chaps. 1-5, 14
Primary Sources
Mariotte, The Motion of Water and Other Fluids (Paris, 1686), transl. J.T. Desagulier, London, 1718. In Microprint Landmarks of Science and on microfilm Film 8232.616
Mariotte, Traité de la percussion ou Chocq des corps, in MLS and in Oeuvres de Mariotte (Ex 8202.616 and MLS), I, 1-116
4/29 ORGANIZING EXPERTISE
Michael S. Mahoney, "Organizing Expertise: Engineering and Public Works under Colbert, 1662-83"; cf. L.T.C. Rolt, From Sea to Sea
Hélène Vérin, La gloire des ingénieurs, Chap. V, "Un lieu inédit: L'ingénieur, l'état, l'entreprise"