Introduction: Do Winners Take it All?


Invited editor: Fabrizio Baldassarri

In a recent graphic narrative titled Heretics! The Wondrous (and Dangerous) Beginnings of Modern Philosophy, Steven Nadler and Ben Nadler illustrate the seventeenth century as a period of challenges against authority and established knowledge, politics, and religion. This narrative introduces an important element to the predominant interpretation that considers the early-modern time a revolutionary era. Attributing heretics a crucial role gives nuance to the positivistic account of seventeenth-century science and philosophy. Indeed, this latter framework fails to describe the scientific revolution in its entirety. Considering the role of outsiders, minor or marginalized scholars, and heretics provides a way to overcome these limitations and contributes to a broader attention to the context of scientific knowledge.

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