Israel Science Foundation Research Workshop

Law and Order: The Status of Natural Regularities before the Scientific Revolution

The discovery of natural regularities and their mathematical formulations are one of the pillars of scientific thinking. It is generally agreed that the concept of law of nature which captures this characteristic of nature rose to prominence in the scientific revolution. But how did thinkers account for natural order and its regularities before that formative period? To what extent did their accounts relate to a conception of a lawful nature? Are there references to a nature governed by laws before 1600 and what is the governing entity? How did the concept of law of nature change the ways by which science is conducted? Such are the questions that motivate the planned workshop.

The workshop is designed to gain new insights into the characteristics and significance of the concept of law applied to nature in the early modern period.