Skeptical and Natural Philosophy

Michel De Montaigne

Who were the main defenders of sense knowledge at the beginning of modern science?

Jean Bodin (1530–1596) and Pierre Le Loyer (1559–1634) offered defenses of sense knowledge between 1581 and 1605. They held that even though sense knowledge is sometimes unreliable, its errors are corrected by further sensory experience. By the 1620s two priests highly influential in both scientific and intellectual circles, Fathers Marin Mersenne (1588–1658) and Pierre Gassendi (1592–1655), used Pyrrhonic anti-Aristotelian arguments against Rosicrucianism and alchemy.

Dante Alighieri is sometimes named as the inspiration for the founding of the Rosicrucians (iStock).

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