Naming of plants, Manfredus de Monte Imperiali, 'Liber de herbis et plantis', c. 1330-1340. Source: Paris, Bibliothèque nationale de France, Ms. lat. 6823, fol. 1 r.

Working Group (2019-)

Experience in Translation: Making Sense of Nature in the Premodern World

This working group presents a global palette of historical and philosophical studies on the ways in which experience—as a tool and object of science—traveled through the premodern world. These epistemic journeys of experience were translations in multiple senses. In detailed case studies ranging from ancient Greek medicine to Byzantine alchemy, Latin natural philosophy, Arabic tabulated works, or Chinese Jesuit sciences, the group examines the dynamics of such translations through the prisms of terminologies, arguments, visual and verbal systems, and social normativities. We thus approach the epistemic qualities of experience and experience as a network, from a dynamic perspective of transmission between different epistemic spaces.