Sebastian Mateiescu

Sebastian Mateiescu is a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Bucharest. He is working in The Center for the Logic, History and Philosophy of Science (CELFIS) from the Faculty of Philosophy.

He has graduated the PhD. programme in Philosophy from the University of Bucharest, with a work on the philosophical foundations of quantum mechanics, called The Concept of Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics (Bucharest, 2011). Mateiescu’s interest for the Philosophy of Science went in parallel with his concern for the philosophical issues coming from the field of Theology and from the dialogue between Science and Religion. As a M. A. student he developed a one year project supported by the Faculty of Philosophy and focused on a comparative analysis of some Eastern and Western natural theologies in Christianity. He also attended some specialized courses dealing with the relationship between Science and Religion and gave several talks on this issue in some international conferences. Most recently, he has been working on a Patristic interpretation of miracles, on the basis of which he aims at coming up with an approach that can consistently make sense for miracles from both a theological and a philosophical perspective. The project started with the work The Interpretation of Miracles in the Thought of Saint Maximus the Confessor, a research which has been supported by the New Europe College (Bucharest) in 2011-2012.

As a member of the CNCS project From natural history to science: the emergence of experimental philosophy (2012-2015 (PN-II-ID-PCE-2011-3-0719)), Mateiescu will work on the topic of natural philosophy and the influence Religion had upon the commencement of experimental philosophy. More specifically, the research will try to answer to the problem whether Religion had a positive or a negative role in the formation of a philosophical approach to nature based on experience and experimentation during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. In the first step of the research, the focus will be on identifying  arguments based on experience in natural philosophy/theology in the sixteenth century. The case study will be represented by Philip Melanchthon (1497-1560), whose reference to the importance of experience in philosophical and theological arguments deserts widespread attention, especially given Melanchthon’s fundamental influence in the curricular reform in Germany. The second part of this research will consist in a study of some key aspects of Bacon’s natural philosophy, ending with an appraisal of Bacon’s reflections upon Religion and natural philosophy.

During the first year of the project, Sebastian Mateiescu presented some of the results of his research on P. Melanchthon in a conference called Philip Melanchthon and the concept of ‘universal experience’ (3rd Bucharest Colloquium in Early Modern Science, 24-25 March 2012) and published a paper with the same title in Revue Roumaine de Philosophie (Revue Roumaine de philosophie 57 (1): 111-131).
Following this research, Mateiescu will further work on the method employed by the early modern astrology, with special reference to the case study represented by the debate between Melanchthon and Pico della Mirandola on the ‘universality’ of astrology. One of the central theses championed in this work will be that Melanchthon’s argumentation against Pico is based on a quite modern probability thinking.

In the second year of the project Mateiescu is being focusing his research on Bacon’s natural philosophy. He also published a paper in 2013 on an unknown concept in Bacon’s natural philosophy, the potential heat (Francis Bacon on Potential Heat. Societate si Politica 7 (2013) 5-28).

He currently has another paper under preparation, dealing with Bacon’s notion of the transmutation of species. A version of it has been presented this year at the “Bucharest-Princeton Seminar in the Early Modern Philosophy: The Losers of the Scientific Revolution”, Bran, Romania, July 2013.

 

Publications (within the CNCS project):

Sebastian Mateiescu. 2013. Philip Melanchthon and the concept of universal experience. Revue Roumaine de philosophie 57 (1): 111-131.

Sebastian Mateiescu. 2013. Francis Bacon on Potential Heat. Societate si Politica 7 (2013) 5-28

 

Reviews:

-Review of L. Daston&E. Lunbeck, The Histories of Scientific Observation, The University of Chicago Press, Chicago and London, ISBN-13: 978-0-226-13678-3, ISBN-10: 0-226-13678, in D. Jalobeanu (ed.), ‘Journal of Early Modern Studies’, ZetaBooks, Bucharest, no. 2, Spring 2013, pp. 165-171 (http://www.zetabooks.com/new-releases/journal-of-early-modern-studies-volume-2-issue-1-spring.html).

-Sebastian Mateiescu, Akrasia in the Early Modern Thought-Review of Risto Saarinen, ‘Weakness of Will in Renaissance and Reformation Thought’ (New York: Oxford University Press, 2011) in Society and Politics, vol. 6, nr. 1, 2012, pp. 96-98 (http://www.uvvg.ro/socpol/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=92&Itemid=106).

-Sebastian Mateiescu, Science and Religion and the Myth of Their Conflict-Review of Peter Harrison (ed.), ‘The Cambridge Companion to Science and Religion’ (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2010) in Society and Politics, vol. 6, nr.2, Autumn 2012, pp. 129-131 (http://www.uvvg.ro/socpol/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=102&Itemid=125).

 

Translations (English to Romanian): Francis Bacon, Sylva Sylvarum, first Century, experiments 69-93 and Century four (in progress).

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