Mihnea Dobre

Mihnea Dobre 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, studying the disciplinary shifts in the early modern period. In his dissertation – Metaphysics and Physics in Cartesian Natural Philosophy: Descartes and Early French Cartesians on the Foundation of Natural Philosophy (2010, Nijmegen) – Mihnea Dobre discussed the problems connected with seventeenth-century possibilities of framing a new physics based on Cartesian philosophy. Dobre participated in numerous international conferences and published various articles on topics such as history of philosophy, history of science, and history and philosophy of science. Together with Tammy Nyden (Grinnell College), he is the co-editor of the volume Cartesian Empiricisms (Springer: Studies in History and Philosophy of Science).


His research focus in the CNCS project From natural history to science: the emergence of experimental philosophy will be on the way experience and experimentation are pursued within the scientific communities of the seventeenth century. For this, he will look at both major philosophical figures (Galileo, Descartes) and scientific communities (Peiresc’s circle, Montmor academy).

In the first year of the project, Mihnea Dobre published two research articles. One on the problem of certainty as connected to the passage from metaphysics to physics (“Knowledge and Certainty in the Foundation of Cartesian Natural Philosophy.” Revue Roumaine de Philosophie (June 2013) 57 (1): 95-110) and another one on the use of experiment in explaining the phenomena produced by glass drops (“On Glass-drops: a Case Study of the Interplay Between Experimentation and Explanation in Seventeenth-century Natural Philosophy.” Journal of Early Modern Studies 2 (Creative experiments: Heuristic and Exploratory Experimentation in Early Modern Science): 105-124).

In the subsequent years of the project, Mihnea Dobre will work on the reception of Baconian experimentalism in the seventeenth-century natural philosophy. He will explore this reception in the French academies, as well as within Cartesian contexts (e.g., papers on “From Bacon to Baconianism: some thoughts on seventeenth-century ‘Baconianism’ and other categories in the early modern period” in the Scientiae 2013 conference and on “Baconianism, Cartesianism, and Newtonianism. Jacques Rohault’s Treatise on Physics and Samuel Clarke’s Newtonian annotations” in the Newton’s Philosophical Projects masterclass, 2015). In 2014 and 2015, Dobre published several papers in the project, including, “Mixing Cartesianism and Newtonianism: the reception of Cartesian physics in England”; “Considerații despre filosofia experimentului în perioada modernă timpurie”; “Experimental Cartesianism and the problem of space”; and a book, “Metaphysics and Physics in Descartes and Early French Cartesian Natural Philosophy.” He will continue to develop these topics in 2016, as most of the research results were so far presented in conferences and need to be published as articles or book chapters.

In addition, Mihnea Dobre participates in the translation project of Bacon’s Sylva sylvarum in Romanian and in the philosophical cosmologies series.

Here, you can find more about Mihnea Dobre’s research and publications.