Translating the Concept of Experiment in the Late Eighteenth Century

From the English Philosophical Context to the Greek-Speaking Regions of the Ottoman Empire

in Contributions to the History of Concepts
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  • 1 University of Athens
  • 2 University of Athens
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The Philosophical Grammar: Being a View of the Present State of Experimented Physiology, or Natural Philosophy, In Four Parts (1735) by Benjamin Martin was translated into Greek by Anthimos Gazis in 1799. According to the history of concepts, no political, social, or intellectual activity can occur without the establishment of a common vocabulary of basic concepts. By interfering in the linguistic structure, the act of translation may affect crucially the encounter of different cultures. By bringing together the history of science and the history of concepts, this article treats the transfer of the concept of experiment from the seventeenth-century British philosophical context to the eighteenth-century Greek-speaking intellectual context. The article focuses mainly on the different ways Gazis’s translation contributed to the construction of a particular conceptual framework for the appropriation of new knowledge.