Skip to Main content Skip to Navigation

Musique, mathématiques et philosophie dans l'oeuvre de Marin Mersenne

Abstract : This PhD dissertation provides a critical perspective of the dominantinterpretation of the scientific and philosophical works of Father Marin Mersenne(1588-1648) entirely structured by the sceptical question. The development of his ideasabout music embodies the spirit of the scientific revolution which emerges in theseventeenth-century. His investigation has the capacity to put his methods into questionwith an insatiable quest for the truth; a quest that involves political and religiousconcerns. The aim of this study is to show a profound transformation in the conceptionof music. This transformation that leads from a science of the quadrivium (subordinateto mathematics and claiming superiority of the judgement of reason) to a physical andmathematical science grounded on experience that recognizes the individuality of theesthetic experience, the liberty of the imagination of the composers and the ineffabilityof the sublime. It is quite difficult however to identify the existence of two differentstages in Mersenne’s thought. It is surprising how he expresses doubts about therelevance of the speculative approach to music whereas a musical reform is proposed inhis apologetic writings, having as a model the perfection of proportions of consonancesand rhythmic combinations well known by the ancients. And also, when he accepts thepractice of musical temperament, challenging the observation of the mathematicalperfection, he will continue to remind the proportions underlying the consonances.Despite this complexity (even these contradictions) we consider and pretend to showthat this transformation is undeniable and that the Mersenne epistemology must beanalysed according to the scientific questions and experiences which he faces in hisinvestigations and not as a response to a sceptical crisis.
Document type :
Complete list of metadata

Cited literature [79 references]  Display  Hide  Download
Contributor : Abes Star :  Contact
Submitted on : Monday, May 7, 2018 - 5:19:07 PM
Last modification on : Tuesday, June 15, 2021 - 3:54:25 PM
Long-term archiving on: : Tuesday, September 25, 2018 - 10:19:38 PM


Version validated by the jury (STAR)


  • HAL Id : tel-01787702, version 1



Brenda Basilico. Musique, mathématiques et philosophie dans l'oeuvre de Marin Mersenne. Philosophie. Université Charles de Gaulle - Lille III, 2017. Français. ⟨NNT : 2017LIL30038⟩. ⟨tel-01787702⟩



Record views


Files downloads