Jean-Baptiste Duhamel

Jean-Baptiste Duhamel
Jean-Baptiste Duhamel
    Jean-Baptiste Duhamel
     Catholic_Encyclopedia Jean-Baptiste Duhamel
    A French scientist, philosopher, and theologian, b. at Vire, Normandy (now in the department of Calvados), 11 June, 1624; d. at Paris, 6 August, 1706. He began his studies at Caen and completed them at Paris. In 1642, being only eighteen years of age, Duhamel published an explanation of the work of Theodosius called "Spherics", to which he added a treatise on trigonometry. The following year he entered the Congregation of the Oratory, which he left ten years later to take charge of the parish of Neuilly-sur-Marne. Resigning this position in 1663, he became chancellor of the church of Bayeux. When Colbert founded the Académie of Sciences (1666), he appointed Duhamel its first secretary. Duhamel held this office until 1697, when he resigned and, upon his own recommendation, was succeeded by Fontenelle. With Colbert's brother, Marquis de Croissy, he went, in 1668, first to Aix-la-Chapelle for the peace negotiations, and later to England, where he came in touch with the foremost scientists, especially with the physicist Boyle.
    Duhamel's works are "Philosophia moralis christiana" (Angers, 1652); "Astronomia physica" (Paris, 1659); "De meteoris et fossilbus" (Paris, 1659) ; "De consensu veteris et novæ philosphiæ" (Paris, 1663), a treatise on natural philosophy in which the Greek and scholastic theories are compared with those of Descartes; "De corporum affectionibus" (Paris, 1670); "De mente humanâ" (Paris, 1672); "De corpore animato" (Paris, 1673); "Philosophia vetus et nova ad usum scholæ accommodata" (Paris, 1678). This last work, composed by order of Colbert as a textbook for colleges, ran through many editions. He also published: "Theologia speculatrix et practica" (7 vols., Paris, 1690), abridged in five volumes for use as a textbook in seminaries (Paris, 1694); "Regiæ scientiarum Academiæ historia" (Paris, 1698; enlarged edition, 1701); "Institutiones biblicæ" (Paris, 1698), in which are examined the questions of the authority, integrity, and inspiration of the Bible, the value of the Hebrew text and of its translations, the style and method of interpretation, Biblical geography, and chronology; "Biblia sacra Vulgatæ editionis" (Paris, 1705), with introductions, notes, chronological, historical, and geographical tables. In his choice of opinions, Duhamel shows great impartiality and unbiased judgment. His admiration for empirical science does not make him despise the speculations of his predecessors, but he examines and criticizes both sides carefully, tries to reconcile them, and, if this be impossible, gives his own opinion. Brucker, in his history of philosophy, calls him "vir et judicii laude clarissimus et doctrinæ copia celeberrimus". Fontenelle praises his noble character and his disinterestedness; his charity, which "was exercised too frequently not to become known, notwithstanding his care to conceal it"; his humility, which was not only on his lips, but was "a feeling based on science itself".
    VIALARD, J.-B. Duhamel (Paris, 1884); MORIN-LAVALLÉE, Bibliographie viroise (Caen, 1879); FONTENELLE, Histoire du renouvellement de l'Académie royale des sciences en MDCXCIX, et les Eloges historiques de tous les Académiciens morts depuis ce renouvellement (Paris, 1706); CHALMERS, Biographical Dictionary (London, 1814), XVII, 84; BRUCKER, Historia critica philosophiæ (2nd ed., Leipzig, 1767), IV, 760; DUPIN, Nouvelle bibliothèque des auteurs ecclésiastiques (2nd ed., Paris and Mons, 1703-), XVIII, 297.
    C.A. DUBRAY
    Transcribed by Thomas J. Bress

The Catholic Encyclopedia, Volume VIII. — New York: Robert Appleton Company. . 1910.


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  • Jean-Baptiste Duhamel — Jean Baptiste Du Hamel Pour les articles homonymes, voir Duhamel. Jean Baptiste Du Hamel, ou Duhamel, né à Vire le 11 juin 1624 et mort à Paris le 6 août 1706, est un homme de sciences, philosophe et théologien français. Fils de Nicolas Du Hamel …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Jean-Baptiste du Hamel — Jean Baptiste Du Hamel, Duhamel or du Hamel (11 June 1624 – 6 August 1706) was a notable French cleric and natural philosopher of the late seventeenth century, and the first secretary of the Academie Royale des Sciences. As its first secretary,… …   Wikipedia

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  • Jean-baptiste du hamel — Pour les articles homonymes, voir Duhamel. Jean Baptiste Du Hamel, ou Duhamel, né à Vire le 11 juin 1624 et mort à Paris le 6 août 1706, est un homme de sciences, philosophe et théologien français. Fils de Nicolas Du Hamel, avocat à Vire, il… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Jean-Baptiste Du Hamel — oder Duhamel (* 11. Juni 1624 in Vire, Dep. Calvados; † 6. August 1706 in Paris) war ein französischer Philosoph und Theologe. Als Sohn des Notars Nicolas Du Hamel begann er seine Studien in Caen und beendete sie in Paris. 1642, also mit 18… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

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