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Unformatted text preview: failed; variation was too inconsistent. William Gilbert (15441603): learned English physician and natural philosopher. In De Magnete (1600), described experiments and laid out magnetic philosophy meant to displace Aristotelianism. Said Earth is a great magnet ; compasses align with Earths magnetic force rather than with celestial poles. Used small spherical magnet ( terrella or little Earth) to mimic actions of the magnetic Earth. Gilberts use of contrived experiments went against Aristotelians focus on the ordinary course of nature. Gilbert attacked scholastic philosophers who relied on books and theories rather than examining phenomena for themselves. He had much in common with Paracelsians, especially concerning active powers of nature and need for direct experiment to grasp and harness them for human use....
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- Spring '11