CORDIS - EU research results

Style Matters: Scientific Pluralism and its Early-Modern Sources

Project description

Paving the way for a theoretical foundation and epistemological knowledge of style

The concept of style, a key term used in the epistemological and scientific fields, has received very little scholarly attention, and discussions on it have led to vastly different views. Addressing this, the EU-funded EPISTYLE project will use innovative methodology to map a conceptual history of style, offering a genealogy of scientific pluralism and theories of the concept in the sciences. In doing so, the project will advance the theory that a link between style and knowledge established during the early modern period continues to have a strong conceptual influence today.


This project aims to provide a comprehensive theoretical and historical discussion of the concept of ‘style’, in order to excavate the notion’s epistemological implications for current debates about scientific pluralism. The concept of style, which has emerged as a central term in the epistemological and scientific fields, has received little critical attention. Scholarly discussions of style have been largely disparate, scattered across disciplines, and sustained analysis of its resonance and significance, especially for the sciences, is lacking. Attempting to address this gap, EPISTYLE advances the hypothesis that a specific link between style and knowledge established during the early modern period continues to have relevant conceptual force today. EPISTYLE will 1) provide a systematic analysis of contemporary theories of scientific styles, and 2) construct a conceptual history of key modern and 3) early-modern moments shaping the evolution of the notion of style. By unearthing overlooked sources and neglected European traditions, this timely project will provide a theoretical foundation and epistemological framework for the growing appeals to style arising in various disciplines. Discussions with both scientists and art historians will constitute the defining trait of EPISTYLE’s innovative methodology. This three-year GF will bring Dr. Vagelli to Harvard (USA), Cambridge (UK), and Ca’ Foscari (Italy), where he will be supervised by Peter Galison, Hasok Chang, and Marco Sgarbi respectively. The project will result in several publications, including a monograph for historians of knowledge. Dr. Vagelli’s previous work on style in historical epistemology places him in a privileged position to pursue this research. This new project and the skills acquired during the fellowship period will profoundly impact his career by expanding his current area of expertise and fostering new academic collaborations among research groups in North America and Europe.


Net EU contribution
€ 251 002,56
30123 Venezia

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Nord-Est Veneto Venezia
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Total cost
€ 251 002,56

Partners (1)