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Noel, Etienne

1. Dates
Born: Bassigny, Haute-Marne, 29 Sept. 1581.
Died: La Fleche, 16 Oct. 1659.
Dateinfo: Dates Certain
Lifespan: 78
2. Father
Occupation: Unknown
No information on financial status.
3. Nationality
Birth: French
Career: French
Death: French
4. Education
Schooling: Religous Order, D.D.
No information about his education, but he was a Jesuit who prospered in a learned order. Who can doubt that he was educated in it? As a Jesuit, moreover, he would have had a doctorate in theology.
5. Religion
Affiliation: Catholic
He entered the Society of Jesus in 1599 and completed his novitiate in Verdun.
6. Scientific Disciplines
Primary: Natural Philosophy, Physics
His published works include Aphorismi physici (1646), Sol flamma (1646), Le plein du vide (1648) and Gravitas comparata (1649). The double perspective that characterizes all of his work is an adherence to Aristotelian physics and receptiveness to new ideas.
7. Means of Support
Primary: Church Life
He entered the Society of Jesus in 1599. In 1606, Noel taught grammar at Rouen. He was the prefet des études and rector at d'Eu. At La Fleche, he taught philosophy for eight years and then five years of theology. He was the rector at La Fleche 1637-40.
He served as vice-provincial of the Society in 1645-6. He became rector of the Collège de Clermont in Paris in 1646.
In 1649, Noel returned to La Fleche where he published several further works of minor importance.
8. Patronage
Type: None
It is obvious that Noel advanced within the society, and probably there were those who furthered his career. This utilization of his talents by his order does not, however, seem like what I am calling patronage.
9. Technological Involvement
Type: None
10. Scientific Societies
Memberships: None
Connection with Descartes. In 1646 he sent to Descartes his first published works.
Correspondence with Pascal. He had several disputes with Pascal on the existence of a vacuum. But later in his Gravitas he honored Pascal for his role in developing an experiment to produce a vacuum within a vacuum.
  1. Oeuvres de Descartes, C.Adam and P.Tannery, eds., 1, (Paris, 1897), 382-4, 454-6. B1833.T16 (1956) Pascal, Oeuvres, Brunschvicg and Boutroux, eds., 2, (Paris, 1908), 77-125, 158, 174-214, 253-82, 291-4. B1900.A3B8 Pascal, Oeuvres completes, J. Mesnard ed., 2, (Paris, 1971), 509-40, 556-7, 584-602, 633-9. B1900.A3M5 Dupont-Ferrier, Du Collège de Clermont au Lycée Louis-le-Grand, 3, (Paris, 1925), 7. LF 2275 .L9 D8, tome 3 Carlos Sommervogel, ed. Bibliothèque de la Compagnie de Jésus, (Brussels, 1891).
Compiled by:
Richard S. Westfall
Department of History and Philosophy of Science
Indiana University

Note: the creators of the Galileo Project and this catalogue cannot answer email on geneological questions.

©1995 Al Van Helden
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