This paper focusse on the introduction , dissemination and propagation of “the new sciences “ in 18th century portuguese mainland. Although the specific characteristics of the reception of science in various national contexts is a lively topic. The international comunity of historians of science has scarcely adressed the history of science in Portugal. There is no study of the subject per se, and in the most recent work in wish Portugal appears, it is in the context of the history of science in the Iberian Penisula as a whole . It is mislanding to conflate the Portuguese and the Spanish cases; the claim can be made that there is no receved view on the topic of Portuguese science at the level of the international scholarly comunity .
In Portugal itself the situation is quiet different. Although a comunity of professional historians of science has been building up during the last decade, the study of the history of the science of the 18th century Portugal has been porsued mainly in the context of cultural history. Sporadic contribuitions in the “ évenementielle” genre have been also made by historians and by scientists.However a consistent study of eighteenth-century portuguese science was carried out about over fourthy years by the physics teacher, pedagogue, poet, and historian of science Ramalho de Carvalho (1906-1997). Romulo de Carvalho belonged to a descriptive tradition that has produced many detailed and highly erudit accounts. He contributed case studies, general works and various papers taking a somewhat a Wiggish approacth to the eighteenth-century portuguese scientific context. He focussed almost exclusively on lasting contributions to scientific disciplines such as physics, emphasizing the role modernity was defined loosely as everything wich opposed Aristotelianism and Scholasticism. In the final years of the seventeenth cemtury, the growing emphasis on scientific and and technological research defined a new epistemological frame work that called for a radical change in the relation between theory and practice. The reinterpretation of Aristotle was insufficient, and a new phylosophy, a new physics and a new methodology were requiered.
The practice of experiment as a crucial element in the new epistemological context was to have one of its strongest pillars in the Oratorians. The oratorian João Baptista (1705-1761) was one of those who fought Scholasticism, attempted to rehabilitate Aristotle by showing how his texts has been generally distorced by portuguese commentators, and reconstructed what he considered to be the genuine Aristotelian phylospy in the book Philosphia Aristotelica Restituta (1748) in wich Baptista reconciled Aristotelianism with Newtonian Physics. From 1737, he became the most influential Oratorian advocating experimental philosophy in the court of king João V.