Monthly Archives: October 2011

Science in Portugal during the Enlightenment


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.

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Ryanair launches prepaid mastercard


Ryanair is planning to introduce the ‘Ryanair Cash Passport’, a MasterCard prepaid card which it claims will enable passengers to avoid its booking fee.

Algarve Car Hire Ryanair

Algarve Car Hire Ryanair

Ryanair’s £6 admin fee will not apply to UK bookings completed with Ryanair Cash Passport from 4th October onward.

However bookings made with any other UK MasterCard prepaid card will attract Ryanair’s £6 admin fee from 1st November 2011 onwards.

Ryanair claims that the Cash Passport, which will be managed by Access Prepaid Worldwide, will deliver a number of benefits for cardholders ranging from a special introductory offer, to the waiver of transactions fees for payments made online.

Ryanair’s Stephen McNamara said: “Ryanair’s £6 admin fee will not apply to any bookings made with ‘Ryanair Cash Passport’ and there are no transaction charges for using the card at UK merchants until 31st March 2012, so we recommend that UK passengers make the switch to ‘Ryanair Cash Passport’ as soon as possible to take advantage of the no fee offer.”


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A girl’s guide to the Algarve…


It’s as famous for golf courses as beaches. But Portugal’s Algarve coast has much more than fine ­fairways and sandy coves. The region is fast developing another ­reputation – as a spa capital of the continent. The very best of them is an ­underground pamper-fest, complete with underwater hydro-beds and tropical rain showers as well as a fully stocked bar… just in case you fancy a vodka and tonic after your radiance facial at Hilton’s Seven Spa in Vilamoura.

Girls Guide to the AlgarveBut if you’re looking for ­something different again, them sublime Monte do Casal hotel runs gourmet cookery courses.

You can learn how to rustle up Algarvean dishes in between massages in the lovely grounds.

For something a little more ­adventurous, try a jeep safari or go quad biking in fig and orange groves with Quad Ventura.

There are plenty of boat trips around the Ria Formosa Natural Park (around 20 euros).

They’re great for bird watching – and include a stop on a deserted beach.

Or you can drop into one of the many water parks to sunbathe – or hurtle down a slide at top speed on a sled. At ZooMarine in Guia one of the treats is swimming with dolphins but you need to book well in advance.

If it’s the food and wines that lure you here, check out Cliff Richard’s Vida Nova at the Adego do Cantor vineyard.

Then indulge yourself in one of the myriad restaurants with fantastic fresh seafood.

Dressed crab at Albufeira Fisherman’s Tavern is wonderful – and affordable.

But nothing quite beats the breathtaking views from Restaurante Pedras Amarelas as the Atlantic rollers crash against the rocks at lovely Praia da Gale along the coast.

The local markets – Saturday to Wednesday – are best for shopping. Splash out on pottery, decorated tiles, crystal, copperware, embroidered tablecloths, filigree jewellery and cork products.

Or head to the capital, Faro, and the peaceful cobbled streets of the old town. In spring its trees are heavy with ripening oranges.

Hire a car and you can cover the whole Algarve coast in a week. Algarve Car Hire is available at cheap inclusive price with deliveries all over the Algarve

Go west for the best beaches – Carvoiera’s pretty Dues Canaries or quaint Praia da Luz with its imposing sea walls and wonderful, family-friendly promenade.

But stop off en route for a night of karaoke and cocktails in lively Albufeira.

Further east is Tavira, reputed to be one of the Algarve’s prettiest towns and home to an observatory.

They say the sky here is the clearest in Europe. Book ahead and catch the stars…

Book your stay now at Algarve hotel bookings