Published online by Cambridge University Press: 14 January 2022
Characteristic of the early modern period was the idea of a new start for philosophy and the sciences. In the period, those who advocated for such a program were collectively called the novatores or “innovators.” This chapter traces the emergence and the complex posterity of this term. Though now considered positive, it was much contested in the period, and the novatores were involved in numerous polemical disputes. Tracing the origins, history, and use of the term gives us precious insights into the dynamics of the great transformation of philosophy usually designated by another polemical label—the Scientific Revolution.