Ryan Feigenbaum
Villanova University

I am a PhD candidate in Philosophy at Villanova University. My research explores the history and continuing significance of the concepts that define the living, natural world through the intersections of eighteenth-century philosophy and life science, contemporary philosophy of biology, and environmental ethics. I will soon be defending my dissertation, which investigates the epistemic foundations of German biology.rnrnRelevant to MW17, I created a digital exhibition as part of my 2015-2016 Mellon Research Fellowship at the Humanities Institute of The New York Botanical Garden. This exhibition, built from the ground up, incorporates digital humanities techniques to present knowledge not possible without new media and technologies. "Poetic Botany: Art and Science of the Eighteenth-Century Vegetable World" ( identifies an eighteenth-century movement in which botany became the subject of poetry. The relationship between art and science cultivated during this movement resulted in a rich trove of botanical knowledge, sumptuously presented in books, artworks, and gardens. This exhibition will introduce the poetic botanists who constituted this movement, the works they created, and the themes implicated in their works. Above all, though, this exhibition will present nine of the most beautiful, curious, and sensational species living within those very pages.rnIt aims to make plants the true protagonists.rnrnMy further research is an attempt to find further ways to incorporate new media into the history and philosophy of science in order to uncover new insights and present them in engaging and provocative ways.rnrn