The Scientific Revolution: A Historiographical Inquiry by H. Floris Cohen

By H. Floris Cohen

In this primary book-length historiographical examine of the medical Revolution, H. Floris Cohen examines the physique of labor at the highbrow, social, and cultural origins of early sleek technological know-how. Cohen significantly surveys a variety of scholarship because the 19th century, providing new views on how the clinical Revolution replaced ceaselessly the way in which we comprehend the flora and fauna and our position in it.

Cohen's discussions diversity from scholarly interpretations of Galileo, Kepler, and Newton, to the query of why the clinical Revolution happened in seventeenth-century Western Europe, instead of in historic Greece, China, or the Islamic international. Cohen contends that the emergence of early sleek technological know-how was once necessary to the increase of the trendy international, within the means it fostered advances in technology.

A worthwhile entrée to the literature at the medical Revolution, this ebook assesses either a debatable physique of scholarship, and contributes to realizing how glossy technology got here into the world.

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94 Thus Galileo’s reasons for giving up the impetus theory must be sought elsewhere. Just as it had seemed to Buridan that Aristotle’s account was not good enough to save the appearances, so was Galileo concerned with certain phenomena that the impetus account, in its turn, was incapable of saving. Ironi­ cally, the phenomenon in question was one that might well have been made the subject of theoretical reflection by the scholastics: It is the rolling movement of a spherical body over a virtually frictionless, horizontal plane.

Just like Mach’s, his general views on science were con­ nected with his interest in its history in a manner that is not easy to define. Yet there seems to be one important common source for both Duhem’s philosophy and his history: namely, faith. Among philosophers of science Duhem is chiefly known for his advocacy of the view that scientific theories can never claim to represent reality. The ideal of science is, as the ancient expression has it, ‘to save the phenomena’, that is, to find the most economical model that can account for them.

What Duhem once eloquently observed about Leonardo in particular has, in a more general fashion, become the implicit guiding line, not to say the commonplace point of departure, of later generations of historians of science: 54 T he Great Tradition [HeJ does not therefore appear to us any longer as a genius isolated in time, without connection with either past or future, devoid of intellectual ancestors or of scientific posterity. We see how his thought feeds itself on the juices of the science o f preceding centuries so as to fertilize in its turn the science o f future ages.

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