The Beginning of Western Science – Book Review

The Beginnings of Western Science

The European Scientific Tradition in Philosophical, Religious, and Institutional Context, Prehistory to A.D. 1450 by David C. Lindberg, University Of Chicago Press.

Reviewed by Tony O’Brien, RN, MPhil

Beginning of Western ScienceWhat is science? In the opening chapter of this revised edition of his 1992 survey of pre-Renaissance scientific thought historian David C Lindbergh offers three responses. Science can be thought of in terms of theory, method, or the practices of scientists. This is all very well, Lindberg argues, but such limited concepts won’t survive if we are to understand science historically. Since the range of Lindberg’s book is the two millennia prior to 1450 AD a concept of science is needed that is more compatible with inquiry into the natural world in ancient and medieval times. Lindberg introduces the terms “natural philosophy” and “philosophy of nature”, and the stage is set for an encyclopedic exploration of investigative practices in the time before science became the highly systematized set of procedures it is today.

Read the full article at Metapsychology Online Reviews


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