The Emergence of a Scientific Culture
Science and the Shaping of Modernity 1210-1685
By (author) Stephen Gaukroger
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Emergence of a Scientific Culture by Stephen Gaukroger
Book DescriptionWhy did science emerge in the West and how did scientific values come to be regarded as the yardstick for all other forms of knowledge? Stephen Gaukroger shows just how bitterly the cognitive and cultural standing of science was contested in its early development. Rejecting the traditional picture of secularization, he argues that science in the seventeenth century emerged not in opposition to religion but rather was in many respects driven by it. Moreover, science did not present a unified picture of nature but was an unstable field of different, often locally successful but just as often incompatible, programmes. To complicate matters, much depended on attempts to reshape the persona of the natural philosopher, and distinctive new notions of objectivity and impartiality were imported into natural philosophy, changing its character radically by redefining the qualities of its practitioners. The West's sense of itself, its relation to its past, and its sense of its future, have been profoundly altered since the seventeenth century, as cognitive values generally have gradually come to be shaped around scientific ones. Science has not merely brought a new set of such values to the task of understanding the world and our place in it, but rather has completely transformed the task, redefining the goals of enquiry. This distinctive feature of the development of a scientific culture in the West marks it out from other scientifically productive cultures. In The Emergence of a Scientific Culture, Stephen Gaukroger offers a detailed and comprehensive account of the formative stages of this development--and one which challenges the received wisdom that science was seen to be self-evidently the correct path to knowledge and that the benefits of science were immediately obvious to the disinterested observer.
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Book DetailsISBN: 9780199550012
(234mm x 155mm x 30mm)
Imprint: Oxford University Press
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Publish Date: 23-Oct-2008
Country of Publication: United Kingdom
Books By Author Stephen Gaukroger
Descartes and Cartesianism, Hardback (February 2017)
This collection of original essays deals with Cartesian themes and problems, especially as these arise in connection with Cartesian natural science and the theory of perception, agency, mentality, divinity, and the passions. It focuses in particular on Desmond Clarke's important contributions to these aspects of Descartes's writings.
Natural and the Human, Hardback (January 2016)
Stephen Gaukroger presents an original account of the development of science and our understanding of ourselves during a period which saw a fundamental shift in how the role of science was seen. At the core of the shift lies the aim of understanding human behaviour and motivations in empirical rather than theological and metaphysical terms.
Collapse of Mechanism and the Rise of Sensibility, Paperback (November 2012)
How did we come to have a scientific culture - one in which cognitive values are shaped around scientific ones? Stephen Gaukroger presents a rich and fascinating investigation of the development of intellectual culture in early modern Europe, a period in which understandings of the natural realm began to fragment.
Objectivity: A Very Short Introduction, Paperback (May 2012)» View all books by Stephen Gaukroger
Objectivity is both an essential and elusive philosophical concept. This Very Short Introduction explores the theoretical and practical problems raised by objectivity, and also deals with the way in which particular understandings of objectivity impinge on social research, science, and art.
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Author Biography - Stephen Gaukroger
Stephen Gaukroger has a BA (Philosophy) from the University of London and a Ph.D (History and Philosophy of Science) from the University of Cambridge. He was Research Fellow in the Philosophy of Science, Clare Hall, Cambridge, 1977-1978; Research Fellow, Department of History and Philosophy of Science, University of Melbourne, 1978-1980. Since 1981 he has been in the Philosophy Department at the University of Sydney where he is currently Professor of History of Philosophy and History of Science.
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