The idea of an inevitable conflict between science and religion was decisively challenged by John Hedley Brooke in his classic Science and Religion: Some Historical Perspectives. Almost two decades on, Science and Religion: New Historical Perspectives revisits this argument and asks how historians can now impose order on the complex and contingent histories of religious engagements with science. Bringing together leading scholars, this volume explores the history and changing meanings of the categories 'science' and 'religion'; the role of publishing and (...) education in forging and spreading ideas; the connection between knowledge, power and intellectual imperialism; and the reasons for the confrontation between evolution and creationism among American Christians and in the Islamic world. A major contribution to the historiography of science and religion, this book makes the most recent scholarship on this much misunderstood debate widely accessible. (shrink)
In the late 1810s and 1820s the Edinburgh phrenologists were largely concerned with trying to establish phrenology as the true science of mind. They challenged the accepted theories about the nature of mind and the brain; in turn, phrenology was attacked by the proponents of Scottish common-sense philosophy and by some medical men. The ensuing debate, which is discussed as an example of conflict between incommensurable world-views, involved a wide range of contentious theological, philosophical, scientific and methodological issues.
While many aspects of Shapin's historical thesis are accepted, this paper raises objections to specific parts of his historical account, and also to the historiographical assumptions underlying his sociological programme. In particular, Shapin's claim to have explained the Edinburgh phrenology debate in social terms is analysed and rejected.
When Michael Hunter first publicized the idea of ‘Psychoanalysing Robert Boyle’ I understood that his main aim was to test three competing psychoanalytical theories against the historical evidence provided by the life and work of Robert Boyle. Although this would have been a valuable exercise, and one that the British Society for the History of Science meeting partly engaged, the papers by Brett Kahr, John Clay and Karl Figlio published here raise some far more compelling issues which I shall explore (...) in the ensuing discussion. Before turning to this discussion I offer a few introductory remarks. (shrink)
The Great Exhibition of 1851 is generally interpreted as a thoroughly secular event that celebrated progress in science, technology, and industry. In contrast to this perception, however, the exhibition was viewed by many contemporaries as a religious event of considerable importance. Although some religious commentators were highly critical of the exhibition and condemned the display of artifacts in the Crystal Palace as giving succor to materialism, others incorporated science and technology into their religious frameworks. Drawing on sermons, tracts, and the (...) religious periodical press, this essay pays close attention to the ways in which science and technology were endowed with providentialist significance and particularly examines the notion of human progress used by a number of Christian writers, especially Congregationalists, who set scientific and technological progress within a teleological religious perspective. This discussion sheds fresh light not only on the Great Exhibition itself but also on the deployment of natural theology in mid-nineteenth-century Britain. (shrink)
This paper sets out to examine the changes which took place in Thomas Young's concepts of the ether between 1799 and 1807. During the earlier part of this period he supposed the ether to consist of mutually repelling subtle particles which are attracted to particles of matter. Hence, he considered that the ether is denser within dense bodies than in rare ones. Furthermore, Young proposed that the ether density does not change abruptly at an interface; instead the denser ether extends (...) beyond the geometrical limit of a body to form an atmosphere around it. As this hypothesis of an atmosphere of dense ether surrounding material bodies will be the central subject of this paper, I shall in future refer to it as the ether distribution hypothesis. (shrink)
Berkeley's "new theory of vision" and, In particular, His sensationalist solution to the problem of judging distance and magnitude were discussed by many eighteenth-Century authors who faced a variety of problem situations. More specifically, Berkeley's theory fed into the debate over whether the phenomena of vision were susceptible to mathematical analysis or were experientially determined. In this paper a variety of responses to berkeley are examined, Concluding with thomas reid's attempt to distinguish physical optics (which can be analyzed geometrically) from (...) the psychology of vision (in which experience plays a major role). (shrink)
This paper aims to present some characteristics and advantages of combined and complementary use of both qualitative and qualitative approaches in social research. It is based on learnings and difficulties ecountered in the development of a research project on youth and insecurity, titled "Certaint..
Science and Christianity Content Type Journal Article Pages 1-4 DOI 10.1007/s11016-011-9544-2 Authors Geoffrey Cantor, Science and Technology Studies, University College London, Gower Street, London, WC1E 6BT UK Journal Metascience Online ISSN 1467-9981 Print ISSN 0815-0796.