Evidence and Interpretation in Studies on Early Science and Medicine

The studies in this volume present early science in its rich and divergent complexity. Many historians of the Scientific Revolution have used early modern scholasticism to represent pre-seventeenth century science as a whole, but a close look at ancient, medieval, and even early modern scientific writers shows that before the Scientific Revolution - and not only in Europe - there were many and diverse traditions of interpreting the natural world. This book provides a broad range of historical evidence concerning early science, which may be used as a basis for new and more complex historical interpretations.

Originally published as Volume XIV, Nos. 1-3 (2009) of Brill's journal Early Science and Medicine.
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Biographical Note

Edith Dudley Sylla, Ph.D. (1971) in History of Science, Harvard University, is Professor of History Emerita at North Carolina State University. She recently published a study and English translation of Jacob Bernoulli's The Art of Conjecturing (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2006).

William R. Newman, Ph.D. (1986) in History of Science, Harvard University, is Professor of History and Philosophy of Science at Indiana University. His most recent monographs are Atoms and Alchemy and Promethean Ambitions, both with the University of Chicago Press.

Review Quotes

" Evidence and Interpretation in Studies on Early Science and Medicine is an excellently edited volume that includes sixteen contributions [...] of high quality and will make significant contributions to their respective fields"
- Gad Freudenthal, ISIS, 103: 1 (2012), pp. 164-166

Table of contents

Introduction, William R. Newman & Edith Dudley Sylla

ANCIENT
Modes of Explanation in the Aristotelian Mechanical Problems, Jean De Groot
Structures of Argument and Concepts of Force in the Aristotelian Mechanical Problems, Mark Schiefsky

ISLAMIC/ARABIC
The Simple Ontology of Kalām Atomism: An Outline, A. I. Sabra
The Footprints of “Experiment” in Early Arabic Optics, Elaheh Kheirandish

THE LATIN MIDDLE AGES
The “Experience-Based Medicine” of the Thirteenth Century, Michael McVaugh
The Intellect Naturalized: Roger Bacon on the Existence of Corporeal Species within the Intellect, Yael Raizman-Kedar
Magic and the Physical World in Thirteenth-Century Scholasticism, Steven P. Marrone
The Debate over the Nature of Motion: John Buridan, Nicole Oresme, and Albert of Saxony. With an Edition of John Buridan’s Quaestiones super libros Physicorum, secundum ultimam lecturam, Book III, q. 7, Johannes M.M.H. Thijssen
John Buridan and Critical Realism, Edith Dudley Sylla

LATE MEDIEVAL, RENAISSANCE, AND EARLY MODERN
The Significance of “Chymical Atomism”, William R. Newman
Conjecture, Probabilism, and Provisional Knowledge in Renaissance Meteorology, Craig Martin
Setting up Copernicus? Astronomy and Natural Philosophy in Giambattista Capuano da Manfredonia’s Expositio on the Sphere, Michael H. Shank
Copernicus’s Mereological Vision of the Universe, André Goddu
From “Dragonology” to Meteorology: Aristotelian Natural Philosophy and the Beginning of the Decline of the Dragon in China, Qiong Zhang
Baroque Fire (A Note on Early-Modern Angelology), Anne A. Davenport
Words, Lines, Diagrams, Images: Towards a History of Scientific Imagery, Christoph Lüthy & Alexis Smets

Index

Readership

Historians of science, religion, philosophy, and technology, as well as classicists, Arabists, and members of the educated public with an interest in science and its development over time.

Index Card

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