Science, Medieval science, and foundations for scientific method

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Summary

Science (from Latin scientia, meaning "knowledge") is a systematic enterprise that builds and organizes knowledge in the form of testable explanations and predictions about the universe."... modern science is a discovery as well as an invention. It was a discovery that nature generally acts regularly enough to be described by laws and even by mathematics; and required invention to devise the techniques, abstractions, apparatus, and organization for exhibiting the regularities and securing their law-like descriptions." —p.vii, J. L. Heilbron, (2003, editor-in-chief). The Oxford Companion to the History of Modern Science. New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-511229-6. In an older and closely related meaning, "science" also

Details

During late antiquity and the early Middle Ages, the Aristotelian approach to inquiries on natural phenomenon was used. Some ancient knowledge was lost, or in some cases kept in obscurity, during the fall of the Roman Empire and periodic political struggles. However, the general fields of science, or natural philosophy as it was called, and much of the general knowledge from the ancient world remained preserved though the works of the early Latin encyclopedists like Isidore of Seville. Also, in the Byzantine empire, many Greek science texts were preserved in Syriac translations done by groups such as Nestorians and Monophysites. Many of these were translated later on into Arabic under Caliphate, during which many types of classical learning were preserved and in some cases improved upon. In medieval times a Muslim scholar Ibn al-Haytham, who is considered by some to be the father of modern scientific method, argued for it by emphasizing experimental data and reproducibility of its results. The House of Wisdom, considered to be the first university in the world, was established in Abbasid-era Baghdad, Iraq. It is considered to have been a major intellectual center during the Islamic Golden Age. In the later medieval period, as science in Byzantium and the Islamic world waned, Western Europeans began collecting ancient texts from the Mediterranean, not only in Latin, but also in Greek, Arabic, and Hebrew. Knowledge of ancient researchers such as Aristotle, Ptolemy, Euclid, amongst Catholic scholars, were recovered with renewed interest in diverse aspects of natural phenomenon. In Europe, men like Roger Bacon in England argued for more experimental science. By the late Middle Ages, a synthesis of Catholicism and Aristotelianism known as Scholasticism was flourishing in Western Europe, which had become a new geographic center of science.

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