Duhem, the arabs, and the history of cosmology

Synthese 83 (2):201 - 214 (1990)
Duhem has generally been understood to have maintained that the major Greek astronomers were instrumentalists. This view has emerged mainly from a reading of his 1908 publication To Save the Phenomena. In it he sharply contrasted a sophisticated Greek interpretation of astronomical models (for Duhem this was that they were mathematical contrivances) with a naive insistence of the Arabs on their concrete reality. But in Le Système du monde, which began to appear in 1913, Duhem modified his views on Greek astronomy considerably; his more subtle understanding included the recognition that many Greeks subordinated mathematical astronomy to physical theory. But he could not completely repudiate his earlier views about Greek astronomy in part because his extreme nineteenth century prejudices led him to continue to insist on a clear-cut demarcation between Greek and Arabic astronomy. The inevitable result is a certain unevenness in the Système and some glaring inconsistencies.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 13,048
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA
G. E. R. Lloyd (1978). Saving the Appearances. Classical Quarterly 28 (01):202-.
Citations of this work BETA
Similar books and articles

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

12 ( #145,286 of 1,410,540 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

1 ( #178,988 of 1,410,540 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

Start a new thread
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.