David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 33 (4):661-684 (2002)
This paper traces the reception of Babylonian astronomy into the history of science, beginning in early to mid twentieth century when cuneiform astronomical sources became available to the scholarly public. The dominant positivism in philosophy of science of this time influenced criteria employed in defining and demarcating science by historians, resulting in a persistently negative assessment of the nature of knowledge evidenced in cuneiform sources. Ancient Near Eastern astronomy (and astrology) was deemed pre- or non-scientific, and even taken to reflect a stage in the evolution of thought before the emergence of science (in ancient Greece). Two principal objections are examined: first, that the Near East produced merely practical as opposed to theoretical knowledge and, second, that astronomy was in the service of astrology and religion. As the notion of a universal scientific method has been dismantled by post-positivists and constructivists of the second half of the twentieth century, an interest in varieties of intellectual and cultural contexts for science has provided a new ground for the re-consideration of Babylonian astronomical texts as science developed here.
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
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
Peter Burke (1986). Strengths and Weaknesses of the History of Mentalities. History of European Ideas 7 (5):439-451.
Paul Feyerabend (1981). Problems of Empiricism. Cambridge University Press.
Joseph Rouse (1991). Philosophy of Science and the Persistent Narratives of Modernity. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 22 (1):141-162.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Michael H. Shank (2002). Regiomontanus on Ptolemy, Physical Orbs, and Astronomical Fictionalism: Goldsteinian Themes in the "Defense of Theon Against George of Trebizond". Perspectives on Science 10 (2):179-207.
D. J. Raine (1986). GINGERICH, OWEN (Ed.) : Astrophysics and Twentieth-Century Astronomy to 1950, The General History of Astronomy, Vol. 4A. Cambridge University Press. Pp. X+198 (ISBN 0-521-24256-8). [REVIEW] British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 37 (4):510-513.
Allen G. Debus, Paul Harold Theerman & Karen Hunger Parshall (eds.) (1997). Experiencing Nature: Proceedings of a Conference in Honor of Allen G. Debus. Kluwer Academic Publishers.
Patrick Suppes (2007). Statistical Concepts in Philosophy of Science. Synthese 154 (3):485--496.
Dudley Shapere (1993). Astronomy and Antirealism. Philosophy of Science 60 (1):134-150.
Peter Barker & Bernard R. Goldstein (1998). Realism and Instrumentalism in Sixteenth Century Astronomy: A Reappraisal. Perspectives on Science 6 (3):232-258.
Ulla Jeyes (1989). Old Babylonian Extispicy: Omen Texts in the British Museum. Nederlands Historisch-Archaeologisch Instituut Te İstanbul.
Alan C. Bowen (2007). The Demarcation of Physical Theory and Astronomy by Geminus and Ptolemy. Perspectives on Science 15 (3):327-358.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads3 ( #298,393 of 1,103,009 )
Recent downloads (6 months)1 ( #297,567 of 1,103,009 )
How can I increase my downloads?