Journal of the History of Philosophy 46 (4):pp. 640-641 (2008)
The sheer variety of both cognitive and non-cognitive contributions to the emergence of a scientific culture in the West and the complex relations to pre-modern developments that scholars have brought to light over the past decades have put into question both the Enlightenment and Kuhnian accounts of the scientific revolution. Gaukroger’s work performs the ambitious but indispensable task of beginning to formulate an alternative way of understanding this momentous transition, one based on recent scholarship. Gaukroger treats science as both “a particular kind of cognitive product, and as a particular kind of cultural product” . His overarching goal is to show that examining the interrelations between the two can teach us something about modernity that focusing on one, to the exclusion of the other, cannot. He argues that the enduring success of Western science was not due to its advances , but due to its ability to consolidate. Successful consolidation promotes the cognitive claims of science and builds a scientific culture to legitimate them. Hence, throughout this book, Gaukroger explores how particular advances were legitimated by their ability to reinforce revelation, unify different disciplines, and exemplify the
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