The Ethos of Modern Science and the "Religious Melting Pot": About the Topicality of Merton's Thesis

Cultura 8 (2):127-142 (2011)

My aim in this paper is to discuss the topicality of Merton’s thesis with a twofold meaning: as an idea which has its own place in the sociology of science and as an idea which is currently in its area of research. Merton asserts that the development of science in 17th century England was aided by the Puritan ethic. This does not means that science was caused by Puritanism, but only that Puritanism provided major support for the scientific activity. Because secularization and integration were two complementary processes, the relationship between science and religion was not simple. I connect Merton’s thesis with Weber’s thesisabout Protestantism and capitalism and try to see it in the light of the cultural climate of its time. Finally, I argue that Merton offers a unified analysis of scienceas a social institution.
Keywords Contemporary Philosophy  Language and Literature  Semiotics  Social Science
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ISBN(s) 1584-1057  
DOI 10.5840/cultura2011829
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