Traditions of Science: Cross-Cultural Perspectives: Essays in Honour of B.V. Subbarayappa

Munshiram Manoharlal Publishers (2007)
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Abstract

Illustrations: 13 B/w & 1 Colour Illustrations Description: The frontiers of Traditional Knowledge and Science have long attracted the minds of scientists, theologians, intellectuals and students, who have been arguing both their similarities and dissimilarities, apparent contradictions, and the possibility of an ultimate harmony between the two. In ancient and medieval India - as in much of the Non-Western world - there was only one word for tradition and science, namely, vidya. Vidya encompassed what in the modern historically-sensitive inquiries is called 'knowledge-systems.' However, in the modern West, placing Science and Tradition side-by-side has become something of an anathema, for many in the post-Enlightenment era regard Tradition to be a leftover from the Dark Ages. Science, in contrast, with its systematic approach to studying and understanding of all there is, has been considered to be unassailable. But even this impenetrable divide may be showing signs of rupture in the twenty-first century : there is now growing evidence of a line of continuity and creative engagement in a 'third space' between Science and Traditional Knowledge. Individuals and learned organizations are making enormous contributions in this interactive exploration. The Sir John Templeton Foundation, based in Philadelphia, USA, is one such international organization. Professor B.V. Subbarayappa is one such eminent scholar who has relentlessly pursued, and in his quiet way stimulated, the fusion of disparate minds in this area. He is hailed as a pioneer in the History and Philosophy of Science movement in India. His contributions in this field are without match and have earned him a name among scientists, science historians, philosophers and intellectuals all over the world. His monumental work and his sheer humanity have inspired the Editors of this volume to find a way to honour him. Scholars of various persuasions from around the world have contributed exploratory, specialist and dialogic essays toward this conversation of Science and Tradition. A biographical sketch with a comprehensive Bibliography (first-ever) of Prof Subbarayappa is also featured in the Introductory essay. Professor--D.P. Chattopadhyaya and J.N. Mohanty have offered prefatory comments of their own. Given the extensive range of topics discussed, both specialists and lay readers will doubtless gain a deeper understanding of the relationship between Science and Tradition in a cross-cultural context, and hopefully be inspired to develop respect for knowledge across these two frontiers.

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