Fact, Faith and Fiction in the Development of Science

The Gifford Lectures Given in the University of St Andrews 1976

  • R. Hooykaas

Part of the Boston Studies in the Philosophy of Science book series (BSPS, volume 205)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xviii
  2. R. Hooykaas
    Pages 5-16
  3. R. Hooykaas
    Pages 17-25
  4. R. Hooykaas
    Pages 27-77
  5. R. Hooykaas
    Pages 79-98
  6. R. Hooykaas
    Pages 117-145
  7. R. Hooykaas
    Pages 147-181
  8. R. Hooykaas
    Pages 183-228
  9. R. Hooykaas
    Pages 229-264
  10. R. Hooykaas
    Pages 265-318
  11. R. Hooykaas
    Pages 319-341
  12. R. Hooykaas
    Pages 343-372
  13. Back Matter
    Pages 373-462

About this book


In this posthumous book, the late Professor R. Hooykaas (1906-1994) conveys a lifetime of historical thought about modes of scientific advance over the centuries. In what variety of ways has the human mind, with all its subjectivity and its capacity for self-deception, but also its piercing gifts of discovery, managed to come to terms with `the whimsical tricks of nature'? Central to this erudite, penetrating, and widely ranging study is Hooykaas's distinction between facts (given by nature yet entirely subject to our mode of interpreting them), faith (broad conceptions like the idea of order, of simplicity, or of harmony), and fictions in the sense of those daring intellectual tools, such as theories and hypotheses and models, which reflect the scientist's creative imagination. Case studies drawn from the history of all branches of science (including chemistry and the earth sciences) and from Antiquity to the present day, serve to widen and to deepen the understanding of every reader (whether a historian of science or not) with a desire to learn more about the realities of the scientific pursuit.


Reijer Hooykaas antiquity historian of science historical thought natural theology science theory

Authors and affiliations

  • R. Hooykaas
    • 1
  1. 1.UtrechtThe Netherlands

Bibliographic information

  • DOI
  • Copyright Information Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 1999
  • Publisher Name Springer, Dordrecht
  • eBook Packages Springer Book Archive
  • Print ISBN 978-90-481-5248-3
  • Online ISBN 978-94-015-9295-6
  • Series Print ISSN 0068-0346
  • Buy this book on publisher's site