Autonomous and Handmaiden Science: St. Thomas Aquinas and William of Ockham on the Physics of the Eucharist

Part of the Boston Studies in the Philosophy of Science book series (BSPS, volume 26)


It is a commonplace of the history of science that the rise of modern science involved the breaking off of the specific disciplines of modern science from theology and from philosophy in general.1 This is supposed by some to have occurred mainly in the seventeenth century and later and by others to have had its origins in the Middle Ages or earlier. Sociologists of science have suggested various external social or cultural factors that might have allowed or supported such specialization. In his classical study of seventeenth century England, Robert Merton pointed to religious, economic, and technological factors.2 In a more recent study extending to the medieval origins of specialization, Joseph Ben-David suggests that the medieval university guilds acted as a buffer between the practical goals of public service set by outside society for university graduates and the individual professor who might be inclined to pursue his special interests in conjunction with colleagues.3


Thirteenth Century Fourteenth Century Absolute Power Intuitive Cognition Real Presence 
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Copyright information

© D. Reidel Publishing Company, Dordrecht-Holland 1975

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.North Carolina State University at RaleighUSA

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