Science as a Western Phenomenon

  • Roshdi Rashed
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4020-4425-0_9290

Philosophers, historians, and sociologists of science all accept as a basic postulate that science is essentially Western. This postulate is still conditioning contemporary scientific ideologies. This article analyzes the characteristics, history, and validity of this doctrine by means of a confrontation with one of the non‐Western scientific contributions: science written in Arabic.

Classical science is essentially European, and its origins are directly traceable to Greek philosophy and science; this tenet has survived intact through numerous conflicts of interpretation over the last two centuries. Almost without exception, the philosophers accepted it. Kant, as well as Comte, the neo‐Kantians as well as the neopositivists, Hegel as well as Husserl, the Hegelians and the phenomenologists as well as the Marxists, all acknowledge this postulate as the basis of their interpretations of Classical Modernity. Even until our time, the names of Bacon, Descartes, and Galileo (sometimes...

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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg New York 2008

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  • Roshdi Rashed

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