Polycentered History of Science

  • Jonardon Ganeri
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-007-3934-5_10008-1

It used to be a commonplace in modernist studies and regrettably remains one still in philosophical historiography that modernity is something that happened first, and uniquely, in Europe. Attempts were made to convert the supposition into a tautology through definitions of modernity that exclude non-European histories and geographies (e.g., in terms of capitalist modes of production, the emergence of nation-states and nationalist collective identities, the industrial revolution, and secularization). Progress of sorts occurred with the acknowledgment of the existence of alternative regional modernities, but the acknowledgment was tied to a center/periphery model and to an associated ideology of European diffusionism. Shmuel Eisenstadt, for instance, is willing to acknowledge “multiple modernities” but only insofar as these new modernities imitate and copy a first modernity centered in Europe (Eisenstadt, 2000). Postcolonial writers such as R. Radhakrishnan have struggled with what...


Majority Vote Public Knowledge Deliberative Democracy Mutual Engagement Epistemic Culture 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of SussexFalmerUK