Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Why Duhem?

Duhem was unique among modern scientists with his penetrating insights into the method of the exact sciences, and in particular of physics, both on the conceptual level and along the vast and broad front of its use in history. In fact he did, what historians and historians of science were supposed to have done long ago: He discovered the true origins of Newtonian physics. That those origins are steeped in a culture, the Middle Ages, which for many is still the classic embodiment of obscurantism, could have but served as lèse majesté. But as if insult were to be added to injury, Duhem also spelled out the fact, with a vast and most original historical research that those origins are intimately connected with Catholic dogmas, such as the creation out of nothing and creation in time.
[SLJ Scientist and Catholic: Pierre Duhem 9]

(Yes, I hope to continue with our study of SLJ's The Relevance of Physics, but not today. Soon, I hope. Dr. T.)

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