Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Stanley Jaki, RIP

The historian of science Stanley Jaki is dead. Here is Michael Aeschliman on Jaki's significance to the debate over religion and science:
Briefly put, Jaki’s argument is that three biases have afflicted the development of science and especially the explanation of its successes: empiricism, idealism, and anticlericalism. Unearthing and promoting the groundbreaking studies of the French Catholic physicist and science historian Pierre Duhem (1861–1916), on whom he wrote an important biography, Jaki argued for the importance of medieval religion and science as preparing the way for the breakthroughs in physics and astronomy of Copernicus, Kepler, Galileo, and Newton. Neither ancient nor Baconian empiricism nor ancient or modern idealism could find the “middle road” of metaphysical realism that fostered the breakthrough of science in the seventeenth century, supremely exemplified in Newton.
Read the rest here.

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