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Which clippings match 'History Of Science' keyword pg.1 of 1
30 OCTOBER 2015

Science and Islam: The Islamic Golden Age

"Physicist Jim Al-Khalili travels through Syria, Iran, Tunisia and Spain to tell the story of the great leap in scientific knowledge that took place in the Islamic world between the 8th and 14th centuries. Its legacy is tangible, with terms like algebra, algorithm and alkali all being Arabic in origin and at the very heart of modern science – there would be no modern mathematics or physics without algebra, no computers without algorithms and no chemistry without alkalis.

He discovers how medieval Islamic scholars helped turn the magical and occult practice of alchemy into modern chemistry and argues that these scholars are among the first people to insist that all scientific theories are backed up by careful experimental observation, bringing a rigour to science that didn’t really exist before."




14th century2009 • 8th century • Abbasid Caliphate • Abu Hamid al-Ghazzali • Abu Nasr Muhammad al-Farabi • Al-Farabi • Al-Khwarizmi • Al-Muallim Al-Thani • algebraalgorithm • alkali • Amira Bennison • Ancient GreekArabic scienceastronomy • Averroes • BaghdadBBC Four • Canon of Medicine • chemistry • early medicine • fundamental research • geometry • George Saliba • Greek culture • Greek geometry • Greek mathematics • history of ideashistory of scholarshiphistory of science • House of Wisdom in Baghdad • Ian Stewart • Ibn Arabi • Ibn Khaldun • Ibn Rushd • Ibn Sina • India • Indian texts • Iran • Islamic design • Islamic geometric design • Islamic Golden Age • Islamic mathematics • Islamic patterns • Islamic science • Islamic world • Jim Al-Khalili • language translation • mathematical elegance • medieval Islamic civilisation • medieval Islamic science • middle ages • Muslim territories • Nader El-Bizri • Okasha El Daly • outward-looking culture • patronage • Persian texts • personal journey • Peter Pormann • pioneering engineering • pioneering mathematics • pioneering science • progressive societyrenaissance • repeated geometrical shapes • science and Islam • Science and Islam (2009) • scientific knowledge • Simon Schaffer • SpainSyriatelevision documentary • Thabit ibn Qurrah • The Sabian • The Translation Movement • trigonometry • TunisiaTurkey


Simon Perkins
20 APRIL 2015

Normal-scientific research is directed to the articulation of those phenomena and theories that the paradigm already supplies

"Mop-ping-up operations are what engage most scientists throughout their careers. They constitute what I am here calling normal science. Closely examined, whether historically or in the contemporary laboratory, that enterprise seems an attempt to force nature into the preformed and relatively inflexible box that the paradigm supplies. No part of the aim of normal science is to call forth new sorts of phenomena; indeed those that will not fit the box are often not seen at all. Nor do scientists normally aim to invent new theories, and they are often intolerant of those invented by others.[1] Instead, normal-scientific research is directed to the articulation of those phenomena and theories that the paradigm already supplies.

Perhaps these are defects. The areas investigated by normal science are, of course, minuscule; the enterprise now under discussion has drastically restricted vision. But those restrictions, born from confidence in a paradigm, turn out to be essential to the development of science. By focusing attention upon a small range of relatively esoteric problems, the paradigm forces scientists to investigate some part of nature in a detail and depth that would otherwise be unimaginable. And normal science possesses a built-in mechanism that ensures the relaxation of the restrictions that bound research whenever the paradigm from which they derive ceases to function effectively. At that point scientists begin to behave differently, and the nature of their research problems changes. In the interim, however, during the period when the paradigm is successful, the profession will have solved problems that its members could scarcely have imagined and would never have undertaken without commitment to the paradigm."

(Thomas Kuhn, 1962, Vol. II, No. 2, p.24)

Thomas S. Kuhn (1962). "The Structure of Scientific Revolutions".



1962 • accurate predictions • anomalies • ascendant revolution • Bernard Barber • conceptual continuity • development-by-accumulation • episodic model • history of science • history of scientific knowledge • logical positivism • logically determinate procedure • normal science • paradigm • paradigm shiftphilosophy of science • philosophy of scientific knowledge • puzzle-solving • realistic humanism • revolutionary science • science • scientific discovery • scientific knowledgescientific progress • scientific revolutions • sociology of scientific knowledge • Thomas Kuhn • useless science


Simon Perkins
29 DECEMBER 2003

Natural History: woven strip/bundle arrangement

"To be able to exist as a science, natural history must, then, presuppose two groupings. One of them is constituted by the continuous network of beings; this continuity may take various spatial forms; Charles Bonnet thinks of it sometimes as a great linear scale of which one extremity is very simple, the other very complicated, with a narrow intermediary region – the only one that is visible to us – in the centre; sometimes as a central trunk from which there is a branch forking out on one side (that of the shellfish, with the crabs and cray–fish as supplementary ramifications) and the series of insects on the other, branching out to include the frogs (C. Bonnet, Contemplation de la nature, chap. XX, pp. 130–8); Buffon defines this same continuity 'as a wide woven strip, or rather a bundle which every so often puts out side branches that join it up with the bundles of another order' (Buffon, Histoire naturelle des oiseaux – 1770, t. I, p. 396); Pallas sees it as a polyhedric figure (Pallas, Elenchus Zoophytorum– 1786); Hermann wished to constitute a three–dimensional model composed of threads all Starting from a common point of origin, separating from one another, 'spreading out through a very great number of lateral branches', then coming together again (J. Hermann, Tabulae affinitatum animalium – Strasbourg, 1783, p. 24). The series of events, however, is quite distinct from these spatial configurations, each of which describes the taxonomic continuity in its own way; the series of events is discontinuous, and. different in each of its episodes; but, as a whole, it can be drawn only as a simple line, which is that of time itself (and which can be conceived as straight, broken, or circular). In its concrete form, and in the depth that is proper to it, nature resides wholly between the fabric of the taxinomia and the line of revolutions. The tabulations that it forms in the eyes of men, and that it is the task of the iscourse of science to traverse, are the fragments of the great surface of living species that are apparent according to the way it has been patterned, burst open. and frozen, between two temporal revolutions."
(Michel Foucault, The Order Of Things p. 163)

Foucault, M. (2003). The Order Of Things. London, Routledge


Bonnet • branch • fragmenthistory of scienceMichel FoucaultOrder Of Things (Foucault) • Pallas • taxonomic

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