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The Huxleyan Revolution Social Dimensions of Scientific Change in Victorian England

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Title: The Huxleyan Revolution Social Dimensions of Scientific Change in Victorian England
Authors: Concannon, James
Issue Date: 26 Sep 2014
Publisher: University of Hawaii at Manoa
Abstract: In recent years historians of science have challenged traditional narratives of scientific progress in which ideas develop linearly by, as Isaac Newton said, standing on the shoulders of giants. The history of science is subtler, more complex, and far more interesting than the 'great-man' or Whig version of scientific advance that is still held by some scientists and described in most introductory science texts. Scientific theories and research programs do not evolve in isolation from social, cultural, and intellectual contexts. In The Structure of Scientific Revolutions (1962), Thomas Kuhn demonstrated how social factors and pseudo-scientific convictions have at times affected both scientific practice and discovery. Since Kuhn's landmark book, historians and philosophers of science have re-examined traditional accounts of science development to determine the degree of influence wielded by cultural and ideological contingencies in the various disciplines and in scientific epistemology in general. Far from the objective ideal of modern science, recent historiography has revealed many colorful examples wherein extra-scientific opinion, religious predisposition, and intellectual antagonism have played important roles in scientific transformation. Studies of Kepler's Pythagorean mysticism, Newton's theistic preoccupation, and Galileo's polemical relationship with the Jesuits constitute some of the more suggestive examples. The history of science includes an undeniable social dimension.
Pages/Duration: 83 pages
URI/DOI: http://hdl.handle.net/10125/33788
Rights: All UHM Honors Projects are protected by copyright. They may be viewed from this source for any purpose, but reproduction or distribution in any format is prohibited without written permission from the copyright owner.
Appears in Collections:Honors Projects for History



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