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The Fall of Man and the Foundations of Science

$114.00

  • Date Published: January 2008
  • availability: In stock
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9780521875592

$114.00
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About the Authors
  • Peter Harrison provides an account of the religious foundations of scientific knowledge. He shows how the approaches to the study of nature that emerged in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries were directly informed by theological discussions about the Fall of Man and the extent to which the mind and the senses had been damaged by that primeval event. Scientific methods, he suggests, were originally devised as techniques for ameliorating the cognitive damage wrought by human sin. At its inception, modern science was conceptualized as a means of recapturing the knowledge of nature that Adam had once possessed. Contrary to a widespread view that sees science emerging in conflict with religion, Harrison argues that theological considerations were of vital importance in the framing of the scientific method.

    • A major work on the origins of modern science and the historical foundations of modern theories of knowledge
    • A highly original contribution to the study of historical interactions between science and religion
    • Explores the role played by ideas of original sin and the fall in the philosophical and scientific thought of the early modern West
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    Reviews & endorsements

    ‘That pessimistic, otherworldly Protestant theology helped to produce optimistic modern science is the major thesis masterfully defended in this well-wrought, meticulously documented book…. In marshalling the evidence and extracting its implications, Harrison persuasively demonstrates that theological debates regarding scriptural narrative and the human soul were integral to the emergence of what we today recognize as bona fide empirically grounded science....’ -- Journal of the American Academy of Religion 

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    Product details

    • Date Published: January 2008
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9780521875592
    • length: 316 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 22 mm
    • weight: 0.64kg
    • availability: In stock
  • Table of Contents

    Acknowledgements
    List of abbreviations
    Introduction
    1. Adam's Encyclopaedia
    2. Augustine revived
    3. Seeking certainty in a fallen world
    4. Dethroning the idols
    5. The instauration of learning
    Conclusion
    Bibliography
    Index.

  • Author

    Peter Harrison, University of Oxford

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