[SydPhil] SHAPE seminar this Fri 10.30am: Prof. Stephen Gaukroger

David Macarthur david.macarthur at sydney.edu.au
Wed Nov 20 12:09:18 AEDT 2013

This week’s SHAPE seminar in the Philosophy Dept. will be by Prof. Stephen Gaukroger (HPS) who will present a talk titled "The Early Modern Idea of Scientific Doctrine and its Origins in Christianity"

Jack Smart once wrote that physics was a real science but biology wasn’t: it was more like engineering, cobbling together bits from here and there. Smart was exactly wrong, physics is just like engineering, cobbling bits from here and there. How could we ever have thought otherwise? The answer is that the sciences came to model themselves on Christianity, which saw itself as the standard-bearer along these lines: it provided a single homogeneous discipline, had a sui generis authority, and was the single road to truth. Science (with a capital S) took over these delusions of grandeur from Christianity. I trace the early history of this process, which was not straightforward.

Place: Muniment Room, S401, Main Quad, USyd – the central room under the clock tower on the 1st floor.

Time: Fri 22nd Nov, 10.30am


Dr. David Macarthur | Senior Lecturer & UG Coordinator
Philosophy Department | SOPHI
University of Sydney, 2006 | Australia
Ph: +61-2-9351-3193

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