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More on the Scientific Revolution February 20, 2008

Posted by Will Thomas in History 174.

Again, the folks at the Advances in the History of Psychology blog have a discussion going that pertains to what we have here. In this case, it’s about Copernicus and his relationship to the scientific revolution, and thus the creation of science. It’s centered on a pop history claim that “a scientific psychology rests on the assumptions generated by the Copernican revolution,” namely, the “promoting [of] objectivity in the study of human affairs.” Obviously, the idea that Copernicus had much to do with the use of “objectivity” in the study of “human affairs” (astronomy??) is daft. Still, worth taking a look at.

Actually, this also pertains to the intellectual tensions between me, the consummate historian, and my TA, who is much more into philosophy. We figured out last week that we can use our disagreements about what needs to be emphasized (ideas vs. institutions, etc.) to enliven discussion sections. Apparently the students were amazed that the two of us had vehement and legitimate disagreements about class material. (We actually figured out how to use this tension to our advantage while discussing [i.e. arguing bitterly about] what he was talking about in section re: Copernicus!) More soon!



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