Fact, Faith and Fiction in the Development of Science: The Gifford Lectures Given in the University of St. Andrews, 1976

Front Cover
Springer, Nov 30, 1999 - Science - 454 pages
0 Reviews
In this posthumous book, the late Professor R. Hooykaas (1906-1994) conveys a lifetime of historical thought about modes of scientific advance over the centuries. In what variety of ways has the human mind, with all its subjectivity and its capacity for self-deception, but also its piercing gifts of discovery, managed to come to terms with `the whimsical tricks of nature'? Central to this erudite, penetrating, and widely ranging study is Hooykaas's distinction between facts (given by nature yet entirely subject to our mode of interpreting them), faith (broad conceptions like the idea of order, of simplicity, or of harmony), and fictions in the sense of those daring intellectual tools, such as theories and hypotheses and models, which reflect the scientist's creative imagination. Case studies drawn from the history of all branches of science (including chemistry and the earth sciences) and from Antiquity to the present day, serve to widen and to deepen the understanding of every reader (whether a historian of science or not) with a desire to learn more about the realities of the scientific pursuit.

From inside the book

What people are saying - Write a review

We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.

Contents

Introduction
5
Harmony in Nature
27
The Philosophers Stone
79
Copyright

10 other sections not shown

Common terms and phrases

About the author (1999)

Hooykaas is Professor of the History of Science at the University of Utrecht, The Netherlands.

Bibliographic information