The Cultural Roots of Science

  • Martin Goldstein
  • Inge Goldstein


Throughout this book on scientific method we have repeatedly stressed how little “method” there really is in science. There is no set of prescribed rules which, when followed, will lead unerringly to the truth. Instead, progress is made by reliance on the judgment of individuals who must choose among a complex set of possible strategies that are often in conflict with each other. Progress in science depends more on intuition than on explicit procedures.


Cultural Root Scientific Revolution Subjective Element Hard Wood Peculiar Condition 
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Reference Notes

  1. 1.
    Edward Evans-Pritchard, Witchcraft, Oracles, and Magic among the Azande (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1937). Reprinted by permission of Clarendon Press.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Thomas S. Kuhn, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, 2nd ed. (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1970).Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Max Planck, The Philosophy of Physics, trans. W. Johnston (New York: W. W. Norton, 1936).Google Scholar

Suggested Reading

  1. In this chapter we quote extensively from Edward Evans-Pritchard’s book, Witchcraft, Oracles and Magic among the Azande (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1937) with the permission of the publishers. An abridged paperback version has also been published by Oxford University Press. More detailed discussions of the issues dealt with in this chapter have appeared in Modes of Thought: Essays on Thinking in Western and Non-Western Societies, edited by Robin Horton and Ruth Finnegan (London: Faber and Faber, 1973), and in a two-part article by Robin Horton, “African traditional thought and Western science,” in vol. 37 of the journal Africa (1967). The tacit component in scientific knowledge has been discussed in detail by Michael Polanyi in Personal Knowledge (London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1958).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1984

Authors and Affiliations

  • Martin Goldstein
    • 1
  • Inge Goldstein
    • 2
  1. 1.Yeshiva UniversityNew YorkUSA
  2. 2.Columbia UniversityNew YorkUSA

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