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Religious and Scientific Virtues: Maxwell, Eddington, and Persistence

  • Matthew StanleyEmail author
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Part of the Boston Studies in the Philosophy and History of Science book series (BSPS, volume 321)

Abstract

A critical but often overlooked epistemic virtue is persistence: when scientists come up against an obstacle, why should they proceed? An investigator needs to have some reassurance that further investigation will be fruitful despite setbacks, uncertainty, or confusing results. Two important physical scientists, James C. Maxwell and Arthur S. Eddington, drew on their religious beliefs and practices to help resolve this issue. They had very different religious identities, assumptions about the nature of scientific knowledge, and ways of experiencing the divine. Despite these divergences, Maxwell and Eddington constructed very similar epistemic virtues and related scientific practices.

Keywords

Epistemic virtues Persistence Unity of nature History of physics History of astronomy Science and religion James Clerk Maxwell Arthur Stanley Eddington 

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.New York UniversityNew YorkUSA

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