The Hallmarks of Science and Scholasticism: A Historical Analysis

  • Homa Katouzian
Part of the Sociology of the Sciences a Yearbook book series (SOSC, volume 6)


Our views of science, scientific communities, and their methods and results are strongly influenced by the experience of the last few centuries, that is, by the scientific, industrial, social and technological revolutions of this period of human history. We therefore search for their characteristics, methods and results from the vantage point of this experience (1). The fact that, in general, science and scientific knowledge tend to be strongly associated, even identified, with modern technological progress and products is — I think — an aspect of this broader view of science: there is only one specific philosophy of science — appearing in the (marginally different) guises of pragmatism, instrumentalism and conventionalism — which explicitly relates the truth of scientific theories purely to their ‘success’, that is, with the growth of technological (and, probably, social) utility; and, what is more significant, it implicitly refers not to a vague and general but to the specifically modern notions of social and technical usefulness, the specific types of technology and social utility which are associated with modern living. Yet, although — as a theory of scientific knowledge — this view has had many influential rivals, it is, in practice, the most popular vision of science, even among those scientists and academics who, in theory, might subscribe to other views of scientific knowledge.


Religious Belief Scientific Revolution Normal Science Contemporary Science Scientific Framework 
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Copyright information

© D. Reidel Publishing Company 1982

Authors and Affiliations

  • Homa Katouzian
    • 1
  1. 1.University of Kent at CanterburyUK

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