Newton and Hegel: Can Science Explain the Scientist?

  • Stephen Priest
Part of the Archives Internationales D’Histoire Des Idées / International Archives of the History of Ideas book series (ARCH, volume 136)


The most important philosophical problem facing human knowledge in the coming century will be this: can science explain the scientist? It is a commonplace that such natural sciences as physics, chemistry and biology have developed an extraordinary explanatory power over the course of the last four hundred years. It is also a commonplace that this revolution in understanding would have been impossible without the work of Newton. At the end of the twentieth century, however, there are still two of the basic aims of science which seem to be thwarted — that of explaining everything and that of being unified. The realization of these aims would involve the human sciences of psychology, sociology and history being integrated with the natural sciences. I call the first of these the positivistic aim of science, the second its holistic aim.


General Proposition Physical Universe Grammatical Form Conscious Subject Rational Intelligibility 
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© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 1993

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  • Stephen Priest

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