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On the Theoretical Problematic of Arabic Physical Science or why did Arabic Science Fail to Achieve the Copernican Revolution

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  • Hisham Ghassib

    () (Princess Sumaya University for Technology)

Abstract

A Hegelianized version of Althusser's concept of problematic is used to investigate the underlying theoretical unity and structure of Arabic physical science (physics, astronomy and chemistry). A contradictory triad (associated with Platonism, Aristotelianism and Ptolemaism) is identified at the heart of the Arabic project for physical science. This article focuses on the valiant attempts made by leading Arabic scientists to overcome these contradictions without transcending or tearing apart the prevailing problematic. The following question is then addressed: why was Arabic physical science reformist, rather than revolutionary, unlike Renaissance European physical science? An answer is proposed in terms of the history, nature and decline of Arabic rationalism.

Suggested Citation

  • Hisham Ghassib, 2013. "On the Theoretical Problematic of Arabic Physical Science or why did Arabic Science Fail to Achieve the Copernican Revolution," Interdisciplinary Description of Complex Systems - scientific journal, Croatian Interdisciplinary Society Provider Homepage: http://indecs.eu, vol. 11(3), pages 266-276.
  • Handle: RePEc:zna:indecs:v:11:y:2013:i:3:p:266-276
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    Keywords

    Arabic physics; European science; Copernican revolution; problematic; Arabic rationalism; Althusser;

    JEL classification:

    • B19 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - History of Economic Thought through 1925 - - - Other
    • O31 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Innovation and Invention: Processes and Incentives

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