After a talk at Duke University in October and the publishing of his book Complementarity Beyond Physics: Niels Bohr’s Parallels with Palgrave Macmillan, Dr. Arun Bala continues his busy fall by giving a talk entitled “The Scientific Revolution: Rethinking its Origins” Nov. 14, at 7:00pm, at King’s College, Halifax.
The Scientific Revolution: Rethinking Its Origins
The historian of science Floris Cohen has proposed that three modes of nature-knowledge – realist mathematical, kinetic corpuscular, and fact-finding experimental – combined to produce modern science. Although Cohen sees these modes as arising from within European traditions this talk will show that they are better seen as influences on Renaissance Europe from its wider Eurasian context carried by the computational techniques of the Indian number system, Arabic optics, and mechanical technologies from China. Such an account requires us to rethink the connections between local traditions of Indian, Chinese and Arabic premodern sciences and modern cosmopolitan science that emerged in Europe. It also requires us to relocate the immediate origins of modern science in the Eurasian region in the millennium of 500-1500 – the so-called Bright Dark Ages – rather than the Hellenic world of the Axial Age.
Arun Bala is a physicist and philosopher of science who is the author of The Dialogue of Civilization in the Birth of Modern Science (Palgrave Macmillan, 2006) and Complementarity Beyond Physics: Neils Bohr’s Parallels (Palgrave Macmillan, forthcoming). He edited Asia, Europe and the Emergence of Modern Science: Knowledge Crossing Boundaries (Palgrave Macmillan, 2012), and co-edited (with Prasenjit Duara) The Bright Dark Ages: Comparative and Connective Perspectives (Brill, 2016). His current research explores connections between modern and Asian traditions of science.