From the beginning of the Scientific Revolution around the late sixteenth century to its final crystallization in the early eighteenth century, hardly an observational result, an experimental technique, a theory, a mathematical proof, a methodological principle, or the award of recognition and reputation remained unquestioned for long. The essays collected in this book examine the rich texture of debates that comprised the Scientific Revolution from which the modern conception of science emerged. Were controversies marginal episodes, restricted to certain fields, or were they the rule in the majority of scientific domains? To what extent did scientific controversies share a typical pattern, which distinguished them from debates in other fields? Answers to these historical and philosophical questions are sought through a close attention to specific controversies within and across the changing scientific disciplines as well as across the borders of the natural and the human sciences, philosophy, theology, and technology.
Controversies Within the Scientific Revolution