The Fall of Man and the Foundations of Science by Peter HarrisonThe Fall of Man and the Foundations of Science by Peter Harrison

The Fall of Man and the Foundations of Science

byPeter Harrison

Paperback | July 30, 2009

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Peter Harrison provides an account of the religious foundations of scientific knowledge. He shows how the approaches to the study of nature that emerged in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries were directly informed by theological discussions about the Fall of Man and the extent to which the mind and the senses had been damaged by that primeval event. Scientific methods, he suggests, were originally devised as techniques for ameliorating the cognitive damage wrought by human sin. At its inception, modern science was conceptualized as a means of recapturing the knowledge of nature that Adam had once possessed. Contrary to a widespread view that sees science emerging in conflict with religion, Harrison argues that theological considerations were of vital importance in the framing of the scientific method.
Title:The Fall of Man and the Foundations of ScienceFormat:PaperbackDimensions:316 pages, 9.02 × 5.98 × 0.71 inPublished:July 30, 2009Publisher:Cambridge University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0521117291

ISBN - 13:9780521117296


Table of Contents

Acknowledgements; List of abbreviations; Introduction; 1. Adam's Encyclopaedia; 2. Augustine revived; 3. Seeking certainty in a fallen world; 4. Dethroning the idols; 5. The instauration of learning; Conclusion; Bibliography; Index.

Editorial Reviews

'That pessimistic, otherworldly Protestant theology helped to produce optimistic modern science is the major thesis masterfully defended in this well-wrought, meticulously documented book.... In marshalling the evidence and extracting its implications, Harrison persuasively demonstrates that theological debates regarding scriptural narrative and the human soul were integral to the emergence of what we today recognize as bona fide empirically grounded science....' -- Journal of the American Academy of Religion