Chapter

Science in Ancient Civilizations?

Geoffrey Lloyd

in Ancient Worlds, Modern Reflections

Published in print February 2004 | ISBN: 9780199270163
Published online April 2005 | e-ISBN: 9780191602276 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/0199270163.003.0002
Science in Ancient Civilizations?

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Even though there was no equivalent to modern laboratory-based science in ancient societies, ancient investigators had analogous ambitions to those of today's scientists, so there is no need, on this score, to postulate a radical great divide between the ancient and the modern world. Ancient investigators sought to understand, explain, and predict natural phenomena, for example, in relation to what we call 'astronomy'. The historian's task is to investigate the form those ambitions took, what stimulated or inhibited their growth, and the roles played by individual innovation and institutional support in the developments that took place.

Keywords: astronomy; explanation; Great Divide; laboratory-based science; nature; prediction; understanding

Chapter.  4899 words. 

Subjects: Ancient Philosophy

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