Chapter

The Non-Normal Sciences: Survivals of Renaissance Thought in the Eighteenth Century

Gloria Flaherty

in Inventing Human Science

Published by University of California Press

Published in print October 1995 | ISBN: 9780520200104
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520916227 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/california/9780520200104.003.0009
The Non-Normal Sciences: Survivals of Renaissance Thought in the Eighteenth Century

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Sometimes the non-normal sciences represented a revolt against the excesses of Newtonianism, but mostly they were various kinds of survivals from earlier ages that had retained some of the old symbolism and outer trappings while attempting to gain legitimacy with selection of methods as well as problems from normal science. As the scientific community closed ranks and developed into a highly professional subgroup that talked to itself, it began to think of such activities as pseudo-sciences or non-sciences. In some instances, the devotion to superstition strengthened proportionately to the intensity of the rational scientific assault. The simultaneous success of, on the one hand, what we know as modern science, and, on the other, activities that were perpetrated in the name of science, has always posed one of the greatest puzzles for scholars.

Keywords: Newtonianism; symbolism; superstition; pseudo-sciences; normal science

Chapter.  9161 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Theory and Practice of Anthropology

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