ON THE THEORETICAL PROBLEMATIC
OF ARABIC PHYSICAL SCIENCE
OR WHY DID ARABIC SCIENCE FAIL TO ACHIEVE
THE COPERNICAN REVOLUTION
Hisham GhassibPrincess Sumaya University for Technology
|INDECS 11(3), 266-276, 2013
Full text available here.
Received: 25 March 2013
A Hegelianized version of Althusser's concept of problematic is used to investigate the underlying theoretical unity and structure of Arabic physical science (physics, astronomy and chemistry). A contradictory triad (associated with Platonism, Aristotelianism and Ptolemaism) is identified at the heart of the Arabic project for physical science. This article focuses on the valiant attempts made by leading Arabic scientists to overcome these contradictions without transcending or tearing apart the prevailing problematic. The following question is then addressed: why was Arabic physical science reformist, rather than revolutionary, unlike Renaissance European physical science? An answer is proposed in terms of the history, nature and decline of Arabic rationalism.
Arabic physics, European science, Copernican revolution, problematic, Arabic rationalism, Althusser
JEL: B19, O31