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18. A Diff Erent Wonder

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Chapter Summary

This chapter proposes to identify a different type of Wonder, a Wonder called science. It may be represented by an aphorism. It is: an art of conversing with stones, with plants, with animals and with humans. The question-and-answer periods are called experiments. It nominates the figure of a 16th century fortune teller and magician, Faust, to represent the temperament needed for negotiating with nature the scientific-industrial way. The chapter concludes that Faust the Wonder, the magician, did build a new and immense world and that he is still on the road, trying to understand what is it he achieved and how to live with it. It argues that the sharp division of the world into what is temporal and what is timeless, sometimes identified with a division between what is judged physical and what is regarded as mental, has outlived its usefulness as a scientifically supportable natural philosophy of time.

Keywords: ecumenical science; Faust; hierarchical theory of time; natural philosophy of time

10.1163/ej.9789004154858.i-433.40
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