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Chapter Summary

This introductory chapter provides a brief overview of the book Evidence and Interpretation in Studies on Early Science and Medicine and its chapters. The book provides new evidence, largely from texts, concerning early science, but it also hazards new or revised interpretations of that evidence, and attempts to reach new truths about the history of science, if not about the content of science itself. It shows that the current oversimplified picture of medieval science is in some measure a self-fulfilling prophecy, resulting from a historiographical tradition that has culled out factors that were not obvious precursors to the grand themes of the Scientific Revolution as envisaged by mid-twentieth-century scholars. The book, by including the less abstract, more empirical side of Aristotelian and scholastic science and its relation to philosophy more generally, attempts to make the picture more complete.

Keywords: Aristotelian science; medieval science; mid-twentieth-century scholars; scholastic science; scientific revolution



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