The rise of paradigmatic monism and its cultural implications

Abdul Murad, M.H.S. (2007) The rise of paradigmatic monism and its cultural implications. Philosophy of Culture(s), 7. pp. 81-86.

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In this paper I shall be looking at the state of science before and after the 17th century especially with regard to the question of the nature of scientific knowledge, specifically scientific paradigms. I will argue that some of the major differences between modern science and pre-modern science are due to (i) methodological changes, (ii) the rise of paradigmatic monism in modern science as opposed to paradigmatic pluralism in pre-modern science, (iii) the integration of science with technology after the 17th century. These changes, I maintain, also redefine the role of scientific knowledge in society and culture, and bring in its wake certain problems and challenges, which in turn elicit different types of responses. Pre-modern science, I argue, are admirably suited to play a cultural and religious role, partly because of a lack of a pragmatic criterion of knowledge, and the emphasis on rational coherence. This makes enchantment of nature through science, possible. However, with the further evolution of science, especially the introduction of the experimental method and the emphasis on empiricism in the 17th century, scientific knowledge now has to conform to different criteria of knowledge -pragmatic in partleading to 'paradigmatic monism' and the consequent loss of enchantment in our conception of nature. The rise of the new science beginning in the 17th century thus brings in its wake a new set of epistemological and cultural challenges which were met with in different ways. I will then comment on the different types of responses made against the rise of the new science.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Prof. Dr. Mohd Hazim Shah holds a Bachelor’s degree in Liberal Studies in Science from Manchester University, England, a Master’s degree in Philosophy from the London School of Economics, and a PhD in the History and Philosophy of Science from the University of Pittsburgh, U.S.A. In 1993 he was a Visiting Research Fellow at the Department of History & Philosophy of Science, University of Melbourne, Australia. From January to June 2008 he spent his sabbatical leave at the Department of History and Philosophy of Science, University of Cambridge, as a Visiting Scholar. He is currently a Professor in the Department of Science and Technology Studies, University of Malaya, where he teaches the history, philosophy, and sociology of science. He has been the Deputy President of the Malaysian Social Science Association since 2000. His research interest includes Theoretical studies on science and culture, and comparative epistemology. Professor Dr. Mohd Hazim Shah Abdul Murad Department of Science and Technology Studies, Faculty of Science Building, University of Malaya, 50603 Kuala Lumpur, MALAYSIA Tel. No. (Office): +603-79674166 Fax No.: +603-79674396 E-mail Address:
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > B Philosophy (General)
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BL Religion
Divisions: Faculty of Science > Department of Science and Technology Studies
Depositing User: Ms Saidatul Azura Radzi
Date Deposited: 17 Feb 2014 01:32
Last Modified: 17 Feb 2014 01:32

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