Date of Award
Master of Science in Education (MSEd)
Education and Human Development
This study focuses on the roots of modern physics and the human desire to explain nature, from prehistoric animism to the scientific advancements of the nineteenth century. The origins of science are examined in chapters on Mesopotamia, Egypt, and Greece, with a focus on how each society understood science. Chapters on the Arab world and medieval Europe follow the preservation and gradual development of earlier knowledge, before exploring the growth of scientific thought in Early Modern Europe. A final chapter addresses why modern science took hold in Europe and how developments in physics interacted with Western culture. The author argues that a firm understanding of the roots of pre-twentieth century scientific thought is necessary to understand modern physics as well as to address modern anti-scientism. This study is an edited version of the original 1991 text.
Chodorow, Neil, "Complex Realities, Simple Beauties: Interactions Between the Development of Physics Ideas and Western Civilization, from Ancient Times to the Late Nineteenth Century" (2020). Education and Human Development Master's Theses. 1336.