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Voluntarism and Early Modern Science

Voluntarism and Early Modern Science Hist. Sci., xl (2002) Peter Harrison Bond University, Gold Coast, Australia The notion that divine voluntarism played a central role in the development of the empirical sciences is now commonplace amongst historians of the early-modem period. In a 1934 issue of Mind, M. B. Foster first proposed a link between the voluntary activity of God, the contingency of the created order, and the requirement that science be empirically based.' In the 1960s, in what was the first of a number of influential articles on the significance of medieval voluntarism, Francis Oakley also drew attention to the impact of this view of the Deity on the natural and political philosophy characteristic of modernity. At that time Oakley made this observation about certain developments in medieval theology: "This was the beginning of that fruitful stream of voluntarist natural law thinking, which, although it made its way with profound effect into the ethical, political and scientific thought of the modem world, has attracted less than its due share of attention from the historians of these subjects,'? Since then, a number of historians have taken up Oakley's challenge and elaborations of his thesis are to be found in many authoritative accounts of early http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png History of Science SAGE

Voluntarism and Early Modern Science

History of Science , Volume 40 (1): 27 – Mar 1, 2002

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References (94)

Publisher
SAGE
Copyright
© 2002 SAGE Publications
ISSN
0073-2753
eISSN
1753-8564
DOI
10.1177/007327530204000103
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Hist. Sci., xl (2002) Peter Harrison Bond University, Gold Coast, Australia The notion that divine voluntarism played a central role in the development of the empirical sciences is now commonplace amongst historians of the early-modem period. In a 1934 issue of Mind, M. B. Foster first proposed a link between the voluntary activity of God, the contingency of the created order, and the requirement that science be empirically based.' In the 1960s, in what was the first of a number of influential articles on the significance of medieval voluntarism, Francis Oakley also drew attention to the impact of this view of the Deity on the natural and political philosophy characteristic of modernity. At that time Oakley made this observation about certain developments in medieval theology: "This was the beginning of that fruitful stream of voluntarist natural law thinking, which, although it made its way with profound effect into the ethical, political and scientific thought of the modem world, has attracted less than its due share of attention from the historians of these subjects,'? Since then, a number of historians have taken up Oakley's challenge and elaborations of his thesis are to be found in many authoritative accounts of early

Journal

History of ScienceSAGE

Published: Mar 1, 2002

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