Advancing theological and scientific literacy for today’s ʿulamāʾ
3.1.1 Introduction to History and Philosophy Science
Our culture is saturated by scientific claims and the technological results of scientific investigations. We are used to hearing about scientific discoveries in popular news media. Careers increasingly require a level of scientific literacy, and you may even be pursuing a career as a practicing scientist. This is all to say that we talk about “science” all the time. But have we really taken the time to think about what science is, how scientific theories are accepted and rejected, and the degree of certainty we can have about scientific claims? (Barseghyan et al., 2018).
This first lecture by Dr. Hakob Barseghyan at the University of Toronto introduces key questions in the history and philosophy of science. According to popular science mythology, real science begins with the scientific revolution when science liberated itself from religion. According to this story, scientists like Galileo were persecuted because of their use of reason. But is the demarcation between science and pseudo-science clear? Is the method of science rational, universal, and unchangeable? We begin our investigation of these questions with some essential concepts in the philosophy of science.
The Madrasa Discourses project proposes that a conciliation of traditional Islamic thought with contemporary scientific and philosophical worldviews can result in orthodox affirmations of human dignity essential for peaceful coexistence in a pluralistic world.