3.3.2: Aristotelian-Medieval Worldview

So far, we’ve been studying some of the central philosophical questions about science: Can we know anything with absolute certainty? Is there a universal and unchangeable method of theory evaluation? What is the mechanism of scientific change? Is there scientific progress? What is the difference between science and pseudoscience? Now we are moving to the history of science, and we will focus on some examples of major scientific worldviews through history. But why would anyone bother studying the scientific worldviews of the past?… (Barseghyan et al., 2018).

In this lecture, Dr. Hakob Barseghyan introduces us to the scientific thought that persisted until the mid-1700s. Follow along with the chapter as well:


Read: Chapter 7: Aristotelian Medieval Worldview // University of Toronto Open E-Text


Guiding Questions:

  1. Why is it important to understand the accepted beliefs of the past in order to make sense of past events?
  2. Have you encountered elements of the Aristotelian Medieval worldview in your study of Islamic tradition? This might include references to the sublunar and “heavy” terrestrial elements, and geocentrism.


Video Credit: Barseghyan, H. (2015). Lectures on History and Philosophy of Science. Lecture 6. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8D73G-8JJ9g.

Online Text: Barseghyan, H.; Overgaard, N. & Rupik, G. (2018). Introduction to History and Philosophy of Science. Available at https://ecampusontario.pressbooks.pub/introhps/.

Thumbnail: Aristotle Bust in Trinity College of Dublin University. Photo Credit: Cocoabiscuit, 2018. CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.