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Epistemic Virtues and Leibnizian Dreams: On the Shifting Boundaries between Science, Humanities and Faith

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Abstract:

The following discussion considers three aspects of the Sciences-versus-Humanities divide: (1) the historical evolution of disciplines in the modern period through the beginning of the twenty-first century; (2) the epistemology of the sciences versus that of the Humanities as defined and practiced in that same period; and (3) the ways in which the two cultures interact with each other and with religion and faith today. It finds that while it may feel ancient and natural, the historical divide between what are called the Humanities and the Sciences is really quite new and contingent; that no single “scientific” epistemology exists but rather many “epistemic virtues” replace each other over time, often overlapping between the Sciences and Humanities, and that, finally, as the Humanities/Sciences divide increasingly weakens or becomes complicated, as is happening today, knowledge and faith are juxtaposed to a greater degree.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/10848770802268717

Affiliations: 1: Bar Ilan University, Program in Science Technology and Society, Committee on Interdisciplinary Studies, Ramat Gan 52900, Israel 2: Departments of Physics and History of Science, Science Center 468, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA 02138, USA

Publication date: August 1, 2008

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