Skip to main content

Disciplinary Distinctions before the “Two Cultures”

Buy Article:

$47.50 plus tax (Refund Policy)

C. P. Snow's conception of “two cultures” has been readily applied to modern European and especially Anglo-American contexts and used to bemoan the negative impact of disciplinary distinctions. But in the pre-modern period, disciplinary distinctions prevailed along different fault lines. I consider two examples of the dynamics between the disciplines in medieval and early modern Europe to argue that distinctions between the disciplines can foster crucial benefits along with the tensions and obstacles to interdisciplinarity of which we are more often aware. In the medieval university the institutional and intellectual separation between philosophy and theology gave the former an important measure of protection and independence from the cultural dominance of the latter. In the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries the long-traditional distinction between mathematical disciplines and Aristotelian physics was gradually abandoned, and distinctions akin to those Snow identified were first commented on during the quarrel of the Ancients and the Moderns (c. 1687).
No Reference information available - sign in for access.
No Citation information available - sign in for access.
No Supplementary Data.
No Article Media
No Metrics

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of History, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA 02138, USA

Publication date: 01 August 2008

More about this publication?
  • Access Key
  • Free content
  • Partial Free content
  • New content
  • Open access content
  • Partial Open access content
  • Subscribed content
  • Partial Subscribed content
  • Free trial content
Cookie Policy
X
Cookie Policy
Ingenta Connect website makes use of cookies so as to keep track of data that you have filled in. I am Happy with this Find out more