Lucio Russo - The Forgotten Revolution - Theory

Theory

In The Forgotten Revolution: How Science Was Born in 300 BC and Why It Had to Be Reborn (Italian: La rivoluzione dimenticata), Russo stresses the well-established fact that Hellenistic science reached heights not achieved by the Classical age science, and proposes that it went further than ordinarily thought. These results were lost with the Roman conquest and during the Middle Ages, because the scholars of that period did not have the capability to understand them. The legacy of Hellenistic science was one of the bases of the scientific revolution of the 16th century, as ancient texts started once again to be available in Europe.

According to Russo, Hellenistic scientists were not simply forerunners, but actually achieved scientific results of high importance, in the fields of "mathematics, solid and fluid mechanics, optics, astronomy, anatomy, physiology, scientific medicine", even psychological analysis. They may have even discovered the inverse square law of gravitation (Russo's argument on this point hinges on well-established, but seldom discussed, evidence). Hellenistic scientists, among whom Euclid, Archimedes, Eratosthenes, developed an axiomatic and deductive way of argumentation. When this way of argumentation was dropped, the ability to understand the results went lost as well. Thus Russo conjectures that the definitions of elementary geometric objects were introduced in Euclid's Elements by Heron of Alexandria, 400 years after the work was completed. More concretely, Russo shows how the theory of tides must have been well-developed in Antiquity, because several pre-Newtonian sources relay various complementary parts of the theory without grasping their import or justification (getting the empirical facts wrong but the theory right).

A second contribution of Russo's is the conclusion that "the post-Renaissance scientific revolution of the seventeenth century was basically due to the conscious recovery of the Hellenistic science (not even to its full extent, reached only in the second half of the nineteenth century with Richard Dedekind's and Karl Weierstrass's isolation of the real number concept directly out of Euclid's definition of proportion)."

Read more about this topic:  Lucio Russo, The Forgotten Revolution

Other articles related to "theory":

results">Falsifiability - The Criterion of Demarcation
... It is useful to know if a statement or theory is falsifiable, if for no other reason than that it provides us with an understanding of the ways in which one might ... the least be saved from attempting to falsify a non-falsifiable theory, or come to see an unfalsifiable theory as unsupportable ... Popper claimed that, if a theory is falsifiable, then it is scientific ...
J. Philippe Rushton - Work and Opinions - Application of r/K Selection Theory To Race
... Rushton's book Race, Evolution, and Behavior (1995) uses r/K selection theory to explain how East Asians consistently average high, blacks low, and whites in the middle on an evolutionary scale of ... He first published this theory in 1984 ... He theorizes that r/K selection theory explains these differences ...
Minimax
... Minimax (sometimes minmax) is a decision rule used in decision theory, game theory, statistics and philosophy for minimizing the possible loss for a worst case (maximum loss) scenario ... Originally formulated for two-player zero-sum game theory, covering both the cases where players take alternate moves and those where they make ...
Feudalism - Etymology
... The most widely held theory is put forth by Marc Bloch ... This Germanic origin theory was also shared by William Stubbs in the nineteenth century ... Another theory was put forward by Archibald R ...
Zermelo Set Theory
... Zermelo set theory, as set out in an important paper in 1908 by Ernst Zermelo, is the ancestor of modern set theory ...

Famous quotes containing the word theory:

    Thus the theory of description matters most.
    It is the theory of the word for those
    For whom the word is the making of the world,
    The buzzing world and lisping firmament.
    Wallace Stevens (1879–1955)

    No one thinks anything silly is suitable when they are an adolescent. Such an enormous share of their own behavior is silly that they lose all proper perspective on silliness, like a baker who is nauseated by the sight of his own eclairs. This provides another good argument for the emerging theory that the best use of cryogenics is to freeze all human beings when they are between the ages of twelve and nineteen.
    Anna Quindlen (20th century)

    It is not enough for theory to describe and analyse, it must itself be an event in the universe it describes. In order to do this theory must partake of and become the acceleration of this logic. It must tear itself from all referents and take pride only in the future. Theory must operate on time at the cost of a deliberate distortion of present reality.
    Jean Baudrillard (b. 1929)