The Scientific Revolution and the Transmission Problem

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Arun Bala


 Recent dialogical histories of science propose that the Scientific Revolution of the seventeenth century was shaped by contributions from different astronomical traditions of the Eurasian region – especially the Maragha School of Arabic astronomy, the Chinese infinite empty space cosmology and the Indian Kerala School of astronomy. Such narratives are based on many discoveries in these traditions which antedate similar discoveries made in Europe during the Scientific Revolution. These views have generated intense objections from critics of the dialogical perspective who maintain independent discovery in Europe of these parallel achievements by repudiating claims for transmission as lacking documentary evidence or acknowledgment. This paper explores these debates using transmissions from the Maragha tradition as a case study. It proposes that a plausible case for transmissions can be made on the basis of circumstantial evidence even in the absence of direct documentary evidence.

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Bala, A. (2016). The Scientific Revolution and the Transmission Problem. Confluence: Journal of World Philosophies, 4. Retrieved from