PHL 472-B01

Distant Western Ideational roots of social science: Gk paganism and the J-C heritage

Science and religion

  • the relationship between science and religion is historical and complex, and should not be simplified into either one of constant support or ongoing opposition
  • to the extent that religion impacts on collective ideas it will and has influenced the devlopment of both social and physical science
  • developing in Europe, social science reveals many intellectual influences. 2 of the most important of these are those derived from ancient Gk pagan thought and those influenced by J-C scriptures and writings interpreting them

Greek paganism

  • application of telos to society – the assumption of development in terms of the innate nature of a thing
    • dynamic view of reality
    • leads to typologizing — allowing for analytic comparisons
  • view of all societies as fundamentally the same only at different levels of development
  • cyclicalism
    • emphasis of rise and decline as natural and necessary
    • cyclicalism is useful in developing ideas of stages
    • cyclicalism though limits long-term causal analysis
    • can raise applied questions concerning how to organize a society to delay decline

No further in-class notes will be taken. Refer to this file with all powerpoint notes instead: notes-old version

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