Download Is Science Western in Origin? by C. K. Raju PDF

By C. K. Raju

On inventory Western historical past, technology originated one of the Greeks, after which constructed in post-renaissance Europe. This tale was once fabricated in 3 stages.

First, in the course of the Crusades, clinical wisdom from the world over, in captured Arabic books, was once given a theologically-correct beginning by way of claiming it used to be all transmitted from the Greeks. the major situations of Euclid (geometry) and Claudius Ptolemy (astronomy)—both concocted figures—are used to demonstrate this technique.

Second, in the course of the Inquisition, international clinical wisdom was once back assigned a theologically-correct beginning by means of claiming it used to be now not transmitted from others, yet used to be “independently rediscovered” via Europeans. The circumstances of Copernicus and Newton (calculus) illustrate this technique of “revolution via rediscovery”.

Third, the appropriated wisdom used to be reinterpreted and aligned to post-Crusade theology. Colonial and racist historians exploited this, arguing that the (theologically) “correct” model of medical wisdom (geometry, calculus, etc.) existed merely in Europe.

These strategies of appropriation proceed to at the present time.

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The Crusades were undoubtedly a time of great religious hysteria, which no doubt motivated many people to participate. But the church leaders who stoked this religious hysteria, did they have more material motives? If so, the contrast between Arab wealth and European poverty must be regarded as a key cause of the Crusades. An increase in church wealth and power was the direct consequence of the Crusades, which also helped to expand church influence into wealthier Islamic areas. This, then, was the real motive of the Crusades, for political acts are best judged by the consequences—and not by professed intentions.

Only a process of wild speculation connects these late texts to purported “originals” in Alexandria, from a thousand years earlier. Non-textual evidence is contrary to these speculations. There is no continuous tradition of intervening texts connecting the actual texts to the conjectured “originals”. Most likely, the supposed “original” texts never existed, but even if they did, they cannot be reconstructed from the later-day texts which are accretive: a scientific text had to be practically useful to survive, therefore it would be constantly updated.

In contrast to the extreme literal translations at Toledo, the Baghdad scholars despised blind copying (naql). Indeed, the House of Wisdom aimed to promote the exact opposite (aql, intelligent theology). So, they digested the substance and rewrote the text. The focus was on practical benefits, and not on maintaining historical sanctity; so, such texts accretively incorporated all knowledge then available to the “translator”. For example, the “Arabian Nights” acquired characters like Haroun al Rashid, and the Barmakids.

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