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Lecture 6

ANT369H1 Week 6.docx

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University of Toronto St. George

Science -Imbedded in larger historical and political contexts - Science has replaced religion in many ways for different people - Science is institutionalized operating in every country Rodney Stark -“Real science arose only once” - Philosopher of science - Science rose at one historical projector in Europe - Existed in antiquity - Science is a complex institution consisting of sub institutions - Based in fundamental axioms of religion - Based historically and conceptually - Scientists interested in occult matter (e.g. Ernst Gottel mathematician who wanted to prove existence of god mathematically) - Stark uses alchemy as an example; gave rise to science Alchemy and chemistry -Alchemy become population 16th century - Rise of neo- Platonism: discovery of magic and occult - Medical reform movement: observation and experimentation - Money potential - Subject for religious speculation: was written about at length about academics (is important because it is what people believed in) - All of these are at the level of thought Institutional shift - privacy of monasteries to the courts to the medical I situations to the u overstay system Hermes Trismegistus - Translates to “Hermes is the thrice great” - Modern history says that no one in History existed with this name, deemed a story/ myth/ based on a living person - Author of a hermetic: body of work; 42 volumes ranging from astrology to law to music to medicine to mathematics to women to geography - Dated from 3rd century BC to 1 century BC - Hellenistic syncretism - Gods of learning and writing - Contemporary neo paganism draws from hermetic - Important because it was a rediscovery Marsilio Ficino - Court philosopher - Patron of the arts (Leonardo DaVinci) - Translated Plato and Hermes - Believed that alchemy was the key to good health and good living - Practical pursuit to alchemy and study of occult - Way of control - Proposed idea of cosmic alchemy: what happens in the world above happens in the world below (to know the stars is to know how life will play out) - To consider ---> con + sider = to consult the stars - Ficino draws attention to cosmic alchemy (what happens up there predicts what happens down here) Giovanni Pico Della Mirandola - Key figure in revival of occult philosophy - Was a prodigy - Translated Ancient Greek,Arabic, and Hebrew into Latin - Heretic - Held Islamic and Jewish scholars in high regard - Brought together medicine and Kabbalah - Was considered "out there" Heinrich CorneliusAgrippa Von Nettesheim - New alternative forms of thought was more excepted due to protectant reformation - Created Christian Kabbalah : technique to win over people to Christianity using occultism and natural magic of the world - Combined groupings of elements -Widely popular - His works were scandalous, read across a wide range of society - Was not prosecuted due to living during reformation Paracelsus (Theophrastus Von Hohenheim) - Famous for putting things together and breaking things apart - Separated chemistry and alchemy - Redirected alchemy toward more pharmaceutical interests - Was an iconoclast - Proto science was a deep source of cultural value - Ideas seemed to be at odds with oppressive system - Experimented with salt - Considered to be a spur to the increase in the salt industry - Chemistry only becomes a science in late 17th century; entered university system through alchemy - Done within a Christian framework - All a part of gods work Positivism - The idea that you can take science and apply it to society - Use existing methods about nature and apply it to societies - Traces back to French enlightenment ideas Saint- Simon - Challenge irrationality of religion (e.g. Catholic Church) - Religious ritual was everywhere and became a distraction - Wanted to transform society - One of the founders of socialism - Had a big influence on Marx - Also one of the founders of neo liberalism - Main focus was that history was driven by science and technology (poverty can be solved by them) Auguste Comte - Loved magic and religion under the heading of theology - Argued that there are stages of development in human thought - Argued that positive science was the natural science of society - Coined term social physics - Outlines early influential and evolutionary theories - Called himself the pope of positivism - Created sociology as scientific discipline in universities departments James Frazer - Cambridge classicist - Had evolutionary ideas between magic, science and religion (anthropologists do not believe this anymore, has become pop culture) Sc
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