PYO 203 Situating the History and Theory of the Scientific Revolution (One Credit Course: 15 Contact Hours) by Professor Dhruv Raina

  • Goa University

    Visiting Research Professors Programme

    DD Kosambi Chair in Interdisciplinary Studies


    Dept of Philosophy 

    Goa University


    PYO 203 Situating the History and Theory of the Scientific Revolution

    (One Credit Course: 15 Contact Hours)


    Professor Dhruv Raina,

    (Professor of History and Philosophy of Science and Education

    Zakir Husain Centre for Educational Studies

    School of Social Sciences
    Jawaharlal Nehru University)

    Visiting Research Professor, DD Kosambi Chair in Interdisciplinary Studies


    5th March to 13th March, 2018


    Seminar Hall, Social Sciences Faculty Block B, Goa University


    OPEN FOR PG Students as ONE Credit course and General Public/Faculty as a certificate course





    Lectures will be held on 5th, 6th, 7th , 8th,9th, 10th,12th March, 2018

    Time: 3 pm to 5 pm everyday (Except on Saturday,10th March- 10.30 am to 12.30 noon)

    Exam will be held on 13th March, 2018 (3 to 4 pm in Dept of Philosophy)


    Visit  for further details

    Email: [email protected]


    Open to general public, students, faculty members and researchers…


    Prof  Koshy Tharakan                                          Ramrao Wagh

    Course Coordinator                                           VRPP Coordinator








    Course Syllabus:

    PYO 203 Situating the History and Theory of the Scientific Revolution

    (One Credit Course: 15 Contact Hours)


    1. The Concept of the Scientific Revolution, The Mathematization of Nature,

    The Universe of Precision                                                                                 (1 Hr.)


    1. The Disenchantment of the World, Rationality of Early Modern Science,

    The Introduction and Significance of Scientific Instruments                      (1 Hr.)


    1. The Emergence of Early Modern Science, The Rise of Copernicanism,

    The Impact of Humanism                                                                                  (1Hr.)


    1. Reform of Aristotelianism, Hermeticism and Neo-Platonism,

    The Revival of Scepticism                                                                                (1 Hr.)



    1. Society and the Rise of Modern Science, The Voyages of Discovery,

    Religion: The Merton Thesis, Modern Science and Capitalism: the Hessen thesis, Social Origins of Modern Science: The Zilsel thesis                        (2 Hrs.)


    1. The Non-emergence of Modern Science, The Decline of the Islamic Sciences,

    Science and Civilization in China                                                                  (2 Hrs.)


    1. Responses to the Indian Variant of the Needham Question                      (2 Hrs.)


    1. Reappraisals of the Scientific Revolution, The Rise and Decline of the Concept: from the Historical Philosophy of Science to the Social construction of science                                                                                                            (2 Hrs.)


    1. The revised theories of history: overdeterminationist vs underdeterminationist theories of history, The conjuncture of post-Kuhnian philosophy of science, feminism and postcolonial theory                         (2 Hrs.)


    Evaluation of the Course: (1 Hr.)

    The course readings will include chapters from the following works. Some of these are likely to be substituted by papers.


    Butterfield, Herbert. The Origins of Modern Science 1300-1800. 1957. NY: Free Pr., 1968

    Cohen, I. Bernard. Revolution in Science. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1985.

    Cohen, H. Floris. The Scientific Revolution: A Historiographical Inquiry. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1994.

    Habib, S. Irfan and Raina, Dhruv (Eds.). 1999. Situating the History of Sciences, Oxford University Press, 1999.

    Harding, Sandra. Is Science Multicultural? Postcolonialisms, Feminisms and Epistemologies, Indiana University Press, 1998.

    Hess, David J., Science and Technology in a Multicultural World, Columbia University Press, 1995

    Koyré, Alexandre. The Astronomical Revolution. Trans. R.E.W. Maddison. London: 1973; also, Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 1973

    Kuhn, Thomas S. The Structure of Scientific Revolutions. Chicago, 1957; 1962.

    Needham, Joseph. The Grand Titration: Science and Society in East and West, Allen and Unwin, 1969.

    Saliba, George. Islamic Science and the Making of the European renaissance, MIT Press, 2007.

    Shapin. Steven, The Scientific Revolution, Chicago, 1996.


    CV of Prof Dhruv Raina

    Dhruv Raina
    Professor of History and Philosophy of Science and Education

    Zakir Husain Centre for Educational Studies. School of Social Sciences
    Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi 110067, INDIA
    Honorary Director,
    Indian Council for Social Science Research
    Northern Regional Centre, Jawaharlal Nehru University
    New Delhi 110067



    Dhruv Raina is currently Professor at the Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi, where he teaches the history and philosophy of science. Before joining the Jawaharlal Nehru University, he was a Scientist with the National Institute of Science Technology and Development Studies, New Delhi. He studied physics at Indian Institute of Technology, Mumbai and received his Ph.D. in the philosophy of science from Göteborg University. His research has focused upon the politics and cultures of scientific knowledge in South Asia both in historical and contemporary contexts, as well as the history and historiography of mathematics. He has for long engaged with the work of Joseph Needham. In 1999 he co-edited Situating the History of Science: Dialogues with Joseph Needham (1999) with his colleague and collaborator S.Irfan Habib, and in 2015 published his most recently authored book Needham’s Indian Network. The history of science in colonial South Asia has been a pressing concern and he and Irfan again authored Domesticating Modern Science (2004) and co-edited Social History of Sciences in Colonial India (2007). The concerns of postcolonial theory of science and the historiography of sciences in global context have been constant concerns and his book Images and Contexts: the Historiography of Science and Modernity (2003) was a collection of papers contextualizing science and its modernity in India. His research has also focused upon the institutionalization of the history of sciences as an interdisciplinary field as well as the more recent STS in contemporary India.  The turn towards historiography and the social theory of science resulted in the interrogation of the big picture of the history of sciences and the modalities of its subsequent reworking. Earlier formulations of these concerns are reflected in the volume he edited with Feza Gunnergun entitled, Science between Europe and Asia (2010). Two areas of interest that have remained with him for over two decades concern the historiography of mathematical proof and the historiography of mathematics in South Asia on the one hand, and the work of the French Jesuit astronomers and ethnographers in the late seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. His most recent work addresses the contemporary concerns of the circulation of concepts in the social sciences, the emergence of inter- and transdisciplinary fields of. This concern with interdisciplinary fields has resulted in a collaboration with mathematicians and physicists working on econophysics and sociophysiocs, and fields that cris-cross the natural and social sciences. He has been a visiting fellow of the Maison des Sciences de l’Homme, Paris; a Fellow of the Wissenschaftskolleg, Berlin, the first incumbent of the Heinrich Zimmer Chair in Intellectual History and Indian Philosophy, and Visiting Professor at the ETH, Zurich, University of Cambridge and many other universities in India and abroad.