Copernicus, Darwin, Freud

Revolutions in the History and Philosophy of Science
Weinert, Friedel
Date published: 
October 2008

Scientific ideas change the way we think about the world and our place in it. Nicolaus Copernicus developed a heliocentric view of the cosmos that displaced humans from the physical center of the universe. Charles Darwin developed an evolutionary theory that placed humans firmly within the organismic order of nature. It was Sigmund Freud who saw himself as completing this cycle of disparagement by destroying the belief that humans were ‘masters in their own house’. Copernicus, Darwin and Freud: Revolutions in the History and Philosophy of Science deals with issues in the area of intersection between history and philosophy of natural and social science. Using Copernicanism, Darwinism and Freudianism as extended case studies, Friedel Weinert illustrates the profound connections between science and philosophy and shows how scientific theories invariably have philosophical consequences. Philosophical controversies surrounding ideas of human nature, realism and instrumentalism, models and theories, laws of nature and scientific method are all examined within the context of concrete problem situations in the history of science. Copernicus, Darwin and Freud is an engaging and versatile text suitable for a variety of courses in the history and philosophy of science or for individual study.