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Islamic Science - Mid-eighth To The Eleventh Centuries, Twelfth To Mid-fifteenth Centuries, Mid-fifteenth To Nineteenth Centuries

societies history western scholarly

History of science in non-Western societies is often either disregarded—because it is not linked with that in Western societies—or disfigured into a member of a chain of transmission that links antiquity with Latin Christendom. Rather than attempt to fit Islamic science into the history or notions of Western science, this essay examines the relationships between various scientific disciplines in Islamic societies and other intellectual, cultural, and social fields in these societies. The word science/s is used as a rendition of the Arabic plural 'ulum of 'ilm because in many historical sources this plural designates a group of scholarly disciplines (religious, philological, philosophical, mathematical). The singular alone often stands for religious knowledge. In combination with a qualifier, for instance hisab (calculation) or nujum (stars), it names particular scholarly disciplines—for example, arithmetic or astronomy. The survey is divided into three parts that demarcate important shifts and changes in the history of science in Islamic societies: the mid-eighth to the eleventh centuries; the twelfth to the mid-fifteenth centuries; and the mid-fifteenth to the nineteenth centuries.

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