On 26 September a special edition of the Descartes Centre History of Science colloquium will be held. Stephen Gaukroger (Emeritus Professor of History of Philosophy and History of Science at the University of Sydney, Australia) will give a lecture entitled 'Science and Civilization'.
Civilization and science
In eighteenth- and nineteenth-century explorations of human nature the question was routinely posed in the context of the idea of civilization: both morality and culture were measured against the template of the values of civilization. Prior to the eighteenth century, civilization was associated with such things as successful political institutions, a cultural and religious life, literacy levels, social cohesion, prosperity, and a system of laws. But by the beginning of the nineteenth century, Western thinkers had begun to think that civilization was not possible without science.