Historical account of scientific thought
- What constitutes science?
- What are the limits of science?
- How did our understanding develop of the various phenomena of the natural world?
- What is the philosophy of science?
These are very interesting questions for a student of science. And often times, there is not one ready answer that is correct for all times. Often times facts of science are presented as if they were divined and derived instantaneously. The documentation of the fact of science also emphasizes only the certainty of the law or equation derived. The laborious, conflicted path that led to the understanding is most often forgotten and certainly not discussed. However for a deeper understanding of science, of human understanding and at a more practical level - for teaching science, the history of scientific thought and the associated philosophy must be understood.
Science is a social enterprise. What constitutes science, what questions are worthy of exploring, what answers are acceptable are all dependent on the culture of society and the development of science reflects all of this.
Given below are some links that will give us an introduction to the history of scientific thought and process.
The Max Planck Institute for the History of Science has several virtual exhibitions on the scientists and theories of science.