In the history of ideas, the continuity thesis is the hypothesis that there was no radical discontinuity between the intellectual development of the Middle Ages and the developments in the Renaissance and early modern period. Thus the idea of an intellectual or scientific revolution following the Renaissance is, according to the continuity thesis, a myth. Some continuity theorists point to earlier intellectual revolutions occurring in the Middle Ages, usually referring to the European Renaissance of the 12th century[1] as a sign of continuity. Despite the many points that have been brought up by proponents of the continuity thesis, a majority of scholars still support the traditional view of the Scientific Revolution occurring in the 16th and 17th centuries.[1][2][3][4]

Hatfieldmetaphysics at the time, experimental physics not being separated from natural philosophy until the end of the 18th century, and comparable individual "revolutions" in different sciences continued occurring before and after the 17th century, such as the optical revolution of Faraday and Maxwell.[16]


Another contrary view

Another contrary view has been recently proposed by Arun Bala in his dialogical history of the birth of modern science. Bala proposes that the changes involved in the Scientific Revolution — the mathematical realist turn, the mechanical philosophy, the atomism, the central role assigned to the Sun in Copernican heliocentrism — have to be seen as rooted in multicultural influences on Europe. He sees specific influences in Alhazen's physical optical theory, Chinese mechanical technologies leading to the perception of the world as a machine, the Hindu-Arabic numeral system, which carried implicitly a new mode of mathematical atomic thinking, and the heliocentrism rooted in ancient Egyptian religious ideas associated with Hermeticism. Bala argues that by ignoring such multicultural impacts we have been led to a Eurocentric conception of the Scientific Revolution.[17] Critics note that lacking documentary evidence of transmission of specific scientific ideas, Bala's model will remain "a working hypothesis, not a conclusion".[18]

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