Certainty, Doubt, Error

The production of knowledge and its impediments
in the practice of pre- and early-modern science

International Symposium
Frankfurt am Main
November 17-18, 2001

The conference will take place at the
Museum für angewandte Kunst
Schaumainkai 17
60594 Frankfurt am Main
in the FAZ-Leseraum

Program of the conference

Saturday, November 17th

14h00 Opening and Laudatio
14h30 Jan P. Hogendijk - The Burning Mirrors of Diocles: Reflections on Methodology and Purpose of the History of Pre-Modern Science
Gerhard Endreß - The Language of Demonstration
17h00 Charles Burnett - The Certainty of Astrology in the Works of Abu Ma`shar and al-Qabisi
Jim Bennett - Virtue, Error and Expertise: The Attributes of Instruments and the Morality of Operators

Sunday, November 18th

10h00 Tzvi Langermann - Criticism of Authority in the Writings of Maimonides and Fakhr al-Din al-Razi
11h00 Commentary by Dimitry Gutas
12h30 Round-table discussion:
David A. King - Astronomy in the Service of Religion in Mamluk Egypt and Syria and Rasulid Yemen
Bernard Goldstein - Science as a 'Neutral Zone' for Interreligious Cooperation: The Case of Astronomy
Stephen McCluskey - The Question of Easter: Changing Contexts and Criteria for the Justification of Received Knowledge
Anne Tihon - Byzantine Astronomical Documents: Survey and Perspectives
Julio Samsó - Is a Social History of Andalusi Exact Sciences Possible? 
Moderator: Gerd Grasshoff

The realisation of the conference was made possible thanks to the financial support of
the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, the Vereinigung von Freunden und Förderern der Johann Wolfgang Goethe-Universität e.V., the Department of Physics of Frankfurt University, the Physikalischer Verein, and Arbor Scientiarum e.V.

Die Durchführung der Konferenz wurde durch die finanzielle Hilfe der Deutschen Forschungsgemeinschaft, der Vereinigung von Freunden und Förderern der Johann Wolfgang Goethe-Universität e.V., des Fachbereiches Physik, des Physikalischen Vereins, and des Vereins Arbor Scientiarum e.V. ermöglicht.

Purpose of the Conference

Practical Information for the Participants

For more information please contact us by email

Organizers: Sonja Brentjes, Benno van Dalen, François Charette

Institut für Geschichte der Naturwissenschaften

Postfach 111932 (FB 13)
Johann Wolfgang Goethe-Universität
60054 Frankfurt am Main