Pub. date: 2012 | Online Pub. Date: May 31, 2012 | DOI: 10.4135/9781452218458 | Print ISBN: 9781412981767 | Online ISBN: 9781452218458| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Science: 1920 to Present: Middle East
In the Middle East experience, science was defined by medical and religious practitioners and philosophers. Since the philosophers and scientists of early Middle Eastern history were often one and the same, the distinction between the two was often blurred, and the umbrella of science encompassed many diverse areas of study. Well-known Iranian scientists Abu Nasr Farabi, Zakaria Razi, Omar Khayyam, and Ibn Sina used the term science to describe an understanding of the world that came about not only through experimentation and reasoning but also through metaphysical intuition and philosophy. Thus, “science” could be used to answer questions regarding human life, groups, and society, which in modern society would be strictly a philosophical or religious pursuit. The old science was a fairly developed area in the Middle East prior to the 1920s. Given the fact that the Middle East was the major cradle of human civilization, science appeared from the ...