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Scientist and Catholic: Pierre Duhem (11025)

Scientist and Catholic: Pierre Duhem (11025)

SKU: 11025
  • Pierre Duhem (1861 -1916) was one of the few true geniuses around the turn of the century. He excelled in theoretical mechanics and thermodynamics, wrote the most incisive philosophical interpretation of the meaning of physical laws, and discovered, to his own great surprise, the medieval, Christian origins of Newtonian physics. The additional fact that Duhem was an exemplary Catholic should long ago have turned him into a legend on Catholic campuses. Duhem’s extraordinary intellectual stature has been far better recognized in secularist academic circles. There, however, the witness he gave about his deeply lived and thoroughly argued Catholic faith is readily brushed aside with condescending remarks. Duhem remains for those circles an “uneasy genius.” Duhem’s memory makes no less uneasy Catholic intellectuals, eager to please their secularist counterparts in control of the academic world. In the first half of this book, Father Jaki presents a systematic portrayal of the dramatic life and work of Duhem, the Catholic scientist. In the second half of the book he offers twenty-seven selections—some of which appear here in English for the first time—from Duhem’s writings, as illustrations of the perfect unity in him of science and Catholic faith. In deference to Duhem’s love of France and Paris, which he always considered his real home, this book was first brought out in French under the title, Pierre Duhem: Homme de science et de foi (Paris: Beauchesne, 1991).

    By Fr. Stanley L. Jaki

    ISBN 0-931888-44-1  •  278 pages  •  softcover 

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