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A remedy for enthusiasm: why modern science could not be Platonic

Where I grew up, priests were not the least bit interested in philosophy, nor the history of ideas. Then I met the Orthodox. Then I met the Rumanian-trained Orthodox priest Doru Costache, author of Humankind and the Cosmo.

Doru took an interested in my thoughts on why Western science became separated from theology, and why modern science could never be Platonic.

In this video I explain how, paradoxically, the only science permissible in the Middle Ages was atheistic science. I then explain the political threat posed by the revival of the Platonic “enthusiastic” attitude to science during the Renaissance. The story finishes with the Royal Charter won by a society for the advancement of science during the restoration of the British monarchy in the 1660s. This is where atheistic science was successfully re-marketed as a remedy for the religious enthusiasm that was threatening the spiritual authority of the state Church during the civil war. This marketing model was both hostile to Platonism and very successful, and very successful it was when exported onto continental Europe as integral to what we now call “The Enlightenment.”

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