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The philosopher of science at this point might legitimately want to suggest that an experiment is not an experiment unless it is testing a theory, but we do not have to enter into such arguable niceties. We can see that there is something profoundly tendentious in Zilsel's claims simply by reading on. At this point Zilsel mentioned the only experiment specifically referred to in this strand of his argumentation. Quoting Gilbert, Zilsel showed that Gilbert himself must have descended into a mine in order, as Zilsel says, "to verify the hypothesis" that the polarity of a magnet derives from the polarity of the earth:

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Zilsel proposed the Zilsel Thesis as an explanation for the rise of Western science.

Zilsel Thesis : Wikis (The Full Wiki)

Edgar Zilsel was the youngest child of a , Jacob Zilsel and his wife, Ina Kollmer, and had two older sisters, Wallie and Irma. He attended high school at the Franz-Joseph-Gymnasium between 1902 and 1910 and then attended the where he studied philosophy, physics, and mathematics. He served in the between August 1 and December 15, 1914 and received his PhD in 1915 while under the supervision of . His dissertation was entitled "A Philosophical Investigation of the Law of Large Numbers and related Laws". After working as a mathematician at an insurance company for a few months, he found a position as a teacher on February 16, 1917. He passed his teacher's examination on November 18, 1918 in mathematics, physics, and natural history.

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"This book provides the historical background for a central issue in the history of science: the influence of artisans, craftsmen, and other practitioners on the emergent empirical methodologies that characterized the "new sciences" of the late sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Long offers a coherent account and critical revision of the "Zilsel thesis, " an influential etiological narrative which argues that such craftsmen were instrumental in bringing about the "Scientific Revolution." Artisan/Practitioners reassesses the issue of artisanal influence from three different perspectives: the perceived relationships between art and nature; the Vitruvian architectural tradition with its appreciation of both theory and practice; and the development of "trading zones"--Arenas in which artisans and learned men communicated in substantive ways. These complex social and intellectual developments, the book argues, underlay the development of the empirical sciences. This volume provides new discussion and synthesis of a theory that encompasses broad developments in European history and study of the natural world. It will be a valuable resource for college-level teaching, and for scholars and others interested in the history of science, late medieval and early modern European history, and the Scientific Revolution"--

The Zilsel Thesis
The position of Marxism on science is more complex and diverse than that in Layton’s sketch. Science is not literally reduced to a mere summary of knowledge of the crafts. One theorist of science, Edgar Zilsel has much to contribute to laying the historical and social background to the instrumental realist thrust of modern science. Zilsel’s affiliations were with the logical positivists, despite the anti-positivist implications of his sociological and historical theses. (Zilsel's Vienna Circle connections may account in part for his initial neglect by continental European Marxists). Joseph Needham took up Zilsel’s theses on the rise of modern science. Ihde makes use of the work of Joseph Needham on inter-cultural influences on western technology (, 127-8; , 65), but not of the part of Needham’s theorizing influenced by Zilsel on the reasons for lack of experimental and science in traditional China. A less sociological version of the Zilsel Thesis is that the early modern experimental scientists (such as William Gilbert on the magnet) absorbed and incorporated knowledge from the crafts (including the then relatively novel writings by practitioners of the crafts.) A recent, popular development of the Zilsel Thesis and related Marxist social accounts of the origins of early modern science in the crafts is by Clifford Conner ().
Long offers a coherent account and critical revision of the “Zilsel thesis ..

Igniting Early Modern Science through ..

Zilsel proposed the as an explanation for the rise of Western science. Zilsel claimed that the rise of led to the interaction of with scholars. This interaction in turn led to the beginnings of early modern science. The craftspeople had been for the most part illiterate and looked down upon by the educated classes. The scholars were ignorant of practical craft activity. The intellectual theorizing of the crafts and the absorption of craft knowledge into the investigation of nature led to the development of experimental science.

The'Zilsel thesis' in the context of Edgar Zilsel's research programme more.

The Scientific Revolution - Definition - Concept - History

The idea of putting class in the forefront of the history of science is not new, but it has rarely been so forcefully done, especially in a book aimed at a mass audience. Conner belatedly tips his hat to the Zilsel thesis: “No contribution to a people's history of science is more important than the one made by Edgar Zilsel” (p. 281). Zilsel should have been introduced at the start, if only to give the reader a theoretical foundation for what was to follow.

The `Zilsel Thesis' in the Context of Edgar Zilsel's Research Programme on ResearchGate, the professional network for scientists.

through new discussion of an inˆ uential thesis in the discipline

Werrett demonstrates convincingly that pyrotechny became a resource for early-seventeenth-century formulators of the new natural philosophical enterprise, such as Tommaso Campanella and Francis Bacon and, at the end of that century, Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz. However, there appears to be a limitation in pyrotechny’s exemplification of the Zilsel thesis: no scientific “advance” (to use a Whiggish term) seems to have been directly [End Page 607] brought about through pyrotechnical activities during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.