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Development of Scientific Knowledge in Early Arab Cultures Essay

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Question: What conditions were present in early Arab society that contributed to the rapid development of scientific knowledge in the region? Arab development of Greek scientific thinking has forever benefited our understanding of the field of science. Arab thinkers such as Ibn Rushd (Averroes) and Ibn Sīnā (Avicenna) have contributed to scientific thinking on a level that is generally undervalued. Influential scientists and philosophers that have come from Arab culture can trace their lineage back to the early days of Arab-Islamic science. Despite the existence of thinkers like Ibn Rushd, more important than any individual for the development of Arab science was the state of the Middle East when science first came into the public realm. The conditions that existed in the Middle East paired with the availability of texts from classic thinkers helped to create an overall intellectual climate that was able to sustain and continue development of past knowledge. The timing of these developments beginning in the 9th century created an environment that allowed the cerebral nature of Arab academics to flourish. Although these developments were predicated on an overall climate, there were certain specific causes that contributed largely to the success of Greek writing. The introduction of paper production, institutional support of academics and the translation efforts undertaken were the most important environmental factors for Arab science to thrive. Unlike other occasions, where science faced staunch opposition, in the Arab world; the population was interested in science as a discipline and remar...


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Lecture notes for Hist 2600E with Prof. Maya Shatzmiller


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