Whenever scientists come together in congenial surroundings, as for instance over dinner, or when the port and cigars stage has been reached, it is not uncommon to play the space-or time-capsule game: which five or six men have contributed most to Western science? Whose works would you send to another planet or bury for future generations to rediscover as representing the best, the most crucial, contributions to Western science? Of course, much depends on the interests and backgrounds of the players, but several names are popular choices. Newton, whom Wordsworth described as "Voyaging through strange seas of thought alone"; Darwin, whose grand synthesis forms the framework of all later biological work; Socrates, an adventurer of the mind who rejected as unsatisfactory the then current explanations of nature because they did not tell him how and why, and for that reason transformed philosophy from the study of nature to the study of men's souls and their interactions in society; and Einstein, for his discovery of the equivalence of energy and matter (E = MC2) as well as his perceptive and frank comments concerning the methods of science, all figure prominently in these short lists of distinguished men of science. Copernicus, too, rates highly for persuading us that the earth is not the center of the solar system, much less the universe, as does Aristotle with his encyclopedic knowledge. James Hutton, of whom it was said that "he discovered...time," and who was an essential precursor to Darwin, as well as being the founder of geological science, is another popular selection. Popper is nowadays often mentioned as are such men as Faraday, Galileo, and so forth.
Organic Unity of Man"The action itself gives quality to truths...” Man is a connected whole, not a series of unrelated mental and physical planes. The body and spirit are inextricably interwoven, and so also are the freedom of the spirit and the freedom of the body. Because the will is free, the body also enjoys freedom.
The scientific viewpoints of Archimedes and Ptolemy, both implied and stated, illuminate the philosophical ideas of Plato and Aristotle in a striking way, so after outlining some doctrines of the great philosophers, seeing where they agree and where they differ, we will turn to the scientists and let them highlight the particulars.