In 2015, during a postgraduate course related to the Scientific Revolution, I had access, for the first time, to the work of Edward Grant through the book “The Foundations of Modern Science in the Middle Ages”. This title decisively changed my career since it made me fall in love with the History of Science.
I was so impressed with the continuist perspective defended by Professor Grant that I made his work my object of PhD research. I began to analyze how the academic path of this historian could reveal us how the pillars of the History of Science have changed over time.
My conclusion is that Grant produced an innovative historical method since he has managed to produce a continuism that does not deny the historical change. In the analysis, I have elected meta- historiographical tools as a theoretical guideline and investigated the epistemic scope and limits of Grant's proposal. By a complex argumentative net, the author intercrosses the History of Medieval Science with the History of Concepts (the natural philosophy), carrying out an analysis within the History of Ideas that goes beyond the limits of the internalist perspective. Grant’s method goes beyond anachronism criticisms related to the continuists traditions, providing a prolific theoretical-methodological horizon to those interested in investigating History of Science from a continuist point of view. Moreover, by proposing a continuism in a wide time frame (longue dureé), Grant not only rescues the totalizing project of previous generations but also ends up developing a less Eurocentric and more democratic History of Science.
It was with great sadness that I received the news of his passing. I would like to have invited Professor Grant to attend my thesis defense, which took place on August 17, 2020. It is noteworthy that all professors of my doctoral panel were surprised with the magnitude and actuality of Grant's work, his legacy will surely continue to influence many generations.
My work is dedicated to his memory.
Luiz Cambraia Karat Gouvêa da Silva
PhD in History of Science and researcher at Universidade Estadual Paulista and Universidade de São Paulo – Brazil