Earth Encompassed: History of the Environmental Sciences

Overview

An accessible and comprehensive history of discoveries and outlooks that culminated in the modern discipline of environmental studies.
This authoritative volume chronicles humanity's long quest to understand its own origins. Peter J. Bowler brilliantly synthesizes discoveries in geography, geology, and evolutionary biology that have brought us to our current knowledge of the fragility and connectedness of life on earth and created the new science of ecology. Bowler adeptly ...

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Overview

An accessible and comprehensive history of discoveries and outlooks that culminated in the modern discipline of environmental studies.
This authoritative volume chronicles humanity's long quest to understand its own origins. Peter J. Bowler brilliantly synthesizes discoveries in geography, geology, and evolutionary biology that have brought us to our current knowledge of the fragility and connectedness of life on earth and created the new science of ecology. Bowler adeptly balances a long historical perspective with discussion of specific developments in the major fields relating to the physical and organic environment. He brings to life theoretical debates surrounding the notion of nature as an interconnected whole and addresses the controversial ethical questions raised by the ways we investigate our world and our use of the planet's resources. This book is not only the history of a discipline but also a wide-ranging study of scientific and theoretical innovations and the cultural and professional factors that influence the way scientists explain and understand their observations.

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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
First published in England as , then in the U.S. as ,1993. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780393320800
  • Publisher: Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
  • Publication date: 10/1/2000
  • Series: The Norton History of Science
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 668
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 1.47 (d)

Meet the Author

Peter J. Bowler is professor of history and philosophy of science at the Queen's University of Belfast.

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Table of Contents

Preface XV
List of Illustrations and Figures XIX
1 The Problem of Perception 1
Expanding Horizons 7
Culture and Nature
Science and Christian Tradition
The Nature of Science 16
The Scientific Method
Science as a Social Activity
Science and Ideology
2 The Ancient and Medieval Worlds 32
Greece and Rome 36
Rival Cosmologies
Plato and Aristotle
Late Antiquity
The Medieval Period 56
Bestiaries and Herbals
The Revival of Scholarship
3 Renaissance and Revolution 66
Humanism and the Natural World 69
Secret Powers
The Riches of Nature
Animal, Vegetable and Mineral
The Great Instauration 84
Natural History and Revolution
The Mechanical Philosophy
4 Theories of the Earth 99
Science in an Age of Reason 100
Classification and Explanation
The Earth Described
The Origin of the Earth 112
The Meaning of Fossils
New Cosmogonies
Fire and Water 125
Neptunism
Plutonism
5 Nature and the Enlightenment 139
The Diversity of Life 140
The Classical Era
The Social Environment
The Argument from Design
The System of Nature 155
The Chain of Being
System and Method
Linnaeus
The Economy of Nature 166
Rural Harmony
Maintaining the Balance
The Geography of Life
The Possibilities of Change 177
Filling in the Gaps
Buffon
Materialism and the Origin of Life
Natural Progress
6 The Heroic Age 193
The Organization of Science 197
Europe Surveys the Earth
America Catches Up
A New Geography 204
Humboldt and the Cosmos
Humboldtian Science
The Geological Record 211
Fossils and Stratigraphy
The Ancient Rocks
Climate and Time 220
The Cooling Earth
Ice Ages
Mountains and Continents 230
The Shrinking Earth
Floating Continents
The Rate of Change 237
Catastrophist Geology
The Uniformity of Nature
The Age of the Earth
7 The Philosophical Naturalists 248
Knowledge and Power 251
Professionals and Amateurs
Science and Politics
The Pattern of Nature 258
Chains, Trees and Circles
Form and Function
The Geography of Plants 272
Botanical Provinces
Historical Biogeography
The History of Life 280
The Extinction of Species
Progressive Development
The Process of Change 291
Transmutation before Darwin
The Origins of Darwin's Theory
Natural Selection
8 The Age of Evolution 306
Exploit or Conserve? 309
Science and Empire
The Professionalization of Biology
Early Conservationism
The Darwinian Revolution 323
Interpretations of Darwinism
The Darwinians
Anti-Darwinism
The Tree of Life 336
Evolutionary Morphology
Fossils and Ancestors
Human Origins
Evolution and the Environment 351
Paths of Migration
Evolution and Adaptation
The Origins of Ecology 361
The New Biology
Plant Ecology
9 The Earth Sciences 379
Science in the Modern World 382
Expansion and Fragmentation
The Age of Big Science
The End of Exploration
A Global Physics 392
Weather Patterns
Ice Ages Again
Drifting Continents 399
Geology in Crisis
Wegener's Initiative
The Reaction to Wegener
Plate Tectonics 412
Paleomagnetism
Sea-Floor Spreading
Past and Present
10 Darwinism Triumphant 428
Science and Ideology 431
Images of Power
Nature and Culture
The Evolutionary Synthesis 445
Parallel Evolution
The Defence of Lamarckism
Population Genetics
The New Darwinism
The Implications of Darwinism
Animal Behaviour 478
Mind and Brain
Evolution and Ethology
Primate Studies
Sociobiology
11 Ecology and Environmentalism 503
Changing Values 504
Subduing the Wild
The Rise of Environmentalism
Ecology Comes of Age 518
Plant Ecology
Animal Ecology
Marine Ecology
Modern Ecology 535
Populations and Systems
Ecology and the Environmental Crisis
Notes 554
Bibliographical Essay 564
Index 607
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