Science in Eutope,1500-1800: A Primary Source Reader


This innovative introduction to the Scientific Revolution features more than 80 foundational documents that chronicle the emergence of organized science. From Copernicus to the chemical revolution, the writings explore such topics as the conceptual bases of science, religion, politics, and the structure of science in every corner of Europe. The documents include letters, speeches, and theoretical treatises works by Aristotle, Galen, Kepler, ...

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This innovative introduction to the Scientific Revolution features more than 80 foundational documents that chronicle the emergence of organized science. From Copernicus to the chemical revolution, the writings explore such topics as the conceptual bases of science, religion, politics, and the structure of science in every corner of Europe. The documents include letters, speeches, and theoretical treatises works by Aristotle, Galen, Kepler, Galileo, Newton, Bacon, Harvey, Boyle, and others.

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Editorial Reviews

From The Critics
The Scientific Revolution that took place in Europe during the 16th through 19th centuries is described through the writings of those involved. The volume contains readings from Galileo, Descartes, and Newton, as well as many from lesser-known scientists, physicians, and philosophers. Oster teaches the history of science and technology at the Open University in the United Kingdom. This text and its companion volume, are part of an Open University undergraduate course. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780333970010
  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan
  • Publication date: 2/28/2002
  • Edition description: REV
  • Pages: 336
  • Product dimensions: 6.46 (w) x 9.34 (h) x 0.88 (d)

Meet the Author

Malcolm Oster is Staff Tutor at the Open University.

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Table of Contents

Dramatis Personae x
Acknowledgements xiv
Preface xvii
1 Europe's Awakening 1
1.1 Plato, Timaeus 1
1.2 Aristotle, (a) Physics, (b) On the Heavens 8
1.3 Lucretius, On the Nature of the Universe 15
1.4 Galen, On Anatomical Procedure 20
1.5 Galen, On the Natural Faculties 23
1.6 Sacrobosco, The Sphere 24
2 Copernicus and his Revolution 27
2.1 Copernicus, On the Revolutions of the Heavenly Spheres, 1543 27
(a) Dedication 27
(b) Foreword by Andreas Osiander 28
(c) Letter of Nicholas Schonberg, 1536 29
(d) Preface to the Pope 29
(e) Introduction to Book One 33
2.2 G. J. Rheticus, Holy Scripture and the Motion of the Earth [1540] 35
2.3 Andreas Vesalius, Preface, On the Fabric of the Human Body, 1543 39
3 The Spread of Copernicanism in Northern Europe 45
3.1 Robert Recorde, The Castle of Knowledge, 1556 45
3.2 Edward Wright, 'Laudatory Address', in William Gilbert, De Magnete, 1600 48
3.3 Tycho Brahe, De disciplinis mathematicis oratio, 1574 52
3.4 Johannes Kepler, Astronomia Nova, 1609 54
3.5 Johannes Kepler, Harmonices Mundi (The Harmonies of the World), 1619 56
3.6 John Wilkins, A Discourse Concerning a New Planet, 1640 62
4 Crisis in Italy 66
(a) Galileo, Letter to Grand Duchess Christina [1615], 1636 66
(b) Cardinal Bellarmine, letter to Paolo Foscarini, 12 April 1615 71
4.2 Galileo, The Assayer, 1623 73
4.3 MS G3 in the Archive of the Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, ser. AD EE [1624?] 75
4.4 Galileo, Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems, Ptolemaic and Copernican, 1632 77
4.5 Tommasso Campanella, Civitas Solis (City of the Sun), 1623 82
5 Iberian Science: Navigation, Empire and Counter-Reformation 86
5.1 Garcia d'Orta, Colloquies on the Simples and Drugs of India, 1563 86
5.2 Nicolas Monardes, La Historia Medicinal de las cosas que se traen de nuestras Indias Occidentales que sirven en Medicina, Seville, 1565-74 89
5.3 Diego de Zuniga, In Job commentaria, Toledo, 1584 90
5.4 Diego de Zuniga, Philosophia prima pars, Toledo, 1597 91
5.5 Gaspar de Quiroga, Index et Catalogus Librorum prohibitorum, Madrid, 1583 92
6 Science from the Earth in Central Europe 93
6.1 Ulrich Rulein von Calw, 'On the Origin of Metals', in Ein nutzlic Bergbuchlein [1500] 93
6.2 Cornelius Agrippa, De Occulta Philosophia [1510], 1531 94
6.3 Georgius Agricola, 'On the Origin of Metals', in De Ortu et Causis Subterraneorum, 1546 96
6.4 Georgius Agricola, 'On the Knowledge of the Miner', Book I of De Re Metallica, 1556 96
6.5 Georgius Agricola, 'On Assaying', Book VII of De Re Metallica, 1556 97
6.6 Paracelsus, 'The Physician's Remedies' [1520s-1530s] 99
6.7 Paracelsus, 'Alchemy, Art of Transformation' [1520s-1530s] 100
6.8 Paracelsus, (a) 'Seven Defensiones' [1538], (b) 'On the Miners' Sickness' [1533-4] 101
6.9 Oswald Croll, De signaturis internis rerum, 1608 109
7 French Science in the Seventeenth Century 112
7.1 Rene Descartes 112
(a) The World [1629-33], 1664 112
(b) Treatise on Man [1629-33], 1664 115
(c) Discourse on Method, 1637 120
(d) Principles of Philosophy, 1644 123
7.2 Blaise Pascal, Story of the Great Experiment on the Equilibrium of Fluids, 1648 133
8 Science in Seventeenth-Century England 136
8.1 William Gilbert, De Magnete, 1600 136
8.2 William Harvey, De Motu Cordis et Sanguinis, 1628 139
8.3 Francis Bacon 142
(a) Epistle Dedicatory 142
(b) Preface to The New Organon, 1620 143
(c) Aphorisms 144
8.4 Robert Hooke, Preface, Micrographia, 1665 149
8.5 Robert Boyle, Some Considerations Touching the Usefulnesse of Experimental Natural Philosophy, the Second Tome, 1671 153
8.6 Robert Boyle, Of the Excellency and Grounds of the Corpuscular Philosophy, 1674 157
8.7 Robert Boyle, 'Dialogue on the Transmutation and Melioration of Metals' [mid- to late 1670s] 159
8.8 Isaac Newton, Remarks on an alchemical treatise, 'Manna' [1675] 162
8.9 Isaac Newton, Preface, Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy, 1687 163
8.10 Isaac Newton, Opticks, 1704 (1730 edn) 168
9 Scientific Academies across Europe 173
9.1 [Lorenzo Magalotti], Introduction to the Saggi of the Accademia del Cimento, 1667 173
9.2 Thomas Sprat, History of the Royal Society, 1667 177
(a) On the History of the Royal Society: A Model of Their Whole Design' 177
(b) 'On the History of the Royal Society: Their Course of Inquiry' 179
9.3 Letter from H. Oldenburg to A. Auzout, 24 May 1666 183
10 The Reception of Newtonianism across Europe 184
10.1 Richard Bentley, A Confutation of Atheism from the Origin and Frame of the World, 1693 184
10.2 Letter from Isaac Newton to Richard Bentley, 11 February 1693 189
10.3 John Ray, The Wisdom of God Manifested in the Works of Creation, 1691 190
10.4 Roger Cotes, Preface to the 2nd edition of the Principia, 1713 194
10.5 Extracts from letters relating to the Leibniz-Clarke correspondence 198
(a) Leibniz to Conti, November-December 1715 198
(b) Newton to Conti, 26 February 1716 200
(c) Leibniz to Conti, 9 April 1716 200
(d) Leibniz to Wolff, 23 December 1715 201
10.6 W. J. 'sGravesande, Mathematical Elements of Natural Philosophy, 1726 201
11 Science in the Scottish Enlightenment 205
11.1 James Hutton, Abstract of a dissertation read in the Royal Society of Edinburgh ... concerning the system of the earth, its duration and stability, 1785 205
11.2 James Hutton, Theory of the Earth, 1795 209
11.3 Joseph Black, 'Experiments upon Magnesia Alba, Quicklime and some other Alkaline Substances', Essays and Observations, Physical and Literary, 1756 212
11.4 Adam Smith, Essays on Philosophical Subjects, 1795 217
12 Science on the Fringe of Europe: Eighteenth-Century Sweden 220
12.1 Carl Linnaeus, Dedication and Preface, Species Plantarum, 1753 220
12.2 C. W. Scheele, Chemical Investigations on Air and Fire, 1777 224
12.3 E. D. Clarke, Travels in Various Parts of Europe, Asia and Africa, 1824 227
13 Science in Orthodox Europe 229
13.1 L. Euler, Letters to a German Princess, 1795 229
13.2 S. P. Krasheninnikov, The History of Kamtschatka, 1764 232
13.3 Mikhail Lomonosov, The Appearance of Venus on the Sun, Observed at the St. Petersburg Academy of Sciences on the 16th Day of May in the Year 1761 236
14 Establishing Science in Eighteenth-Century Europe 241
14.1 Robert Jameson, 'On the Supposed Existence of Mechanical Deposits and Petrefactions in the Primitive Mountains...', 1802 241
15 The Chemical Revolution 250
15.1 Stephen Hales, Vegetable Staticks, 1727 250
15.2 Joseph Priestley, Experiments and Observations on Different Kinds of Air, 1775 253
15.3 Joseph Priestley, Autobiography of Joseph Priestley: Memoris Written by Himself, 1806 256
15.4 Antoine Lavoisier, Elements of Chemistry, 1789 261
16 Conclusions 265
16.1 F. Voltaire, Letters Concerning the English Nation, 1734 265
16.2 Bernard le Bovier de Fontenelle, Conversations on the Plurality of Worlds, 1686, 1687 ('The Sixth Evening') 269
16.3 Frederick II, 'Discourse on the Usefulness of the Arts and Sciences in a State', 27 January 1772 272
Index 275
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