The Norton History of the Environmental Sciences

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In The Norton History of the Environmental Sciences, Peter J. Bowler chronicles humanity's long quest to understand its own origins, brilliantly synthesizing the 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.
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Overview

In The Norton History of the Environmental Sciences, Peter J. Bowler chronicles humanity's long quest to understand its own origins, brilliantly synthesizing the 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.
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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Most of this history focuses on two trends: the narrowing of scientific specialties, from the natural philosophy of the Greeks to the fragmented, discrete disciplines of the modern era; and the struggle between materialists (exemplified by Darwin) and advocates of more spiritualistic interpretations of life (exemplified by Lamarck). Beginning with Greek and Medieval natural science, this book examines how biology gradually split from philosophy and became a distinct field with subspecialties. It covers 19th-century natural science so exhaustively that, by comparison, it glosses over contemporary developments in earth and natural sciences and barely discusses the scientific study of pollution and resource management. It also concentrates primarily on Western science, ignoring the development of environmental science in non-Western, non-Christian cultures. Although the most important scientific figures and their theories are included in both the text and the 42-page bibliographic essay, the writing is tedious and repetitive. Because no better histories are available, however, academic libraries will have to settle for this one. This book and The Norton History of Chemistry , reviewed below, are the first two titles in a planned ten-volume series.--Ed.-- Laurie Tynan, Montgomery Cty.-Norristown P.L., Pa.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780393310429
  • Publisher: Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
  • Publication date: 8/28/1993
  • Series: History of Science Series
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 553
  • Product dimensions: 5.52 (w) x 8.26 (h) x 1.23 (d)

Table of Contents

Preface
List of Illustrations and Figures
1 The Problem of Perception 1
Expanding Horizons 7
The Nature of Science 16
2 The Ancient and Medieval Worlds 32
Greece and Rome 36
The Medieval Period 56
3 Renaissance and Revolution 66
Humanism and the Natural World 69
The Great Instauration 84
4 Theories of the Earth 99
Science in an Age of Reason 100
The Origin of the Earth 112
Fire and Water 125
5 Nature and the Enlightenment 139
The Diversity of Life 140
The System of Nature 155
The Economy of Nature 166
The Possibilities of Change 177
6 The Heroic Age 193
The Organization of Science 197
A New Geography 204
The Geological Record 211
Climate and Time 220
Mountains and Continents 230
The Rate of Change 237
7 The Philosophical Naturalists 248
Knowledge and Power 251
The Pattern of Nature 258
The Geography of Plants 272
The History of Life 280
The Process of Change 291
8 The Age of Evolution 306
Exploit or Conserve? 309
The Darwinian Revolution 323
The Tree of Life 336
Evolution and the Environment 351
The Origins of Ecology 361
9 The Earth Sciences 379
Science in the Modern World 382
A Global Physics 392
Drifting Continents 399
Plate Tectonics 412
10 Darwinism Triumphant 428
Science and Ideology 431
The Evolutionary Synthesis 445
Animal Behaviour 478
11 Ecology and Environmentalism 503
Changing Values 504
Ecology Comes of Age 518
Modern Ecology 535
Notes 554
Bibliographical Essay 564
Index 607
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