Wrestling with Nature: From Omens to Science

Wrestling with Nature: From Omens to Science

by Peter Harrison
     
 

When and where did science begin? Historians have offered different answers to these questions, some pointing to Babylonian observational astronomy, some to the speculations of natural philosophers of ancient Greece. Others have opted for early modern Europe, which saw the triumph of Copernicanism and the birth of experimental science, while yet another view is

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Overview

When and where did science begin? Historians have offered different answers to these questions, some pointing to Babylonian observational astronomy, some to the speculations of natural philosophers of ancient Greece. Others have opted for early modern Europe, which saw the triumph of Copernicanism and the birth of experimental science, while yet another view is that the appearance of science was postponed until the nineteenth century.

Rather than posit a modern definition of science and search for evidence of it in the past, the contributors to Wrestling with Nature examine how students of nature themselves, in various cultures and periods of history, have understood and represented their work. The aim of each chapter is to explain the content, goals, methods, practices, and institutions associated with the investigation of nature and to articulate the strengths, limitations, and boundaries of these efforts from the perspective of the researchers themselves. With contributions from experts representing different historical periods and different disciplinary specializations, this volume offers a fresh perspective on the history of science and on what it meant, in other times and places, to wrestle with nature.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780226317816
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
Publication date:
06/01/2011
Pages:
440
Product dimensions:
5.90(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.10(d)

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments

Introduction

1. Natural Knowledge in Ancient Mesopotamia

Francesca Rochberg

2. Natural Knowledge in the Classical World

Daryn Lahoux

3. Natural Knowledge in the Arabic Middle Ages

Jon McGinnis

4. Natural Knowledge in the Latin Middle Ages

Michael H. Shank

5. Natural History

Peter Harrison

6. Mixed Mathematics

Peter Dear

7. Natural Philosophy

John L. Heilbron

8. Science and Medicine

Ronald L. Numbers

9. Science and Technology

Ronald Kline

10. Science and Religion

Jon H. Roberts

11. Science, Pseudoscience, and Science Falsely So-Called

Ronald L. Numbers & Daniel P. Thurs

12. Scientific Methods

Daniel P. Thurs

13. Science and the Public

Bernard Lightman

14. Science and Place

David N. Livingstone

Contributors

Index

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