The Making of Geology: Earth Science in Britain, 1660-1815

The Making of Geology: Earth Science in Britain, 1660-1815

by Roy Porter
Pub. Date:
Cambridge University Press

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The Making of Geology: Earth Science in Britain, 1660-1815

Between the mid-seventeenth century and the early nineteenth century there developed in Britain a range of empirical and increasingly secular sciences concerned with the earth. This book presents a detailed account of how this development led to the creation of a complex socio-intellectual fabric of methods, ambitions, facts and ideas which took on the nature of a distinctive, self-sustaining discipline: 'geology'. During this period the criteria for a proper science of the earth were continually reassessed and the earth as an object of science was radically reinterpreted. In his account of this transformation, Dr Porter treats science as an integral but distinct part of the spectrum of man's intellectual and social activities. His account thus illuminates the nature of science and scientific knowledge as a dynamic intellectual, social and cultural enterprise. The book will be of interest not only to historians and philosophers of science but also to social historians and geologists.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780521081283
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Publication date: 09/18/2008
Pages: 308
Product dimensions: 5.51(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.71(d)

Table of Contents

Introduction; 1. Orientations: c. 1660- 1710; 2. The natural history of the Earth; 3. The re-creation of the Earth; 4. A deepening base: c. 1710-1775; 5. Continuity and change; 6. Changing social formations: c.. 1775-1815; 7. A reformation of knowledge; 8. The constitution of geology; Conclusion.

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