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The Ferment of Knowledge
Studies in the Historiography of Eighteenth-Century Science


  • Date Published: December 2008
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521087186

£ 43.99

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About the Authors
  • The thirteen original essays in this book examine the status and development of the sciences in the eighteenth century. The last generation has seen a revolution in the methodology adopted by historians of science: The development of science is no longer described as a steady progress towards truth – certainties have given way to questions. The essays in this volume scrutinize these changing perspectives in historiography and recommend paths for future study. The eighteenth century has been a neglected and much-misunderstood era in the development of science, all too often viewed as something of a trough between the towering achievements of the 'Scientific Revolution' and the nineteenth century. Yet it was a period of notable developments; it saw the establishment of such fields as electricity and heat, the 'chemical revolution', the new science of gases, the isolation of oxygen, the nebular hypothesis in cosmology, the foundation of rational mechanics, and the birth pangs of biology, geology and psychology. It was, indeed, an age when knowledge was in ferment.

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    Product details

    • Date Published: December 2008
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521087186
    • length: 516 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 29 mm
    • weight: 0.75kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Part I. Philosophy and Ideas:
    1. Knowledge Rom Harre
    2. Natural philosophy Simon Schaffer
    3. Social uses of science Steven Shapin
    Part II. Life and its Environment: 4. Psychology G. S. Rousseau
    5. Health, disease and medical care W. F. Bynum
    6. The living world Jacques Roger
    7. The terraqueous globe Roy Porter
    Part III. The Physical World:
    8. Mathematics and rational mechanics H. J. M. Bos
    9. Experimental natural philosophy J. L. Heilbron
    10. Chemistry and the chemical revolution Maurice Crosland
    11. Mathematical cosmography Eric G. Forbes
    12. Science, technology and industry D. S. L. Cardwell.

  • Editors

    George Sebastian Rousseau

    Roy Porter

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