Skip to content
Register Sign in Wishlist

The Rise of Early Modern Science
Islam, China, and the West

3rd Edition


  • Date Published: June 2017
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781107571075

£ 30.99

Add to cart Add to wishlist

Other available formats:
Hardback, eBook

Looking for an inspection copy?

This title is not currently available on inspection

Product filter button
About the Authors
  • Now in its third edition, The Rise of Early Modern Science argues that to understand why modern science arose in the West it is essential to study not only the technical aspects of scientific thought but also the religious, legal and institutional arrangements that either opened the doors for enquiry, or restricted scientific investigations. Toby E. Huff explores how the newly invented universities of the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, and the European legal revolution, created a neutral space that gave birth to the scientific revolution. Including expanded comparative analysis of the European, Islamic and Chinese legal systems, Huff now responds to the debates of the last decade to explain why the Western world was set apart from other civilisations.

    • Places Western, Islamic and Chinese philosophies of nature in the context of cultural and institutional structures
    • Highlights the importance of legal history in the rise of modern science
    • This revised and updated third edition further investigates the religious history of Islam and Islamic attitudes towards Greek natural philosophy
    Read more

    Reviews & endorsements

    'A remarkable and eminently readable blend of rich historical details and analysis of the rise of modern science. An exemplar of how comparative historical sociology of science ought to be done.' Zaheer Baber, author of The Science of Empire: Scientific Knowledge, Civilization and Colonial Rule in India

    'Why did the scientific revolution take place in Europe and not in China or in the Islamic world? Toby E. Huff gives this controversial question an extraordinarily wide-ranging and deep examination. Surprisingly, the answer may lie largely in the nature of Western educational institutions and in the structure of Western law.' Owen gingerich, Professor Emeritus of Astronomy and History of Science, Harvard Smithsonian Center of Astrophysics

    See more reviews

    Customer reviews

    Not yet reviewed

    Be the first to review

    Review was not posted due to profanity


    , create a review

    (If you're not , sign out)

    Please enter the right captcha value
    Please enter a star rating.
    Your review must be a minimum of 12 words.

    How do you rate this item?


    Product details

    • Edition: 3rd Edition
    • Date Published: June 2017
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781107571075
    • length: 396 pages
    • dimensions: 227 x 151 x 18 mm
    • weight: 0.63kg
    • contains: 24 b/w illus.
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Part I:
    1. The comparative study of science
    2. Arabic science and the Islamic world
    3. Philosophy, science, and civilizational configurations
    4. The European legal revolution
    5. Madrasas and the transmitted sciences
    6. Universities and the institutionalization of science
    Part II:
    7. Science and civilization in China
    8. Education, examinations, and Neo-Confucianism
    9. Poverties and triumphs of Chinese science
    Part III:
    10. The rise of modern science
    Epilogue: science, history and development.

  • Author

    Toby E. Huff, Harvard University, Massachusetts
    Toby E. Huff is a research associate in the Department of Astronomy, Harvard University, Massachusetts, and Chancellor Professor in Policy Studies at the University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth. He has lectured in Europe, Asia and the Middle East and has lived in Malaysia. Huff is the author of Intellectual Curiosity and the Scientific Revolution: A Global Perspective (Cambridge, 2011) and coeditor of Max Weber and Islam (with Wolfgang Schluchter, 1999).

Sorry, this resource is locked

Please register or sign in to request access. If you are having problems accessing these resources please email

Register Sign in
Please note that this file is password protected. You will be asked to input your password on the next screen.

» Proceed

You are now leaving the Cambridge University Press website. Your eBook purchase and download will be completed by our partner Please see the permission section of the catalogue page for details of the print & copy limits on our eBooks.

Continue ×

Continue ×

Continue ×
warning icon

Turn stock notifications on?

You must be signed in to your Cambridge account to turn product stock notifications on or off.

Sign in Create a Cambridge account arrow icon

Find content that relates to you

Join us online

This site uses cookies to improve your experience. Read more Close

Are you sure you want to delete your account?

This cannot be undone.


Thank you for your feedback which will help us improve our service.

If you requested a response, we will make sure to get back to you shortly.

Please fill in the required fields in your feedback submission.