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Rethinking the Scientific Revolution

Rethinking the Scientific Revolution

Margaret J. Osler, Betty Jo Teeter Dobbs, Peter Barker, Bruce Janacek, Pamela Smith, William E. Burns, Jane E. Jenkins, Lawrence M. Principe, Richard H. Popkin
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  • Date Published: May 2000
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521667906


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About the Authors
  • This book challenges the traditional historiography of the Scientific Revolution, probably the single most important unifying concept in the history of science. Usually referring to the period from Copernicus to Newton (roughly 1500 to 1700), the Scientific Revolution is considered to be the central episode in the history of science, the historical moment at which that unique way of looking at the world that we call 'modern science' and its attendant institutions emerged. It has been taken as the terminus a quo of all that followed. Starting with a dialogue between Betty Jo Teeter Dobbs and Richard S. Westfall, whose understanding of the Scientific Revolution differed in important ways, the papers in this volume reconsider canonical figures, their areas of study, and the formation of disciplinary boundaries during this seminal period of European intellectual history.

    • Good overview of recent scholarship and trends in the field
    • Covers a central episode in the history of science; the Scientific Revolution
    • Challenges traditional historiography of the Scientific Revolution
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    Product details

    • Date Published: May 2000
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521667906
    • length: 356 pages
    • dimensions: 230 x 153 x 21 mm
    • weight: 0.485kg
    • contains: 5 b/w illus.
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Introduction: the canonical imperative: rethinking the scientific revolution Margaret J. Osler
    Part I. The Canon in Question:
    1. Newton as final cause and first mover Betty Jo Teeter Dobbs
    2. The scientific revolution reasserted
    Part II. Canonical Disciplines Reformed:
    3. The role of religion in the Lutheran response to Copernicus Peter Barker
    4. Catholic natural philosophy: alchemy and the revivication of Sir Kenelm Digby Bruce Janacek
    5. Vital spirits: redemption, artisanship, and the new philosophy of Early Modern Europe Pamela Smith
    6. 'The terriblest eclipse that hath been seen in our days': Black Monday and the debate on astrology during the Interregnum William E. Burns
    7. Arguing about nothing: Henry More and Robert Boyle on the theological implications of the void Jane E. Jenkins
    Part III. Canonical Figures Reconsidered:
    8. Pursuing knowledge: Robert Boyle and Isaac Newton Lawrence M. Principe
    9. The alchemies of Robert Boyle and Isaac Newton: alternative approaches and divergent deployments
    10. The Janus faces of science in the seventeenth century: Athanasius Kircher and Isaac Newton
    11. The nature of Newton's 'holy alliance' between science and religion: from the scientific revolution to Newton (and back again)
    12. Newton and Spinoza and the Bible scholarship of the day Richard H. Popkin
    13. The fate of the date: the theology of Newton's Principia revisited
    Part IV. The Canon Reconstructed:
    14. The truth of Newton's science and the truth of science's history: heroic science at its eighteenth-century formulation.

  • Editor

    Margaret J. Osler, University of Calgary


    Margaret J. Osler, Betty Jo Teeter Dobbs, Peter Barker, Bruce Janacek, Pamela Smith, William E. Burns, Jane E. Jenkins, Lawrence M. Principe, Richard H. Popkin

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