How Modern Science Came Into the World: Four Civilizations, One 17th-century Breakthrough

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Amsterdam University Press, 2010 - 784 pagina's
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Once, the concept of ‘the Scientific Revolution of the 17th century’ was innovative and inspiring, yielding what is still the master narrative of the rise of modern science. That narrative, however, has turned into a straitjacket—so often events and contexts just fail to fit in. Even so, in Floris Cohen’s view neither the early, theory-centered historiography nor present-day contextual and practice-oriented approaches compel us to drop the concept altogether. Instead, he offers here a narrative restructured from the ground up, by means of a comprehensive approach, sustained comparisons, and a tenacious search for underlying patterns.

 

Key to his analysis is a vision of the Scientific Revolution as made up of six distinct, yet tightly interconnected revolutionary transformations, each of some twenty-five-to-thirty years’ duration. This vision enables him to explain how modern science could come about in Europe rather than in Greece, China, or the Islamic world.'

  

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Inhoudsopgave

I Greek foundations Chinese contrasts
3
II Greek natureknowledge transplanted the islamic world
53
III Greek natureknowledge transplanted in part medieval Europe
77
IV Greek natureknowledge transplanted and more renaissance Europe
99
Part II Three revolutionary transformations
157
V The first transformation realistmathematical science
159
VI The second transformation a kineticcorpuscularian philosophy of nature
221
VII The third transformation to find facts through experiment
245
XIII Achievements and limitations of factfinding experimentalism
445
XIV Natureknowledge decompartmentalized
509
XV The fourth transformation corpuscular motion geometrized
521
XVI The fifth transformation the baconian brew
549
XVII Legitimacy of a new kind
565
XVIII Natureknowledge by 1684 the achievement so far
599
XIX The sixth transformation the newtonian synthesis
637
Epilogue
719

VIII Concurrence explained
271
IX Prospects around 1640
281
Part III Dynamics of the Revolution
289
X Achievements and limitations of realistmathematical science
291
XI Achievements and limitations of kinetic corpuscularianism
373
XII Legitimacy in the balance
403
Notes on literature used
740
Endnotes
743
Name index
767
Subject index
779
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Over de auteur (2010)

Floris Cohen is professor of comparative history of science at Utrecht University in the Netherlands.

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