Scientific Practices in European History, 1200-1800: A Book of Texts

Scientific Practices in European History, 1200-1800: A Book of Texts

By: Peter Dear (author)Paperback

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Scientific Practices in European History, 1200-1800 presents and situates a collection of extracts from both widely known texts by such figures as Copernicus, Newton, and Lavoisier, and lesser known but significant items, all chosen to provide a perspective on topics in social, cultural and intellectual history and to illuminate the concerns of the early modern period. The selection of extracts highlights the emerging technical preoccupations of this period, while the accompanying introductions and annotations make these occasionally complex works accessible to students and non-specialists. The book follows a largely chronological sequence and helps to locate scientific ideas and practices within broader European history. The primary source materials in this collection stand alone as texts in themselves, but in illustrating the scientific components of early modern societies they also make this book ideal for teachers and students of European history.

About Author

Peter Dear is Professor of the History of Science at Cornell University, USA. His previous publications include Revolutionizing the Sciences: European Knowledge and Its Ambitions, 1500-1700 (2009), The Intelligibility of Nature: How Science Makes Sense of the World (2006), and Discipline and Experience: The Mathematical Way in the Scientific Revolution (1995).


List of figures List of tables Acknowledgements Introduction Navigating Petrus Peregrinus, On the Magnet, trans. Brother Arnold (New York: McGraw, 1904). Public domain. Part I, chaps. 1-10; Part II, chap. 3. Modelling a Disputation Thomas Aquinas, "Disputed Questions Concerning the Power of God, Trans. the English Dominican Fathers (Westminster, MD: Newman Press, 1952 [1932]). Public Domain. Q. VI: Article I (selections). Making Sense of the Cosmos Sacrobosco, De sphaera, trans. Lynn Thorndike (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1949). Open access. Chaps. 1-4 (pp.118-123). Reordering the Cosmos Nicolaus Copernicus, De revolutionibus orbium coelestium ("On the Revolutions of the Celestial Spheres"), Preface, slightly modified translation from Charles W. White (ed.), Prefaces and Prologues to Famous Books, Harvard Classics vol. 39 (New York: P. F. Collier, 1910), pp. 52-57. Seeing New Things: The New World Jose de Acosta, Natural and Moral History of the Indies [De Orbe Novo], trans. 1604 (Biodiversity library, an 1880 edition); some additional paragraphing added. Practical Knowledge, Experimental Manipulation, and Natural Philosophy William Gilbert, De magnete , trans. Sylvanus P. Thompson (London: Chiswick Press, 1900): most of Edward Wright's preface, and Bk.6, chap.1 (very slightly adjusted). Seeing New Things: The Heavens Galileo, Sidereus nuncius (1610), translated Edward Stafford Carlos (1880), revised by Peter Barker, Byzantium Press, 2004. Extracts reproduced by permission of copyright holder. Preface, and pp. 5r-6v, 11r-13r, 28r-28v. Novelty from Experience Francis Bacon, Sylva sylvarum (London, 1626), paras.14-16, 143-153, 326, 328, 795, 812-815, 886, 998. Making Experimental Knowledge Galileo Galilei, Discourses and Demonstrations Concerning Two New Sciences (Italian, with Latin passages, 1638; English trans. by Henry Crew and Alfonso de Salvio, 1914), extracts from Second Day (pp. 109-117). Casting a Horoscope William Lilly, Christian Astrology (London, 1647), extracts from "To the Reader." Seeing New Things Robert Hooke, Micrographia (London, 1665); the preface (with small omissions). Systematic Data-Gathering [Robert Boyle] "General Heads for a Natural History of a Countrey, Great or small, imparted likewise by Mr. Boyle." Philosophical Transactions 1 (1665-66), pp. 186-189. Experimental Philosophy [Isaac Newton] "A Letter of Mr. Isaac Newton ... containing his New Theory about Light and Colours," Philosophical Transactions (No. 80, February 19, 1671/72), pp. 3075-3079 (extract). Social Data William Petty, Another Essay in Political Arithmetick (London, 1682), pp. 3-22. Trade and the Physical Globe Edmond Halley, "An Historical Account of the Trade Winds, and Monsoons, observable in the Seas between and near the Tropicks, with an attempt to assign the Phisical cause of the said Winds," Philosophical Transactions 16 (1686 - 1692), pp. 153-168. Finding New Phenomena: Electrical Effects C.-F. Dufay, "First memoir on electricity," Mem. de l'Academ. R des Sc., 1733, extracts from pp. 23-35; "Fourth memoir on electricity" (extract, pp. 457- 459). Trans. by Peter Dear. Electricity: Balancing the Books Benjamin Franklin, letter to Peter Collinson about Philadelphia expts. From Collinson's Experiments and Observations on Electricity (1751), Letter II (July 11, 1747), pp. 13-16, How to Make Sense of Diversity in Nature Georges-Louis Leclerc, comte de Buffon, Histoire naturelle, vol.1 (1749), pp. 49-55. Trans. by Peter Dear. Building a Newtonian Universe John Michell, "On the Means of Discovering the Distance, Magnitude, &c. of the Fixed Stars...," Philosophical Transactions 74 (1784), extract from pp. 51-57: Charles's Balloon Ascent Barthelemy Faujas de Saint-Fond, Premiere suite de la description des experiences aerostatiques (Paris, 1784), pp. 44-47. Trans. by Peter Dear. Lavoisier's Work on Water "Sur la formation et la decomposition de l'eau," Histoire de l'Academie Royale des Sciences, 1781 (Paris, 1784), pp. 21-25: "On the Formation and Decomposition of Water," trans. by Peter Dear. Making Chemistry Rational Antoine Lavoisier, Preface to Elements of Chemistry, pp. xiii-xxxvii , translated by Robert Kerr, 1790. A New Phenomenon: Current Electricity Alessandro Volta, Phil. Trans. 1800 Pt.II, dated 20th March, 1800; read to the Royal Society 26th June, 1800, pp. 403-409). English translation in The Philosophical Magazine, Sept. 1800, pp. 289-311. Human Sciences: Philology and Anthropology William Jones (from The Works of Sir William Jones, 1807, vol. 3, pp. 185-204), Ninth Anniversary Discourse to the Asiatick Society, Calcutta. Science and Industry William Murdoch, "An Account of the Application of the Gas from Coal to Economical Purposes," Philosophical Transactions 98 (1808) pp. 124-132 (extracts). Malthus and Political Economy Thomas Malthus, An Essay on the Principle of Population (London, 1798), extracts from chap. 1.

Product Details

  • ISBN13: 9781138656413
  • Format: Paperback
  • Number Of Pages: 182
  • ID: 9781138656413
  • weight: 316
  • ISBN10: 1138656410

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