Considers ideologies and mutual effects of humanism, mysticism and the exact sciences, thereby integrating a study of early Scientific Revolution astronomy, mathematics and medicine with the intellectual, religious and philosophical milieu.
This volume, honoring the renowned historian of science, Allen G Debus, explores ideas of science - `experiences of nature' - from within a historiographical tradition that Debus has done much to define. As his work shows, the sciences do not develop exclusively as a result of a progressive and inexorable logic of discovery. A wide variety of extra-scientific factors, deriving from changing intellectual contexts and differing social millieus, play crucial roles in the overall development of scientific thought. These essays represent (...) case studies in a broad range of scientific settings - from sixteenth-century astronomy and medicine, through nineteenth-century biology and mathematics, to the social sciences in the twentieth-century - that show the impact of both social settings and the cross-fertilization of ideas on the formation of science. Aimed at a general audience interested in the history of science, this book closes with Debus's personal perspective on the development of the field. Audience: This book will appeal especially to historians of science, of chemistry, and of medicine. (shrink)
There are some who would question the need to republish papers that have already appeared elsewhere. Walter Pauel once said that scholars should think in terms of books rather than research papers since the latter become lost in the literature. When he told me this year ago I was not entirely convinced. Surely the young scholar must publish papers to secure his academic position. In addition, throughout his career he attends conferences many of which will require the publication of his (...) papers in the resultant conference volumes. By their very nature such papers often discuss topics in greater detail than that scholar's subsequent books. In this case also the papers tend to become "lost" even when there exit extensive guides to the literature such as the Critical Bibliography published annually in Isis for historians of science. Many of my own papers over the past forty-five years have indeed appeared in such conference volumes as in journals. (shrink)