From Myth to Modern Mind: A Study of the Origins and Growth of Scientific Thought - Vol. 2

From Myth to Modern Mind: A Study of the Origins and Growth of Scientific Thought - Vol. 2

From Myth to Modern Mind: A Study of the Origins and Growth of Scientific Thought - Vol. 2

From Myth to Modern Mind: A Study of the Origins and Growth of Scientific Thought - Vol. 2

Synopsis

Having traced the origins and growth of scientific rationalism from Theogony through Ptolemy in the previous volume, Volume II begins with the fourteenth century critique of Aristotle's mechanics and ends with the development of quantum mechanics. The contributions to the breakdown of Aristotle's cosmology and its replacement with Newton's mechanistic world view are presented, along with subsequent developments in electricity, the emergence of modern chemistry with the overthrow of the phlogiston theory, and the creation of modern atomism. Finally, the evidence for the composite nature of the atom and the probing of its structure by Rutherford are discussed, as well as the revisions of classical mechanics owing to Einstein's relativity theory and the development of quantum mechanics by Planck, Bohr, Heisenberg, Schrodinger, and Dirac."

Excerpt

I would like to take this opportunity, as I did in the previous Preface, to express my deep gratitude to those who made this endeavor possible. First, thanks are due to the Columbia School of Arts and Sciences of The George Washington University for granting me five sabbatical leaves that permitted the time for the research and writing such an extended project entailed, along with subventions for preparing and supporting the final publication. Second, as someone who regards the computer as a powerful aide but still somewhat alien species, and who was distressed at the prospect of having to submit the manuscripts to the publisher in "camera ready" form, I want to convey my warm gratitude to Mrs. Ann Reese and her husband Paul (Kip) for their dedicated, exacting work in putting the texts in final form to be photoprinted by Peter Lang. Third, I would like to thank Ms. Nona Reuter, the Editor at Peter Lang, for supervising the editing of the two volumes and especially for designing the very attractive book covers.

Finally, although there is no adequate way of stating my appreciation, at least I want to thank my wife again for enabling me to devote all my 'spare time' to this work by relieving me of the financial and other chores that are essential for successfully organizing one's life, but which can be so tedious and time consuming. As a result of her support and encouragement, I have had the privilege of devoting all of my leisure to coming to know the thinking of these outstanding philosophers and scientists, which has been a great joy. In contrast to the usual conception of science as an abstract, arid, personally irrelevant discipline, I have tried to convey some of the adventure, excitement, and romantic significance that accompanies the scientific endeavor to come to a truer conception of the universe. Would that this work conveys to the reader as much understanding and pleasure as I derived from writing it.

October 24, 1995 Richard H. Schlagel . . .

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