A Guide to the History of Science: A First Guide for the Study of the History of Science, with Introductory Essays on Science and Tradition

A Guide to the History of Science: A First Guide for the Study of the History of Science, with Introductory Essays on Science and Tradition

A Guide to the History of Science: A First Guide for the Study of the History of Science, with Introductory Essays on Science and Tradition

A Guide to the History of Science: A First Guide for the Study of the History of Science, with Introductory Essays on Science and Tradition

Excerpt

Divided into two parts which are very different yet complete each other, this Guide may attract and serve two kinds of readers; on the one hand, scientists and scholars, on the other hand, historians of science. The first and shorter part explains the purpose and meaning of the history of science in the form of three lectures delivered at various European universities; the second, much longer part, is a bibliographic summary prepared for the guidance of scholars interested in those studies. The first part is meant to be read, the second to be used as a tool.

The lectures of the first part were originally thought out at the request of the University of London, and they were first delivered in the Anatomy Theatre of University College in March 1948. The University had invited me twice previously but I had not been able to accept its flattering invitations more promptly, because I could not leave the United States before the printing of the third volume of my Introduction to the History of Science (Science and Learning in the Fourteenth Century) was completed. Freedom to leave Cambridge was not in sight until the end of 1947.

When a man has devoted the best part of his life to definite studies, he may be forgiven if he interrupts his real work for a while in order to explain it to others. It is for that reason that when the University of London invited me, I yielded to the temptation.

The problems dealt with in these London lectures were dealt with again in other lectures delivered on the Continent. The ideas of the first lecture were discussed in English before the Vlaamse Club of Brussels, and in French at the Institut d'histoire des sciences (Faculté des Lettres) of Paris; those of the second lecture were explained in French at the University of Liége and at the Collège de France; those of the third were summarized in French before the annual meeting of the Association Française pour l'Avancement des Sciences in Geneva.

As all my lectures . . .

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