Academic journal article ETC.: A Review of General Semantics

The Clockwork Universe: Isaac Newton, the Royal Society, and the Birth of the Modern World

Academic journal article ETC.: A Review of General Semantics

The Clockwork Universe: Isaac Newton, the Royal Society, and the Birth of the Modern World

Article excerpt

Edward Dolnick. The Clockwork Universe: Isaac Newton, the Royal Society, and the Birth of the Modern World. New York: Harper, 2011.

This book, which examines the Scientific Enlightenment of the seventeenth century, is divided into three sections.

The first section (Chaos) covers the overthrow of Aristotelian science, the development of calculus, the role of mathematical laws in the Deist model that Newton developed, and some information on the multifaceted dynamo Gottfried Liebniz, who was Newton's intellectual equal in many ways. An overview of life in seventeenth century London, an existence characterized by plague, fire, and horrific punishments for lawbreakers that included drawing and quartering, is provided as well.

The second section (Hope and Monsters) includes apt biographical detail on the lives of Descartes, Kepler, Galileo, and other geniuses of the seventeenth century who through their scientific breakthroughs helped create the world we know today. It also contains geometric diagrams, formulas, graphs, and arithmetical techniques that may seem a bit daunting to those who are not mathematically inclined. …

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