Companion to the History of Modern Science

By R. C. Olby; G. N. Cantor et al. | Go to book overview

INTRODUCTION

1.
THE COMPANION AND ITS USES

The principal aim of this Companion is to introduce the reader to the historical development of modern Western science itself, and to the extensive scholarly literature that has been written about it. Modern science is here defined as science – excluding medicine and technology – from the sixteenth century to the present. The subject comprises, therefore, a significant portion of human endeavour over some four centuries. It has been studied, however, mainly by a small body of historians of science, most of them working during the last four decades. The results of their researches now fill many monographs and journals. A recent (1986) annual bibliography on the history of science lists over three thousand new books and articles. There are more than three dozen journals devoted entirely to the history of science and ten times that number carry occasional articles on the subject.

No individual, whether historian of science or not, could ever hope to have a detailed knowledge of all this literature; but there are many people who for various reasons may wish to have some familiarity with specific subjects within the history of science. The Companion has been produced in response to this widespread interest. It seeks to meet the requirements of several different audiences, including not only scientists and those specialists concerned with science from a historical, philosophical or sociological perspective, but also, indeed especially, the general reader who is curious as to how modern science has developed. For all these audiences the Companion aims to provide succinct but authoritative articles on major subjects within the history of science, articles written by acknowledged experts. Each article offers an overview of its subject and, where appropriate, discussion of the problems of interpretation and the current state of historical scholarship. With the non-expert in mind, the material has been made as accessible as possible with a minimum of technical knowledge required.

This volume is designed to complement other works of reference on the history of science without duplicating their form or function. There are several biographical dictionaries devoted to scientists, most notably the invaluable Dictionary of Scientific Biography (ed. C. C. Gillispie, Scribners, New York, 1970–8) in sixteen volumes. This provides accounts of individual scientists and their

-xiii-

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Companion to the History of Modern Science
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Preface xi
  • Introduction xiii
  • Part I - The Study of the History of Science 1
  • Section Ia - History of Science in Relation to Neighbouring Disciplines 3
  • 1 - The Development of the Historiography of Science 5
  • Notes 21
  • 2 - The History of Science and the Working Scientist 23
  • Further Reading 31
  • 3 - The History of Science and the History of Society 32
  • Notes 46
  • 4 - The History of Science and the Philosophy of Science 47
  • Notes 57
  • Bibliography and Further Reading 58
  • 5 - Sociological Theories of Scientific Knowledge 60
  • Notes 72
  • Further Reading 72
  • Section Ib - Analytical Perspectives 75
  • 6 - Marxism and the History of Science 77
  • Notes 85
  • 7 - The Sociology of the Scientific Community 87
  • Notes 98
  • 8 - Feminism and the History of Science 100
  • 9 - Language, Discourse and Science 110
  • Notes 121
  • Further Reading 122
  • Section IC - Philosophical Problems 125
  • 10 - Continental Philosophy and the History of Science 127
  • Further Reading 146
  • 11 - Discovery 148
  • Further Reading 165
  • 12 - Rationality, Science and History 166
  • Notes 179
  • 13 - Realism 181
  • Part II - Selected Writings in the History of Science 197
  • Section Iia - Turning Points 199
  • 14 - The Copernican Revolution 201
  • 15 - The Scientific Revolution 217
  • Further Reading 242
  • 16 - Newton and Natural Philosophy 243
  • Further Reading 262
  • 17 - The Chemical Revolution 264
  • Further Reading 276
  • 18 - Laplacian Physics 278
  • Further Reading 293
  • 19 - Natural History, 1670–1802 295
  • Notes 312
  • 20 - The History of Geology, 1780–1840 314
  • 21 - Energy 326
  • Notes 340
  • 22 - Electromagnetic Theory in the Nineteenth Century 342
  • Notes 355
  • 23 - Cell Theory and Development 357
  • Notes 371
  • Further Reading 372
  • 24 - Origins and Species Before and After Darwin 374
  • Further Reading 394
  • 25 - Wilhelm Wundt and the Emergence of Experimental Psychology 396
  • Further Reading 408
  • 26 - Behaviourism 410
  • Further Reading 423
  • 27 - Freud and Psychoanalysis 425
  • Further Reading 440
  • 28 - The Theory of Relativity 442
  • 29 - Quantum Theory 458
  • Notes 477
  • 30 - Classical Economics and the Keynesian Revolution 479
  • 31 - From Physiology to Biochemistry 494
  • Further Reading 502
  • 32 - The Molecular Revolution in Biology 503
  • Notes 519
  • 33 - The Emergence of Genetics 521
  • Notes 535
  • 34 - Cybernetics and Information Technology 537
  • Notes 552
  • Section Iib - Topics and Interpretations 555
  • 35 - Aristotelian Science 557
  • Further Reading 566
  • 36 - The Heart and Blood from Vesalius to Harvey 568
  • Notes 581
  • 37 - Magic and Science in the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries 583
  • Notes 594
  • Further Reading 595
  • 38 - Atomism and the Mechanical Philosophy 597
  • Notes 609
  • 39 - Newtonianism 610
  • Notes 625
  • 40 - Physical Optics 627
  • Notes 637
  • 41 - Cosmology: Newton to Einstein 639
  • 42 - Geometry and Space 651
  • Notes 659
  • 43 - Particle Science 661
  • 44 - The Foundations of Mathematics 677
  • Further Reading 688
  • 45 - Probability and Determinism, 1650–1900 690
  • Further Reading 700
  • 46 - The Mind–body Problem 702
  • Further Reading 710
  • 47 - Paradigmatic Traditions in the History of Anthropology 712
  • Notes 726
  • 48 - Physiology and Experimental Medicine 728
  • Notes 741
  • 49 - Geography 743
  • Notes 759
  • Section Iic - Themes 761
  • 50 - Science and Religion 763
  • Notes 782
  • 51 - Science and Literature 783
  • Further Reading 797
  • 52 - Science and Philosophy 799
  • 53 - The Development of Philosophy of Science 1600–1900 816
  • Notes 836
  • 54 - The Development of Philosophy of Science Since 1900 838
  • 55 - The Classification of the Sciences 853
  • Further Reading 868
  • 56 - Marginal Science 869
  • Notes 882
  • Further Reading 883
  • 57 - Science, Alienation and Oppression 886
  • Further Reading 896
  • 58 - Orthodoxies, Critiques and Alternatives 898
  • 59 - Nationalism and Internationalism 909
  • Notes 918
  • 60 - Science and Imperialism 920
  • Notes 931
  • 61 - Science and War 934
  • Notes 943
  • Further Reading 944
  • 62 - Science Education 946
  • Notes 958
  • 63 - The Organisation of Science and Its Pursuit in Early Modern Europe 960
  • Notes 975
  • Appendix 977
  • 64 - Professionalisation 980
  • 65 - Science and the Public 990
  • Notes 1006
  • 66 - Science and Political Ideology, 1790–1848 1008
  • Notes 1022
  • 67 - Natural Science and Social Theory 1024
  • Further Reading 1042
  • The Contributors 1044
  • Index of Names 1047
  • Index of Subjects 1060
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