The Beginnings of Western Science: The European Scientific Tradition in Philosophical, Religious, and Institutional Context, 600 B.C. to A.D. 1450

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9780226482316: The Beginnings of Western Science: The European Scientific Tradition in Philosophical, Religious, and Institutional Context, 600 B.C. to A.D. 1450

This landmark book represents the first attempt in two decades to survey the science of the ancient world, the first attempt in four decades to write a comprehensive history of medieval science, and the first attempt ever to present a full, unified account of both ancient and medieval science in a single volume. In The Beginnings of Western Science, David C. Lindberg provides a rich chronicle of the development of scientific ideas, practices, and institutions from the pre-Socratic Greek philosophers to the late-medieval scholastics.

Lindberg surveys all the most important themes in the history of ancient and medieval science, including developments in cosmology, astronomy, mechanics, optics, alchemy, natural history, and medicine. He synthesizes a wealth of information in superbly organized, clearly written chapters designed to serve students, scholars, and nonspecialists alike. In addition, Lindberg offers an illuminating account of the transmission of Greek science to medieval Islam and subsequently to medieval Europe. And throughout the book he pays close attention to the cultural and institutional contexts within which scientific knowledge was created and disseminated and to the ways in which the content and practice of science were influenced by interaction with philosophy and religion. Carefully selected maps, drawings, and photographs complement the text.

Lindberg's story rests on a large body of important scholarship produced by historians of science, philosophy, and religion over the past few decades. However, Lindberg does not hesitate to offer new interpretations and to hazard fresh judgments aimed at resolving long-standing historical disputes. Addressed to the general educated reader as well as to students, his book will also appeal to any scholar whose interests touch on the history of the scientific enterprise.

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About the Author:

David C. Lindberg (1935-2015) was the Hilldale Professor Emeritus of the History of Science at the University of Wisconsin–Madison and past-president of the History of Science Society. His scholarship focused on the history of medieval and early modern science, especially physical science and the relationship between religion and science. He was the author or editor of many books, several of which were published by the University of Chicago Press.

From Library Journal:

This is the first book in two decades to survey science in the ancient world, the first book in four decades to survey medieval science, and the first book ever to present a unified account of both ancient and medieval science. Lindberg looks at the most important themes of that science (mathematics, astronomy, alchemy, etc.) and provides a fresh account of the transmission of science from Ancient Greece to Islam to Medieval Europe.
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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