Leviathan and the Air-Pump: Hobbes, Boyle, and the Experimental Life

3.95 avg rating
( 269 ratings by GoodReads )
 
9780691024325: Leviathan and the Air-Pump: Hobbes, Boyle, and the Experimental Life

In the aftermath of the English Civil War, as people were groping for new forms of political order, Robert Boyle built an air-pump to do exper­iments. Does the story of Roundheads and Restoration have something to do with the origins of experimental sci­ence? Schaffer and Shapin believed it does.

Focusing on the debates between Boyle and his archcritic Thomas Hobbes over the air-pump, the authors proposed that "solutions to the problem of knowledge are solutions to the problem of social order." Both Boyle and Hobbes were looking for ways of establishing knowledge that did not decay into ad hominem attacks and political division. Boyle proposed the experiment as cure. He argued that facts should be manufactured by machines like the air-pump so that gentlemen could witness the experiments and produce knowledge that everyone agreed on. Hobbes, by contrast, looked for natural law and viewed experiments as the artificial, unreliable products of an exclusive guild.

The new approaches taken in Leviathan and the Air-Pump have been enormously influential on historical studies of science. Shapin and Schaffer found a moment of scientific revolution and showed how key scientific givens--facts, interpretations, experiment, truth--were fundamental to a new political order. Shapin and Schaffer were also innovative in their ethnographic approach. Attempting to understand the work habits, rituals, and social structures of a remote, unfamiliar group, they argued that politics were tied up in what scientists did, rather than what they said.

"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.

About the Author:

Steven Shapin is the Franklin L. Ford Professor of the History of Science at Harvard University. Simon Schaffer is professor of history of science at the University of Cambridge.

"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.

Top Search Results from the AbeBooks Marketplace

1.

Shapin, Steven; Schaffer, Simon
Published by Princeton University Press (1989)
ISBN 10: 0691024324 ISBN 13: 9780691024325
New Paperback Quantity Available: 1
Seller
Irish Booksellers
(Rumford, ME, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Princeton University Press, 1989. Paperback. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # 0691024324

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 36.82
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

2.

Shapin, Steven, Schaffer, Simon
Published by Princeton University Press (1989)
ISBN 10: 0691024324 ISBN 13: 9780691024325
New Paperback Quantity Available: 3
Seller
Murray Media
(North Miami Beach, FL, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Princeton University Press, 1989. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # P110691024324

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 40.76
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 2.99
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

3.

Simon Schaffer and Steven Shapin
ISBN 10: 0691024324 ISBN 13: 9780691024325
New Quantity Available: 1
Seller
Castle Rock
(Pittsford, NY, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Book Condition: Brand New. Book Condition: Brand New. Bookseller Inventory # 97806910243251.0

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 120.11
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 3.99
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds