Scientific Instruments and Experimental Philosophy 1550-1850 (Variorum Collected Studies Series)

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9780860782803: Scientific Instruments and Experimental Philosophy 1550-1850 (Variorum Collected Studies Series)

Within the history of science, surprisingly little attention has been paid to the instruments themselves - yet they are the very data-creating tools of science and an appreciation of their development is a prerequisite for understanding the evolution of scientific thought. Professor Turner has aimed to rectify this imbalance and here focuses on the instruments and the social and intellectual context in which they were made and used. Particular articles deal with the origins of the microscope, the manufacture of reflecting telescopes - of crucial importance to the development of astronomy - and with the instrument trade in Britain, from its Elizabethan origins to its heydey 200 years later. The final section of the book then turns to the collections of experimental and demonstration apparatus - the "cabinets of experimental philosophy" - and to their role in the dissemination of scientific knowledge across Europe, at a popular as well as a university level.

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