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Atom and Individual in the Age of Newton; On the Genesis of the Mechanistic World View.


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ISBN 10: 9027719055 / ISBN 13: 9789027719058
Published by D. Reidel, (1986)., Dordrecht, Boston:, 1986
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About this Item

Series: Boston studies in the philosophy of science, v. 88. 8vo. xv, 276 pp. Index. Cloth, dust-jacket; jacket cover a bit torn. Ink ownership signature of David C. Lindberg. Very good. FIRST EDITION in English, previously issued in German, 1982 as Atom und Individuum im Zeitalter Newtons. "This study of Newtonian natural philosophy is such an exceptionally important contribution to the literature of the history and philosophy of science… [This] is a work of fundamental importance, for it deftly reframes two of the longest-running and most critical debates in the literature: the first, whether and how the rise of science in the seventeenth century was related to the raging social, religious, political, and economic battles with which it occupied the stage in early modern Europe; the second, whether a socially defined science becomes relativistic, its substance determined merely by convention. …" David Kubrin, the reviewer, points out there were problems with the translation and a lot of typos in the text, but still confirms the importance of the work. ISBN: 9027719055. Bookseller Inventory # S11632

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Atom and Individual in the Age of Newton; On...

Publisher: D. Reidel, (1986)., Dordrecht, Boston:

Publication Date: 1986

Binding: Hardcover

Dust Jacket Condition: Dust Jacket Included

Edition: 1st Edition

About this title


In this stimulating investigation, Gideon Freudenthal has linked social history with the history of science by formulating an interesting proposal: that the supposed influence of social theory may be seen as actual through its co­ herence with the process of formation of physical concepts. The reinterpre­ tation of the development of science in the seventeenth century, now widely influential, receives at Freudenthal's hand its most persuasive statement, most significantly because of his attention to the theoretical form which is charac­ teristic. of classical Newtonian mechanics. He pursues the sources of the parallels that may be noted between that mechanics and the dominant philosophical systems and social theories of the time; and in a fascinating development Freudenthal shows how a quite precise method - as he descriptively labels it, the 'analytic-synthetic method' - which underlay the Newtonian form of theoretical argument, was due to certain interpretive premisses concerning particle mechanics. If he is right, these depend upon a particular stage of con­ ceptual achievement in the theories of both society and nature; further, that the conceptual was generalized philosophically; but, strikingly, Freudenthal shows that this concept-formation itself was linked to the specific social relations of the times of Newton and Hobbes.

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Text: English, German (translation)

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