The Oxford Illustrated History of Science, Iwan Rhys Morus, 2017

The Oxford Illustrated History of Science, Iwan Rhys Morus, 2017.

  The first book in the history and philosophy of science that I can remember reading as an undergraduate thirty years ago was Alan Chalmers’s What is This Thing Called Science? The copy is still on my shelves somewhere. The title has stuck with me for a number of reasons. The question it asks appeals because the answers turn out to be so unexpectedly elusive and slippery. At first sight it appears obvious what science is— it’s what scientists do. Very few people now would deny the critical role that science plays in underpinning contemporary life. Science, and the technological offshoots of science, are everywhere around us. Modern science does not just provide us with technological fixes, though. Its ideas and assumptions are embedded in a very fundamental way in the ways we make sense of the world around us. We turn to science to explain the material universe, and to account for our spiritual lives. We routinely use science to talk about the ways we talk to each other. But what do we really mean by science? It’s a uniquely human activity, after all. At its broadest level, science stuns up the ways we make sense of the world around us. It’s the set of ways we interact with the world—to understand it and to change it. It is this humanity at the heart of science that makes understanding its history and its culture so important.

The Oxford Illustrated History of Science, Iwan Rhys Morus, 2017


Greek Natural Philosophy.
In the sixth century все, something new begem in a portion of the Greek world—the thin line of settlements along the western coast of Asia Minor. Traditionally, Thales of Miletus (c.580 все) was said to have invented philosophy, along with geometry and astronomy. Of course, this only reflects the fondness of later Greek writers for attributing every discovery to one particular wise man. Nevertheless, an important philosophical tradition began with him and his successors, Anaximander and Anaximenes, at Miletus. By the fifth century, Athens became the most important place for doing philosophy, as well as for teaching and learning about it.

A key feature of the philosophical movement was the desire to remove the gods from the middle of things—to change the rules of explanation. Xenophanes of Colophon complained that the old poets (Homer and Hesiod) had ascribed to the gods shameful things, such as lying, stealing, and committing adultery, and he ridiculed his contemporaries for believing that gods have bodies and wear clothes like their own. He famously remarks that the gods of the Ethiopians have flat noses and dark skins, while the gods of the Thracians have red hair and blue eyes. And if cattle and horses had hands and could draw, horses would picture gods that look like horses, and cattle like cattle.

CONTENTS.
INTRODUCTION.
Iwan Rhys Morus.
PART I. SEEKING ORIGINS.
1. SCIENCE IN THE ANCIENT MEDITERRANEAN WORLD.
Janies Evans.
2. SCIENCE IN ANCIENT CHINA.
Donald Harper.
3. SCIENCE IN THE MEDIEVAL CHRISTIAN AND ISLAMIC WORLDS.
Steven J. Livesey and Sonja Brentjes.
4. SCIENCE IN THE PRE-MODERN EAST.
Dagmar Schaefer.
5. THE SCIENTIFIC REVOLUTION.
John Henry.
6. ENLIGHTENMENT SCIENCE.
Jan Golinski.
PART II. DOING SCIENCE.
7. EXPERIMENTAL CULTURES.
Iwan Rhys Morns.
8. EXPLORING NATURE.
Amanda Rees.
9. THE MEANING OF LIFE.
Peter Bowler.
10. MAPPING THE UNIVERSE Robert Smith.
11. THEORETICAL VISIONS Matthew Stanley.
12. COMMUNICATING SCIENCE Charlotte Sleigh.
Further Reading.
Picture Acknowledgements.
Index.



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2019-10-22 10:11:47