Historical Embodiments of Natural Knowledge
Bringing body and knowledge into such intimate contact is occasionally seen as funny, sometimes as enraging, and more often just as pointless. Vividly written and well illustrated, Science Incarnate offers concrete historical answers to such skeptical questions about the relationships between body, mind, and knowledge.
Focusing on the seventeenth century to the present, Science Incarnate explores how intellectuals sought to establish the value and authority of their ideas through public displays of their private ways of life. Patterns of eating, sleeping, exercising, being ill, and having (or avoiding) sex, as well as the marks of gender and bodily form, were proof of the presence or absence of intellectual virtue, integrity, skill, and authority. Intellectuals examined in detail include René Descartes, Isaac Newton, Charles Darwin, and Ada Lovelace.
Science Incarnate is at once very funny and deeply serious, addressing issues of crucial importance to present-day discussions about the nature of knowledge and how it is produced. It incorporates much that will interest cultural and social historians, historians of science and medicine, philosophers, sociologists, and anthropologists.
Introduction: The Body of Knowledge by Steven Shapin and Christopher Lawrence
1: The Philosopher and the Chicken: On the Dietetics of Disembodied Knowledge
2: A Mechanical Microcosm: Bodily Passions, Good Manners, and Cartesian Mechanism
3: Regeneration: The Body of Natural Philosophers in Restoration England
4: Isaac Newton: Lucatello Professor of Mathematics
5: Medical Minds, Surgical Bodies: Corporeality and the Doctors
6: A Calculus of Suffering: Ada Lovelace and the Bodily Constraints on Women's Knowledge in Early Victorian England
7: I Could Have Retched All Night: Charles Darwin and His Body
8: Exercising the Student Body: Mathematics and Athleticism in Victorian Cambridge