Cloth $89.00 ISBN: 9789089642394 Published July 2011 For sale only in the United States, its dependencies, the Philippines, and Canada

How Modern Science Came into the World

Four Civilizations, One 17th-Century Breakthrough

H. Floris Cohen

How Modern Science Came into the World

H. Floris Cohen

Distributed for Amsterdam University Press

784 pages | 66 halftones | 6 3/4 x 8 3/5 | © 2010
Cloth $89.00 ISBN: 9789089642394 Published July 2011 For sale only in the United States, its dependencies, the Philippines, and Canada

Once, the concept of ‘the Scientific Revolution of the 17th century’ was innovative and inspiring, yielding what is still the master narrative of the rise of modern science. That narrative, however, has turned into a straitjacket—so often events and contexts just fail to fit in. Even so, in Floris Cohen’s view neither the early, theory-centered historiography nor present-day contextual and practice-oriented approaches compel us to drop the concept altogether. Instead, he offers here a narrative restructured from the ground up, by means of a comprehensive approach, sustained comparisons, and a tenacious search for underlying patterns.

Key to his analysis is a vision of the Scientific Revolution as made up of six distinct, yet tightly interconnected revolutionary transformations, each of some twenty-five-to-thirty years’ duration. This vision enables him to explain how modern science could come about in Europe rather than in Greece, China, or the Islamic world.'

Prologue: Solving the Problem of the Scientific Revolution
Part I: Nature-Knowledge in Traditional Society
1. Greek Foundations, Chinese Contrasts
2. Greek Nature-Knowledge Transplanted: The Islamic World
3. Greek Nature-Knowledge Transplanted in Part: Medieval Europe
4. Greek Nature-Knowledge Transplanted, and More: Renaissance Europe
Part II: Three Revolutionary Transformations
5. The First Transformation: Realist-Mathematical Science
6. The Second Transformation: A Kinetic-Corpuscularian Philosophy
7. The Third Transformation: To Find Facts through Experiment
8. Concurrence Explained
9. Prospects around 1640
Part III: Dynamics of the Revolution
10. Achievements and Limitations of Realist-Mathematical Science
11. Achievements and Limitations of Kinetic Corpuscularianism
12. Legitimacy in the Balance
13. Achievements and Limitations of Fact-Finding Experimentalism
14. Nature-Knowledge Decompartmentalized
15. The Fourth Transformation: Corpuscular Motion Geometrized
16. The Fifth Transformation: The Baconian Brew
17. Legitimacy of a New Kind
18. Nature-Knowledge by 1684: The Achievement So Far
19. The Sixth Transformation: The Newtonian Synthesis
Epilogue: A Dual Legacy
Name Index
Subject Index
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