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The Architecture of Matter

"Warmly recommended. It is that rare achievement, a lively book which at the same time takes the fullest possible advantage of scholarly knowledge."—Charles C. Gillespie, New York Times Book Review

404 pages | 6.00 x 9.00 | © 1962

History of Science

Table of Contents

Authors’ Foreword
Introduction: The Problems of Matter-Theory
Part 1: Possible Worlds
I. Crafts and Rituals
The Sources of our Knowledge
The Artificial Crafts in Antiquity
The Natural Arts
Ritual and Cosmology
Technique and Understanding
2. First Principles
The New Climate of Thought
The Problem of Change
The Raw Materials of the World
The Ultimate Units
The Debate is Thrown Open
3. Atoms and Organisms
4. Likely Stories
Plato’s Theory of Matter
Aristotle’s Conception of Science
Aristotle’s Functional Matter-Theory
The Inheritance of the Psyche
5. The Breath of Life
The Stoic Theory of the Pneuma
Stoic Cosmology and Religion
The Scientific Legacy of the Stoics
The End of an Era
Galen demonstrates the Function of the Kidney
6. The Redemption of Matter
The Transition to Alexandria
The Transformation of Greek Philosophy
The Craft Element in Alchemy
The Aims and Axioms of Alchemical Theory
The Wider Influences of Alchemy
Chemical Recipes from the Alchemical Period
7. The Debate Reopens
The Inheritance from Antiquity
Three Transitional Figures: William Harvey
J. B. van Helmont
René Descartes
The Implications of Mechanism
Part II: The Activities of the Inanimate
8. Atomism Refurbish’d
Atomism and the Spring of Air
Robert Boyle and Chemistry
The Newtonian Reformation
Newton and the Aether
Hero on Air and the Vacuum
9. The Problem of Incorporeals
The Weighing of Fire
10. Chemistry Comes of Age
The Natural History of the Inanimate
Lavoisier’s New System
Oxygen versus Phlogiston
Atomism becomes Scientific
The Persistent Sceptics
11. The Classical Synthesis
The Units of Matter
Radiation and Fields of Force
The Empire of Classical Physics
Doubts and Reservations
12. Entering the Quantum World
The Flaws in the Classical System
’Look First upon this Picture...’
The Planetary Atom and its Paradoxes
13. Sharpening the Focus
The Quantum-Mechanical Unification
The Ramifications of Quantum Mechanisms
Shadows of the Future?
The Hierarchy of Forms
Part III: The Structure of Life
14. The Animal Machine
Two Kinds of Mechanistic Physiology
The Vitality of the Muscles
Man, the Thinking Machine
The Two Worlds
Theories of Vitality
Claude Bernard’s New Method
Bernard and the Problem of Development

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