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The Discovery of Time

"A discussion of the historical development of our ideas of time as they relate to nature, human nature and society. . . . The excellence of The Discovery of Time is unquestionable."—Martin Lebowitz, The Kenyon Review

280 pages | 6.00 x 9.00 | © 1965

History of Science

Table of Contents

Authors’ Foreword
Introduction: The Problem of Historical Inference
1. Memories and Myths
Chronicles and Genealogies
Myths and Legends
2. Science without History
Historical Cosmology in Miletos
The Divorce of History from Philosophy
Plato’s Creator-Craftsman
Aristotle’s Eternal Universe
Stoics and Epicureans
The Limits of the Classical World-Picture
The Beginnings of Natural History
3. The Authority of the Scriptures
Christianity and History
Fundamentalism and Allegory
The New Chronology
The Mediaeval World-Allegory
The Dream of the Millennium
4. The Revival of Natural Philosophy
The Fall of the World
Descartes’ Mathematical Philosophy
The Theological Consequences of Cartesianism
The Blueprints of Creation
The Great Chain of Being
The Eighteenth-Century Commonplaces
5. The Revival of Civil History
The Birth of Historical Criticism
Decay or Progress?
The Customs of the Ages
Human Nature and Social Change
The Myth of the Social Contract
Intimations of Progress
6. Time’s Creative Hand
Vico: the Mendel of History
Kant and Cosmic Evolution
Herder and the Development of Nature
7. The Earth Acquires a History
The Epochs of Nature
The Fact of Geological Change
The Agents of Geological Change
The Perspective of Indefinite Time
The Historical Time-Barrier is Broken
8. The Background to Darwin
Are There Fixed Species in Nature?
The Temporal Sequence of Forms
The Problem of Inheritance
The Final Impasse
9. Life Acquires a Genealogy
Darwin Recognizes His Problem
The Creation of the ’Origin’
The Structure of the ’Origin’
The Scientific Objections
Darwinism and Natural Theology
10. History and the Human Sciences
The Recognition of Progressive Change
Critical History and its Implications
The Evolution of Humanity
The Flux of Nature
11. Time and the Physical World
The Evolution of Stars and Chemical Elements
Astronomy and the Problem of Creation
Truth, Hypothesis or Myth?
Are the Laws of Nature Changing?
Epilogue: Nature and History
The Evolution of Ideas

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