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The Great Devonian Controversy

The Shaping of Scientific Knowledge among Gentlemanly Specialists

"Arguably the best work to date in the history of geology."—David R. Oldroyd, Science

"After a superficial first glance, most readers of good will and broad knowledge might dismiss [this book] as being too much about too little. They would be making one of the biggest mistakes in their intellectual lives. . . . [It] could become one of our century’s key documents in understanding science and its history."—Stephen Jay Gould, New York Review of Books

"Surely one of the most important studies in the history of science of recent years, and arguably the best work to date in the history of geology."—David R. Oldroyd, Science

528 pages | 47 halftones, 10 maps, frontispiece | 7 x 10 | © 1985

Science and Its Conceptual Foundations series

Biological Sciences: Paleobiology, Geology, and Paleontology

Earth Sciences: Geology

History of Science

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
List of Footnote Abbreviations
Dramatis Personae
Part I - Setting the Score
1. Scientific Research under a Historical Microscope
2. Arenas of Gentlemanly Debate
3. Unraveling the Earth
Part II - The Plot Unfolds
4. Prelude: Unraveling the Greywacke
5. The Controversy Goes Public
6. Taming the Transition
7. Devonshire Put to the Test
8. Interpretative Maneuvers
9. Shifting the Argument
10. Big Books in Collision
11. The Devonian System Reborn
12. Conquering the Continent
13. Creating a Consensus
14. The Devonian Naturalized
Part III - The Action Analyzed
15. The Shape of the Controversy
16. The Shaping of Natural Knowledge

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