Higher Education

Natural Science in Western History, 1st Edition

  • Frederick Gregory University of Florida
  • ISBN-10: 0618224106  |  ISBN-13: 9780618224104
  • 656 Pages
  • © 2007 | Published
  • College Bookstore Wholesale Price = $113.25



Natural Science in Western History provides an up-to-date and comprehensive survey of western science from ancient times through the Enlightenment to the present. Author Frederick Gregory, past president of the History of Science Society, applies his expertise in teaching the history of science to this thorough and visually interesting survey. Numerous photographs and line drawings throughout this dynamic text illustrate some of the more complex scientific principles. Every chapter discusses a philosophical topic in the history of western science, including such topics as science vs. magic, mathematics vs. nature, and evolution vs. natural selection.

Features and Benefits

  • Twenty-seven boxed features cover philosophical topics in the history of western science. Each chapter covers topics such as the challenge of objectivity, the fate of the Enlightenment agenda, and the science wars as holy wars.
  • An abundance of photographs and illustrations clarify complex scientific principles in this visually stimulating survey.
  • Author Frederick Gregory's comprehensive survey spans the history of western science and presents up-to-date material in a compelling format.

Table of Contents

Note: Each chapter contains Suggestions for Reading.
1. The Ancient Western Heritage
Nature in Ancient Civilizations
The Cosmos of Plato and Aristotle
The Greek Heritage in Natural Philosophy After Aristotle
The Nature of Science: The Problem with Ptolemy''s Equant
2. Learning in the Middle Ages
Transmission of Greek Learning to the Near East
Revitalization of Intellectual Pursuits in the West
The Assimilation of Ancient Knowledge of Nature
The Nature of Science: Delimiting Faith and Reason
Late Medieval Natural Philosophy
3. Early Modern Innovations
Recasting the Medieval Intellectual Heritage
The Nature of Science: Magic and Science
The Impact of Printing
Expanding Geographical Horizons
4. The Renaissance of Natural Knowledge
The Study of the Human Body
Natural History: Animals, Vegetables, Minerals
The World of Copernicus
The Nature of Science: Osiander and the Motion of the Earth
5. Heliocentrism Considered
The Immediate Reception of Copernican Heliocentrism
Tycho Brahe and the Copernican Theory
Johannes Kepler''s Heliocentrism
The Nature of Science: Science and Mysticism
The Status of Heliocentrism
6. Galileo Galilei: Heliocentrism Gains a Champion
Galileo''s Early Career
The Nature of Science: Mathematics and Nature
Court Philosopher
The Path to Conflict
Last Years
7. Natural Philosophy Transformed
British Conceptions
French Ideas on Matter and Motion
The Question of Materialism
The Mechanical Philosophy in Britain
The Nature of Science: The Vulnerability of Experiment
A Scientific Revolution?
8. Isaac Newton: A Highpoint of Scientific Change
The Background to Newton''s Achievement
Newton''s Central Interests
The Nature of Science: The Status of Newton''s Proof
Fame and Power
9. The Newtonianism, the Earth, and the Universe During the Eighteenth Century
The Rise of Newtonianism
An Expanding Cosmos
The Nature of Science: Was Newton Right About Hypotheses?
The Earth as a Cosmic Body
10. The Emergence of Chemical Science
"Chymistry" in the Seventeenth Century
German Rational Chemistry
British Contributors
The New French Chemistry
The Nature of Science: The Challenge of Objectivity
11. The Nature of Electrical Fire
The Historical Legacy of Electricity and Magnetism
Gathering Information: Early Eighteenth-Century Experiments
Erecting Theories: What Is Electricity?
The Nature of Science: Must Theories Be Faultless to Succeed?
12. The Organization and Growth of Living Things
How Living Things Are Arranged
The World of Carl Linnaeus
The Nature of Science: The Subtleties of Classification
New Ideas Challenging the Fixity of Species
How Living Things Grow
13. Understanding and Treating Illness
Healers in the Eighteenth Century
Understanding Health and Disease
New Directions in Medicine
The Nature of Science: Why Mesmerism Failed
Medicine and the New Century
14. The Watershed of the Enlightenment
The Transformation of Life and Society
Enlightenment Intellectual Culture
The Fate of Reason
The Nature of Science: The Fate of the Enlightenment Agenda
The End of the Enlightenment
15. Science, Revolution, and Reaction
Weathering the Storm in France
The Reaction to Eighteenth-Century Change
The Nature of Science: Do Investigators of Nature See What They''re Looking For?
16. An Era of Many Forces
Investigating Nature''s Mysterious Forces
The Nature of Science: Lasting Disagreements in Science
New Institutions of Natural Science
17. New Ideas About Life and Its Past
The Romantic Understanding of the History of Living Things
Evolutionary Controversies in France
The Nature of Science: Purpose, Mechanism, and Law in Science
British Catastrophism
18. Evolution Comes into Its Own
Charles Darwin''s Early Life and Education
A Formative Period for Evolution
The Making of Darwin''s Origin
The Nature of Science: Cultural Influence on the Formation of Theory
19. The Aftermath of the Origin
The Immediate Reception of the Origin of Species
Scientific Objections to Darwin''s Theory
Religious Considerations
The Nature of Science: Evolution, God, and Nature
Implications for Social and Political Philosophy
20. Matter, Energy, and the Emerging Spirit of Realism
New Directions in Understanding Matter
Thermodynamics and the Future
The Power of Classical Mechanics
The Nature of Science: How Seriously Should We Take Models?
The Flowering of Scientific Materialism
Medicine Becomes Scientific
An Age of Realism
21. The Erosion of Realism
The Changing Structure of Order
The Enigma of the Ether
Unrealistic Radiation
The Nature of Science: Is Light a Particle?
22. The Changing Contours of Biology
The New Physiology
Heredity Reconsidered
Competing Ideas of Evolution
The Nature of Science: Evolution Versus Natural Selection
Turn-of-the-Century Debates About Darwinism
23. The Synthesis of Biological Issues
Genetics and the Resurgence of Darwinism
The Nature of Science: Idea and Reality in Population Thinking
Human Evolution
The Rejection of Lamarckism
Molecular Biology
24. Earth in the Balance
The Earth''s Dynamic Surface
Framing a Science of Ecology
The Nature of Science: Are Humans the Problem and the Solution?
Environmental Science Comes of Age
25. The Changing Worlds of the Large and Small
A Changing Universe
The Quantum Mechanical Explanation of the Atom
The Nature of Science: Quantum Mechanics and the Nature of Knowledge
Toward a More Dangerous World
26. The Nuclear Age
The Path to the Atomic Bomb
The Politics of High Energy
The Nature of Science: Science and Morality
Nuclear Fears
27. Ongoing Issues
The Physical Sciences
The Biological Sciences
Understanding the Nature of Science
The Nature of Science: The Science Wars
The Challenge Ahead