The Edge of Objectivity
An Essay in the History of Scientific Ideas
By (author) Charles Coulston Gillispie
Edge of Objectivity by Charles Coulston Gillispie
Book DescriptionFrom Galileo's analysis of motion to the theories of evolution and relativity, Charles Gillispie takes us on a masterly tour of the world of scientific ideas. The history of modern science is portrayed here as the development of objectivity through the study of nature. In the mid-1950s, a young professor at Princeton named Charles Gillispie began teaching Humanities 304, one of the first undergraduate courses offered anywhere in the world on the history of science. From start to finish--Galileo to Einstein--Gillispie introduced the students to the key ideas and individuals in science. The Edge of Objectivity arose out of this course. It must have been a lively class. The Edge of Objectivity is pointed, opinionated, and selective. Even at six hundred pages, the book is, as the title suggests, an essay. Gillispie is unafraid to rate Mendel higher than Darwin, Maxwell above Faraday. Full of wry turns of phrase, the book effectively captures people and places. And throughout the book, Gillispie pushes an argument. He views science as the progressive development of more objective, detached, mathematical ways of viewing the world, and he orchestrates his characters and ideas around this theme. In the forty-five years since the publication of The Edge of Objectivity, historians of science have established a full-fledged discipline. They have focused increasingly on the social context of science rather than its internal dynamics, and they have frequently viewed science more as a threatening instance of power than as an accumulation of knowledge. Nevertheless, Gillispie's book remains a sophisticated, fast-moving, idiosyncratic account of the development of scientific ideas over four hundred years, by one of the founding intellects in the history of science.
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Book DetailsISBN: 9780691023502
(203mm x 127mm x 33mm)
Imprint: Princeton University Press
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Publish Date: 1-Nov-1966
Country of Publication: United States
Books By Author Charles Coulston Gillispie
Science and Polity in France, Paperback (July 2004)
By the end of the eighteenth century, the French dominated the world of science. And although science and politics had little to do with each other directly, there were increasingly frequent intersections. This is a study of those transactions between science and state, knowledge and power - on the eve of the French Revolution.
Pierre-Simon Laplace, 1749-1827, Paperback (February 2000)» View all books by Charles Coulston Gillispie
Pierre-Simon Laplace was among the nfluential scientists in history. This book traces the development of Laplace's research program and of his participation in the Academy of Science during the last decades of the Old Regime into the early years of the French Revolution.
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