By James A. Secord
While political and social occasions shook continental Europe, clinical advancements have been altering the best way we understood the realm. on the top of this transformation a sequence of exceptional books approximately technology have been released. In Visions of Science, Jim Secord explores a variety of those titles and the way they have been acquired, disseminated, and trendy.
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A special method of the philosophy of technology that specializes in the liveliest and most vital controversies surrounding science
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The writer tackles such stimulating questions as: Can technology meet the demanding situations of skeptics? may still technology handle questions generally reserved for philosophy and faith? additional, does technology depart room for human values, unfastened will, and ethical responsibility?
Written in an available, jargon-free kind, the textual content succinctly provides advanced rules in an simply comprehensible model. through the use of a number of examples taken from different parts similar to evolutionary conception, paleontology, and astronomy, the writer piques readers' interest in present medical controversies. Concise bibliographic essays on the finish of every bankruptcy invite readers to pattern principles varied from those provided within the textual content and to discover the diversity of evaluations on every one topic.
Rigorous but hugely readable, this wonderful invitation to the philosophy of technology makes a resounding case that realizing the character of technology is vital for knowing existence itself.
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Extra resources for Visions of Science: Books and Readers at the Dawn of the Victorian Age
19 Following Constable’s example, John Murray published a ‘Family Library’ in volumes and Longman issued a -volume Cyclopaedia. Such books were cheap by the standards of the larger formats that had previously dominated the trade, but the price still put them out of the reach of all but the wealthiest per cent of the population. They were, however, staples of subscription libraries such as the one addressed by Herschel. 20 vis io ns o f s ci en ce These transformations in publishing were accompanied by a remarkable ﬂuidity in the boundaries between different types of writing.
Davy, the most celebrated man of science of his day, saw his book as a ﬁnal testament, an intervention in the debates that were tearing Britain apart as he lay on his deathbed. He supported parliamentary reform, but unlike Herschel and Knight condemned the diffusion of knowledge among the people as fundamentally mistaken. Consolations addresses an imagined clerisy of elite readers who could take society in a new direction. It is a series of dialogues on the progress of human life, the deep past of the earth, the relation between spirit and matter, the role of the man of knowledge, and the nature of a future state.
In Volney’s vision, kingcraft and priestcraft will pass away, to be replaced by a faith uniﬁed around a God known not through Scripture or dogma, but the laws of nature. The Ruins appeared at the height of the revolution in France, which it sees as the culminating event of global history. Particularly with its appended The Law of Nature, the French revolutionary catechism, Ruins became a classic of freethinking religion, among the most widely circulated and reviled books of the early nineteenth century.
Visions of Science: Books and Readers at the Dawn of the Victorian Age by James A. Secord