Time in History: Views of Time from Prehistory to the Present Day

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Oxford University Press, 1989 - Science - 217 pages
2 Reviews
Never before has time obsessed humanity as much as now. The more accurately we measure it, the more it worries us. Although we complain that it passes too quickly, we seldom question its fundamental characteristics or the methods we use to measure it.
Having grown so accustomed to the ideas of time, history, and evolution, we find it hard to imagine that these concepts were not always considered important. If, however, we wish to understand why time dominates our way of life and thought, we must examine the role it has played throughout history.
G.J. Whitrow provides just the study we need. His compelling, groundbreaking volume traces the evolution of our general awareness of time and its significance from the dawn of history to the present day. He examines not only the development of our methods of measuring time, but also discusses how changing concepts of time have influenced history itself. From prehistoric times to the twentieth century, and ranging from Ancient Egypt, Greece, Israel, the Islamic World, India, and China, to Europe and America, Whitrow presents an absorbing account of the different ways that various civilizations throughout history have perceived time.
 

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Contents

Awareness of Time
3
Describing Time
11
Time at the Dawn of History
21
Time in Classical Antiquity
37
Time in the Middle Ages
71
Time in the Far East and Mesoamerica
87
The Advent of the Mechanical Clock
99
Time and History in the Renaissance and the Scientific
115
Time and History in the Eighteenth Century
139
Evolution and the Industrial Revolution
152
Rival Concepts of Time
170
Time History and Progess
177
Appendices
187
References
194
Index
207
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About the author (1989)


About the Author:
G.J. Whitrow is Emeritus Professor at the University of London and Senior Research Fellow of the Imperial College of Science and Technology, London. He is the author of The Natural Philosophy of Time.

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