The Microscope in the Dutch Republic: The Shaping of Discovery
Emphasizing the work of Jan Swammerdam and Antoni van Leeuwenhoek, The Microscope in the Dutch Republic dissects the social, cultural, and emotional circumstances that shaped early microscopic discovery. Arguing that the aspects of seventeeth-century Dutch culture widely assumed to have favored the lens actually impeded its serious use, Ruestow focuses on social contexts and on Swammerdam and Leeuwenhoek's social sensibilities as the key source of their commitment to the new instrument. He also analyzes how they drew upon their cultural background to vest microscopic images with meaning, though with strikingly different emphases. Having underscored how their influential contributions to the debates over generation also illustrated the problematic role of early microscopic observations, Ruestow concludes with reflections on the eighteenth-century decline and the nineteenth-century resurgence of microscopic research and the impact of institutionalization.
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Page 319 - Traite de la Structure du Coeur, de son Action, et de ses Maladies (Paris, 1749, 2nd ed., 1777), vols.
Page 2 - ... twixt the greatest and smallest Bodies in Nature, which two Extremes lye equally beyond the reach of human sensation.
Page 1 - Me thinkes my diligent Galileus hath done more in his three fold discoverie than Magellane in openinge the streightes to the South sea or the dutch men that were eaten by beares in Nova Zembla. I am sure with more ease and saftie to him selfe and more pleasure to mee.