The Microscope in the Dutch Republic: The Shaping of Discovery

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Cambridge University Press, 1996 - Science - 348 pages
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Focusing on the two seventeenth-century pioneers of microscopic discovery, the Dutchmen Jan Swammerdam and Antoni van Leeuwenhoek, the author demonstrates that their uneasiness with their social circumstances spurred their discoveries. Ruestow argues that while aspects of Dutch culture impeded serious research with the microscope, the contemporary culture shaped how Swammerdam and Leeuwenhoek responded to what they saw through the lens. For those interested in the history of science, this book considers the impact of institutionalization on microscopic research, and dissects the cultural, social and emotional circumstances that shaped early microscopic discovery.
 

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Contents

Of Light Lenses and Glass Beads
6
Seeming Invitations
37
Obstacles
61
Discovery Preempted
81
Swammerdam
105
Leeuwenhoek I A Clever Burgher
146
Leeuwenhoek II Images and Ideas
175
Generation I Turning against a Tradition
201
Generation II The Search for First Beginnings
223
A New World
260
Conclusion
280
References
305
Index
339
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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 1 - I send herewith unto his Majesty the strangest piece of news (as I may justly call it) that he hath ever yet received from any part of the world...
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.

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