The Beginnings of Western Science: The European Scientific Tradition in Philosophical, Religious, and Institutional Context, 600 B.C. to A.D. 1450

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University of Chicago Press, 1992 - Science - 455 pages
17 Reviews
This landmark book represents the first attempt in two decades to survey the science of the ancient world, the first attempt in four decades to write a comprehensive history of medieval science, and the first attempt ever to present a full, unified account of both ancient and medieval science in a single volume. In The Beginnings of Western Science, David C. Lindberg provides a rich chronicle of the development of scientific ideas, practices, and institutions from the pre-Socratic Greek philosophers to the late-medieval scholastics.

Lindberg surveys all the most important themes in the history of ancient and medieval science, including developments in cosmology, astronomy, mechanics, optics, alchemy, natural history, and medicine. He synthesizes a wealth of information in superbly organized, clearly written chapters designed to serve students, scholars, and nonspecialists alike. In addition, Lindberg offers an illuminating account of the transmission of Greek science to medieval Islam and subsequently to medieval Europe. And throughout the book he pays close attention to the cultural and institutional contexts within which scientific knowledge was created and disseminated and to the ways in which the content and practice of science were influenced by interaction with philosophy and religion. Carefully selected maps, drawings, and photographs complement the text.

Lindberg's story rests on a large body of important scholarship produced by historians of science, philosophy, and religion over the past few decades. However, Lindberg does not hesitate to offer new interpretations and to hazard fresh judgments aimed at resolving long-standing historical disputes. Addressed to the general educated reader as well as to students, his book will also appeal to any scholar whose interests touch on the history of the scientific enterprise.

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Review: The Beginnings of Western Science: The European Scientific Tradition in Philosophical, Religious, and Institutional Context, 600 BC to AD 1450

User Review  - Ahmad Ardy - Goodreads

Scholarly written, and ends with a bang. But the writings in between the different chapter doesnt add up to a bigger whole. Felt more of like a series of essays. Probably the author intended it for ... Read full review

Review: The Beginnings of Western Science: The European Scientific Tradition in Philosophical, Religious, and Institutional Context, 600 BC to AD 1450

User Review  - AskHistorians - Goodreads

The best, most comprehensive introduction to the history of science in the ancient and medieval West. Aimed at undergraduates and non-specialists, with careful explanations of ideas and the social contexts in which they evolved. Read full review

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About the author (1992)

David C. Lindberg (1935-2015) was the Hilldale Professor Emeritus of the History of Science at the University of Wisconsin–Madison and past-president of the History of Science Society. His scholarship focused on the history of medieval and early modern science, especially physical science and the relationship between religion and science. He was the author or editor of many books, several of which were published by the University of Chicago Press.

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