The Sleepwalkers: A History of Man's Changing Vision of the Universe

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Penguin UK, Feb 23, 2017 - Fiction - 624 pages

Arthur Koestler's extraordinary history of humanity's changing vision of the universe

In this masterly synthesis, Arthur Koestler cuts through the sterile distinction between 'sciences' and 'humanities' to bring to life the whole history of cosmology from the Babylonians to Newton. He shows how the tragic split between science and religion arose and how, in particular, the modern world-view replaced the medieval world-view in the scientific revolution of the seventeenth century. He also provides vivid and judicious pen-portraits of a string of great scientists and makes clear the role that political bias and unconscious prejudice played in their creativity.

 

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User Review  - KidSisyphus - LibraryThing

Read this for a graduate course in rationalism. I was particularly impressed by the section dedicated to Kepler, who, I am reminded, essentially wrote the first piece of science fiction waaaay back ... Read full review

Review: The Sleepwalkers: A History of Man's Changing Vision of the Universe

User Review  - Squeaky - Goodreads

One of the best-written books on the history of science. Read full review

Contents

Preface 1968
Introduction 1959
The Harmony of the Spheres
The Earth Adrift
The Failure of Nerve
The Divorce from Reality
Chronological Table to Part
The Walledin Universe
Tycho and Kepler
The Giving of the Laws
Kepler Depressed
Kepler and Galileo
Chaos and Harmony
Computing a Bride
The Last Years
PART FIVE THE PARTING OF THE WAYS

The Universe of the Schoolmen
Chronological Table to Part
The System of Copernicus
Chronological Table to Part Three
PART FOUR THE WATERSHED
The Young Kepler
The Cosmic Mystery
Growing Pains
Tycho de Brahe
The Burden of Proof
The Trial of Galileo
The Newtonian Synthesis
Chronological Table to Parts Four and Five
EPILOGUE
Notes
Selected Bibliography
Acknowledgements Follow Penguin
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