Protogaea

Front Cover
University of Chicago Press, Sep 15, 2008 - Science - 216 pages
Protogaea, an ambitious account of terrestrial history, was central to the development of the earth sciences in the eighteenth century and provides key philosophical insights into the unity of Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz’s thought and writings. In the book, Leibniz offers observations about the formation of the earth, the actions of fire and water, the genesis of rocks and minerals, the origins of salts and springs, the formation of fossils, and their identification as the remains of living organisms. Protogaea also includes a series of engraved plates depicting the remains of animals—in particular the famous reconstruction of a “fossil unicorn”—together with a cross section of the cave in which some fossil objects were discovered.
Though the works of Leibniz have been widely translated, Protogaea has languished in its original Latin for centuries. Now Claudine Cohen and Andre Wakefield offer the first English translation of this central text in natural philosophy and natural history. Written between 1691 and 1693, and first published after Leibniz’s death in 1749, Protogaea reemerges in this bilingual edition with an introduction that carefully situates the work within its historical context.
 

What people are saying - Write a review

We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.

Contents

i Preamble
2
iii Different opinions concerning the creation of the globe
4
iv Sea salt fires and cycles of precipitation
8
v The many changes in our globe after its initial creation
10
vi What was the source of the water that covered the earth? And where did it go?
14
vii Bructerus and the origin of springs
18
viii Deposits of metal in the earth and a description of veins
20
ix The generation of minerals explained through chemistry
26
xxix In which a certain lazy ingenuity which invents things alien to truth is rejected
72
xxx Where can the Lüneburg glossopetrae be found?
76
xxxi Glossopetrae are sharks teeth
78
xxxii The medical use of glossopetrae
84
xxxiii Belemnites osteocolla shellfilled stones and fossil ivory
86
xxxiv Bones jaws skulls and teeth found in our region
96
xxxv The unicorns horn and an enormous animal unearthed in Quedlinburg
100
xxxvi Sharzfeld Cave and the bones that have been found in it
104

x Products common to laboratories and mines
30
xi The generation of precious stones natural and artifi cial
32
xii Natural sublimations and the preparation of sal ammoniac
34
xiii It is through fire that metals appear in their proper forms
36
xv Some bodies coalesce in the waters
38
xvii Some things arise from the combined action of heat and water
40
xviii Where do the shapes of various fi sh imprinted on slates come from?
42
xix Earthquakes volcanoes and other things show that there is fire inside our globe
48
xx The forms of fish imprinted on slate come from real fish and are not games of nature
50
xxi The different layers of the earth their locations and the origin of salts and salt waters
54
xxii The origin of mountains and hills explained through waters winds and earthquakes
56
xxiii Marine shells are found throughout our region and elsewhere
58
xxiv The various kinds of shells were not created inside the stone as is evident from their forms and positions
60
xxv The excavated shells and bones of marine animals can be identified as the parts of real animals
64
xxvii Glossopetrae asterias trochites etc are the remains of marine animals and not games of nature
68
xxviii But it is wrong to include the polygonal shapes that can be found in crystals among these
70
xxxvii The Baumann Cave and its contents
108
xxxviii On the nature of amber especially the kind found in our region
114
xxxix Changes wrought by rivers and the vestiges of upheavals in our region
116
xl The struggle between sea and land
118
xli Sea and marsh once covered Venice and Este
120
xlii The marvelous fountains of Modena
122
xliii How Modenas fountains are produced
126
xliv The layers of earth in Rosdorf near Göttingen
128
xlv On buried trees and petrified wood
130
xlvi Peat and its origin
134
xlvii On trees buried underground
138
Text from Friedrich Lachmunds Oryktographia Hildesheimensis 1669
143
Glossary
151
Bibliography
155
Index
165
Copyright

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2008)

Claudine Cohen is professor of the history of science at the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales, Paris, a former member of the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, NJ, and the author of The Fate of the Mammoth: Fossils, Myth, and History, also published by the University of Chicago Press. Andre Wakefield is assistant professor of history at Pitzer College in Claremont, California.

Bibliographic information