Artisan/practitioners and the Rise of the New Sciences, 1400-1600

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Oregon State University Press, 2011 - History - 196 pages
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This book provides the historical background for a central issue in the history of science: the influence of artisans, craftsmen, and other practitioners on the emergent empirical methodologies that characterized the "new sciences" of the late sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Long offers a coherent account and critical revision of the "Zilsel thesis," an influential etiological narrative which argues that such craftsmen were instrumental in bringing about the "Scientific Revolution."

"Artisan/Practitioners" reassesses the issue of artisanal influence from three different perspectives: the perceived relationships between art and nature; the Vitruvian architectural tradition with its appreciation of both theory and practice; and the development of "trading zones"--arenas in which artisans and learned men communicated in substantive ways. These complex social and intellectual developments, the book argues, underlay the development of the empirical sciences.

This volume provides new discussion and synthesis of a theory that encompasses broad developments in European history and study of the natural world. It will be a valuable resource for college-level teaching, and for scholars and others interested in the history of science, late medieval and early modern European history, and the Scientific Revolution.

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Contents

ArtisanPractitioners as an Issue in the History
10
Art Nature and the Culture of Empiricism
30
Artisans Humanists and the De architectura
62
Copyright

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About the author (2011)

Pamela O. Long is an independent historian of premodern European history and the history of science and technology. She has received grants and fellowships from many institutions, including the American Academy in Rome, the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation, and the National Science Foundation. She is a co-director of the Michael of Rhodes Project. She is the author ofOpenness, Secrecy, Authorship: Technical Arts and the Culture of Knowledge from Antiquity to the Renaissanceand co-editor of the Historical Perspectives on Technology, Society and Culture Series.

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