The Scientific Revolution

University of Chicago Press
2
Free sample

“There was no such thing as the Scientific Revolution, and this is a book about it.” With this provocative and apparently paradoxical claim, Steven Shapin begins his bold, vibrant exploration of the origins of the modern scientific worldview, now updated with a new bibliographic essay featuring the latest scholarship.

“An excellent book.”—Anthony Gottlieb, New York Times Book Review

“Timely and highly readable. . . . A book which every scientist curious about our predecessors should read.”—Trevor Pinch, New Scientist

“Shapin's account is informed, nuanced, and articulated with clarity. . . . This is not to attack or devalue science but to reveal its richness as the human endeavor that it most surely is. . . . Shapin's book is an impressive achievement.”—David C. Lindberg, Science

“It's hard to believe that there could be a more accessible, informed or concise account. . . . The Scientific Revolution should be a set text in all the disciplines. And in all the indisciplines, too.”—Adam Phillips, London Review of Books
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About the author

Steven Shapin is the Franklin L. Ford Research Professor of the History of Science at Harvard University. His books include Leviathan and the Air-Pump (with Simon Schaffer), A Social History of Truth: Civility and Science in Seventeenth-Century England, and The Scientific Life: A Moral History of a Late Modern Vocation.
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4.5
2 total
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Additional Information

Publisher
University of Chicago Press
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Published on
Nov 5, 2018
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Pages
256
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ISBN
9780226398488
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Language
English
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Genres
History / Europe / General
History / Europe / Great Britain / Stuart Era (1603-1714)
History / Europe / Renaissance
Science / General
Science / History
Technology & Engineering / History
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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Who are scientists? What kind of people are they? What capacities and virtues are thought to stand behind their considerable authority? They are experts—indeed, highly respected experts—authorized to describe and interpret the natural world and widely trusted to help transform knowledge into power and profit. But are they morally different from other people? The Scientific Life is historian Steven Shapin’s story about who scientists are, who we think they are, and why our sensibilities about such things matter.
Conventional wisdom has long held that scientists are neither better nor worse than anyone else, that personal virtue does not necessarily accompany technical expertise, and that scientific practice is profoundly impersonal. Shapin, however, here shows how the uncertainties attending scientific research make the virtues of individual researchers intrinsic to scientific work. From the early twentieth-century origins of corporate research laboratories to the high-flying scientific entrepreneurship of the present, Shapin argues that the radical uncertainties of much contemporary science have made personal virtues more central to its practice than ever before, and he also reveals how radically novel aspects of late modern science have unexpectedly deep historical roots. His elegantly conceived history of the scientific career and character ultimately encourages us to reconsider the very nature of the technical and moral worlds in which we now live.
Building on the insights of Shapin’s last three influential books, featuring an utterly fascinating cast of characters, and brimming with bold and original claims, The Scientific Life is essential reading for anyone wanting to reflect on late modern American culture and how it has been shaped.
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