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Drifting Continents and Shifting Theories - H. E. Le Grand

Drifting Continents and Shifting Theories

Paperback Published: 13th February 1989
ISBN: 9780521311052
Number Of Pages: 320

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This innovative book uses the story of how a modern science achieved its present shape and focus to introduce the question of the nature of scientific change and its philosophical analysis. The "modern revolution in geology" of the 1960s and 1970s saw the triumph of the global theory of plate tectonics, and decisive turning point in fifty years' controversy and competition first sparked in 1912 by Wegener's proposal of continenta drift. Here, Professor Le Grand interweaves a history of this episode of scientific change with reflective discussions of its historical, philosophical, and social circumstances, and of the development of science more generally. The approach of the book is exploratory; the reader is encouraged to be an active participant--to use the historical narrative to understand and criticize some of the more recent, influential ideas about science and scientists, to draw conclusions, and especially to pose questions about how and why changes occur in scientific knowledge and practice.

' omer Le Grand's new treatment of the history of continental drift gives an excellent account of this fascinating chapter of modern scientific change ... it is warmly recommended to earth scientists of all shades.' Physics of the Earth and Planetary Interiors

Acknowledgementsp. v
Introductionp. 1
Solid as a rock? Geology before Wegenerp. 17
Wegener and his theory: antecedents and argumentsp. 37
Debate around the earthp. 55
Specialties, localism and problem-solvingp. 80
Interregnum: competion and stalematep. 100
Palacomagnetism, Drift and polar wanderingp. 138
Patterns and puzzles from the seap. 170
Shifting theoriesp. 188
The 'revolution' proclaimedp. 229
Theories of scientific change and the modern revolution in geologyp. 267
Bibliographyp. 279
Indexp. 305
Table of Contents provided by Syndetics. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780521311052
ISBN-10: 0521311055
Audience: Tertiary; University or College
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 320
Published: 13th February 1989
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 22.8 x 15.2  x 1.8
Weight (kg): 0.41