This is a study of the American historian and philosopher, E.A. Burtt, who has been described as an "individual thinker...beyond philosophical or historical currents or fashion." Burtt's book, "The Metaphysical Foundations of Modern Physical Science", is something of a puzzle within the context of 20th-century intellectual history, especially American intellectual history, its analysis of the scientific revolution proving prophetic in its rejection of both scientism and positivism. Published in 1924, the book continues to be read in educated circles and remains both the rose and the thorn on university reading lists, raising sceptical questions about science methods and science knowledge just as it did then. This book examines Burtt's public, academic and personal life. From his politics of conscience after World War I on through the cold war, Burtt is shown to be a man of integrity, whose relentless search for philosophic understanding drove his more quixotic philosophical quests and steered his personal life, including its tragic dimension, toward simple virtue.
The many who have been affected by "The Metaphysical Foundations" should be especially interested in this new perspective on the life and thought of its author. Those who have not read Burtt's books might be inspired to study this unusual American thinker.
Series: Boston Studies in the Philosophy and History of Science
Number Of Pages: 300
Published: 28th February 2002
Publisher: Springer-Verlag New York Inc.
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 23.5 x 15.5
Weight (kg): 1.36