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The Social Origins of Modern Science : Boston Studies in the Philosophy and History of Science - P. Zilsel

The Social Origins of Modern Science

Boston Studies in the Philosophy and History of Science

By: P. Zilsel, Diederick Raven (Editor), Wolfgang Krohn (Editor), Robert S. Cohen (Editor)

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Published: 31st July 2003
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This work makes available in a single volume all the important historical essays Edgar Zilsel (1891-1944) published during WWII on the emergence of modern science. This edition also contains one previously unpublished essay and an extended version of an essay published earlier. In these essays, Zilsel developed the now famous thesis, named after him, that science came into being when, in the late Middle Ages, the social barriers between the intellectuals and the artisans were eroded, due to the fact that the rapidly expanding commercial classes of that period had a keen interest in improvements in technology. This class was city-based and stimulated a social environment in which men of learning came to regard the craftsmen and technicians with a new respect, in which they no longer felt any contempt for manual work and in which theory and practice were eventually combined to produce modern science. This critical edition also carries a long introduction in which much new material about Zilsel's life and work is presented. It suggests that a radical new look at Zilsel's project needs to be taken. Zilsel's essays on the history of science look like a standard case study to substantiate a particular position on the origins of modern science, but they were also an attempt to show that lawlike explanation in history and social theory is possible. It is claimed that Zilsel's historical essays were a part of another project he was working on which focused on the idea that social phenomena were open to causal explanation as much as physical phenomena. Hence the volume also contains the essays Zilsel wrote in relation to this other project. Previously there have been published a German and an Italian edition of the Zilsel essays. This edition is the first in English; compared to the other two editions this one is the first that includes unpublished material and the first to undertake a serious effort to research Zilsel's life and work. What is special about this volume is the well-articulated social perspective it takes on the origins of modern science.

Preface; R.S. Cohen
Foreword; J. Needham
Origin of the Essays
A Note of the Use of Archive Material
Acknowledgements
Editorial Policy
Introduction: Edgar Zilsel: His Life and Work (1891-1944)
The Social Origins of Modern Science
The Social Roots of Science
The Sociological Roots of Science
The Methods of Humanism
Remarks on Zilsel's `The Methods of Humanism'
The Origins of William Gilbert's Scientific Method
The Genesis of the Concept of Physical Law
Copernicus and Mechanics
The Genesis of the Concept of Scientific Progress and Cooperation
Problems of Empiricism
Physics and the Problem of Historico-sociological Laws
Phenomenology and Natural Science
Concerning `Phenomenology and Natural Science'
History and Biological Evolution
Science and the Humanistic Studies
Appendices
The Sociological Roots of Science
Laws of Nature and Historical Laws
Bibliography of Works Cited by Zilsel
Bibliography of Edgar Zilsel's Works With a Bibliography of Secondary Literature Concerning Zilsel
Index of names
Index of topics
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9781402013591
ISBN-10: 1402013590
Series: Boston Studies in the Philosophy and History of Science : Book 200
Audience: Professional
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 267
Published: 31st July 2003
Publisher: Springer-Verlag New York Inc.
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 24.0 x 16.0  x 1.75
Weight (kg): 1.03
Edition Type: New edition