Thematic Origins of Scientific Thought: Kepler to Einstein by Gerald Holton

By Gerald Holton

The hugely acclaimed first version of this significant paintings convincingly confirmed Gerald Holton's research of the methods medical principles evolve. His proposal of “themata,” triggered from case stories with specific cognizance to the paintings of Einstein, has develop into one of many leader instruments for realizing clinical development. it truly is now one of many major techniques within the learn of the initiation and popularity of person clinical insights.

Three relevant outcomes of this angle expand past the research of the historical past of technological know-how itself. It offers philosophers of technological know-how with the type of uncooked fabric on which the superior paintings of their box is predicated. It is helping highbrow historians to redefine where of recent technology in modern tradition through deciding upon affects at the medical mind's eye. And it activates educators to reexamine the normal ideas of schooling in science.

In this new version, Holton has masterfully reshaped the contents and widened the insurance. major new fabric has been additional, together with a penetrating account of the appearance of quantum physics within the usa, and a vast attention of the integrity of technology, as exemplified within the paintings of Niels Bohr. additionally, a revised advent and a brand new postscript offer an up-to-date viewpoint at the position of themata. the results of this thoroughgoing revision is an quintessential quantity for students and scholars of medical notion and highbrow history.

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19 In sum m ary: from the beginning to the present day, science has been shaped and m ade m eaningful n ot only by its specific, detailed findings, but even m ore fundam entally by its them atic content. T h e reigning themata until about the m id-nineteenth century have been expressed m ost characteristically by the m andala o f a static, hom ocentric, hier­ archically ordered, harm oniously arranged cosmos, rendered in sharply 35 delineated lines as in those o f C opernicus’ s ow n hand-draw ing.

The parallelogram law o f com position o f fo r c e s ), rather than, fo r exam ple, the m athem atics o f scalar quantities. N ow consider a proposition (a hypothesis, or a law ) : the law o f uni­ versal gravitation has an em pirical dim ension or x-com p on en t— fo r ex­ am ple, the observation in the Cavendish experim ent w here massive o b ­ jects are “ seen” to “ attract” and w here this m utual effect is measured. A n d the law o f universal gravitation has an analytical or y-com ponen t, the vector-calculus rules fo r the m anipulation o f forces in Euclidean space.

11. In this way we may possibly have been hoping to return to the primitive or childlike state of Einheitswirklichkeit, a primitive Ganzheitserfahrung der grossen Welt as against the later-learned Ich-Welt, the fragmented Partialwelt, or Objektwelt, to use the terms o f Erich Neumann in D er Schöpferische M ensch (Zurich: Rhein-Verlag, 1959), pp. 105-109. 12. , 1905), p. 12. 13. David Hume. T he H istory of E ngland , Volume 8 (1773), p. 332. 14. Karl R. Popper, T he L ogic of Scientific D iscovery (London: Hutchinson, 1959), p.

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