The Genesis of Science by Stephen Bertman
Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. Historians often look to ancient Greece as the wellspring of Western civilization. Perhaps the most ingenious achievement of the Hellenic mind was the early development of the sciences. What was it about the Greeks, as opposed to the far older civilizations of Egypt, Mesopotamia, India, and China, that gave rise to the uniquely Western, scientific mindset?
This author explores this intriguing question in this authoritative yet accessible and eloquently told story about the origins of science.
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Going beyond individual Greek discoveries in the various branches of science, Bertman emphasizes why these early investigators were able to achieve what they did. Focusing on ten different branches of science, the author shows why the Greeks gravitated to each specialty and explains the fascinating theories they developed, the brilliant experiments they performed, and the practical applications of their discoveries.
This lively narrative captures the Greek genius and demonstrates the indelible influence of their discoveries on modern science and technology. Get A Copy.
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Community Reviews. Showing The discipline of mathematics now covers - in addition to the more or less standard fields of number theory, algebra, geometry, analysis calculus , mathematical logic and set theory, and more applied mathematics such as probability theory and statistics - a bewildering array of specialized areas and fields of study, including group theory, order theory, knot theory, sheaf theory, topology, differential geometry, fractal geometry, graph theory, functional analysis, complex analysis, singularity theory, catastrophe theory, chaos theory, measure theory, model theory, category theory, control theory, game theory, complexity theory and many more.
This is not intended as a comprehensive and definitive guide to all of mathematics, but as an easy-to-use summary of the major mathematicians and the developments of mathematical thought over the centuries. It is not intended for mathematicians, but for the interested laity like myself.
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My intention is to introduce some of the major thinkers and some of the most important advances in mathematics, without getting too technical or getting bogged down in too much detail, either biographical or computational. Explanations of any mathematical concepts and theorems will be generally simplified, the emphasis being on clarity and perspective rather than exhaustive detail. It is beyond the scope is this study to discuss every single mathematician who has made significant contributions to the subject, just as it is impossible to describe all aspects of a discipline as huge in its scope as mathematics.
The choice of what to include and exclude is my own personal one, so please forgive me if your favourite mathematician is not included or not dealt with in any detail. The aforementioned Eratosthenes' calculation as to the Earth's circumference is about the only such elucidation of how the deduction was made. Could we not have had a couple of pages on how Aristarchus deduced the sizes of the Sun and Moon?
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It is, after all, positively cruel to refer a science puzzle to potential scientist readers and then not give the answer! I would also have liked to have seen how the Greeks were placed in the broader sweep of human history and the timeline from the discovery of fire, to the use of writing and mathematical notation, to the Greeks and then the rising of modern scientific method proper. This timeline could have been included in his rather useful reference appendix 'The Hellenic Hall of Fame'.
It is a shame that the author did not go the extra mile and so transform an interesting book about science's early roots into a work that was a more significant analysis.
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Nonetheless, the author has given us an interesting and informative look at the early germination of what was to flower into real science and it is the sort of book that any science-phile would enjoy, if not cherish, to have on their bookshelves.
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