Baroque Science

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9780226923987: Baroque Science

"Gal and Chen-Morris's book shows with some originality how scientists unpicked entrenched beliefs and replaced them with a new science and a new world view. A study of spectacles in medieval paintings provides a fascinating insight into how such aids were perceived in relation to the 'truth' imparted by the naked eye. The handling of Hooke's hesitation to apply the inverse square law to planetary orbits is equally absorbing, keenly revealing the tentative, painstaking deliberations that scientists of the time were engaged in. And the endeavours of Galileo and Kepler to deduce the 'perfect' mathematical laws of nature are insightfully contrasted to Isaac Newton's calm acceptance of an 'imperfect' universe and the crucial role of approximations."--Nicola K. S. Davis "Times Literary Supplement "


"In one sense Gal and Chen-Morris have given us a traditional intellectual history of the development of seventeenth-century science. They concentrate on showing us how the giants of the period moved mathematics, astronomy, optics, and physics forward. But they have developed an interesting twist. Their view of the science of this period as Baroque shows us that that science did not develop linearly, nor was it inevitable. Gal and Chen-Morris effectively describe the strangeness, the paradoxes, and the leaps of imagination that played crucial roles."--Sheila J. Rabin, Saint Peter s University "Renaissance Quarterly ""

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