Autonomous Nature investigates the history of nature as an active, often unruly force in tension with nature as a rational, logical order from ancient times to the Scientific Revolution of the seventeenth century. Along with subsequent advances in mechanics, hydrodynamics, thermodynamics, and electromagnetism, nature came to be perceived as an orderly, rational, physical world that could be engineered, controlled, and managed. Autonomous Nature focuses on the history of unpredictability, why it was a problem for the ancient world through the Scientific Revolution, and why it is a problem for today. The work is set in the context of vignettes about unpredictable events such as the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius, the Bubonic Plague, the Lisbon Earthquake, and efforts to understand and predict the weather and natural disasters. This book is ideal text for courses on the environment, environmental history, history of science, or the philosophy of science.Über den Autor:
Carolyn Merchant is Professor of Environmental History, Philosophy, and Ethics at the University of California, Berkeley. She is the author of ten books including The Death of Nature: Women, Ecology, and the Scientific Revolution; Ecological Revolutions: Nature, Gender, and Science in New England; and Reinventing Eden: The Fate of Nature in Western Culture. She has published over 100 single authored research articles. She has been a Guggenheim fellow, a fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences, Stanford, a fellow at the National Humanities Center, Research Triangle Park, North Carolina, and a member of the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton. She has presented over 350 lectures in the United States, Canada, Europe, Brazil, and Australia.
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