Book ID: CBB001251225

Studies on Eighteenth-Century Geology (2011)


Rappaport, Rhoda (Author)
Taylor, Kenneth L. (Editor)
Rudwick, Martin J.S. (Editor)

Ashgate, Variorum

Publication Date: 2011
Physical Details: 366 pp.; ill.; bibl.; index; maps
Language: English

In a scholarly career spanning five decades, Rhoda Rappaport published perceptive analyses of science in the culture of early Modern Europe, France in particular, with strong emphasis on geology's early development. Of the sixteen papers in this volume, most focus on aspects of geology's cultivation during the 'long' 18th century, from the times of Hooke, Leibniz, and Fontenelle to those of Lavoisier, Werner, and Cuvier. Among the topics most closely treated here are the French mineralogical mapping project initiated by Guettard; contemporary efforts to interpret the earth historically (such as through Noah's Flood); and difficulties presented by the vocabulary often used in traditional histories of geology. Much of Rappaport's research addressed two problems prevalent within 18th-century earth science: the proper understanding of petrifactions, or fossil objects; and struggles to establish reliable knowledge of the earth's past. She also examined the chemistry of G.-F. Rouelle, which she saw as effectively an attempt at systematic comprehension of the entire mineral realm; trans-national features of scientific pursuits as illustrated in the careers of the naturalist Vallisneri and the mineralogist (and philosophe) d'Holbach; and aspects of science's promotion in France through government patronage and academic privilege.


Description Includes 16 papers dealing with the search to understand fossils and establish reliable knowledge of the earth's past during the long 18th century.

Reviewed By

Review Bork, Kennard (2012) Review of "Studies on Eighteenth-Century Geology". Earth Sciences History: Journal of the History of the Earth Sciences Society (pp. 151-153). unapi

Essay Review Oldroyd, David (2012) Early Geology in Focus. Metascience: An International Review Journal for the History, Philosophy and Social Studies of Science (pp. 569-573). unapi

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Authors & Contributors
Beretta, Marco
Lehman, Christine
Cailleux, André
Niderst, Alain
Ellenberger, François
Pujol, Stéphane
Ambix: Journal of the Society for the History of Alchemy and Chemistry
Revue d'Histoire des Sciences
Studies on Voltaire and the Eighteenth Century
Histoire et Nature
Nuncius: Annali di Storia della Scienza
Annals of Science: The History of Science and Technology
Office for Official Publications of the European Communities
University of Toronto Press
Science education and teaching
Rouelle, Guillaume-François
Fontenelle, Bernard Le Bovier de
Lavoisier, Antoine Laurent
Guettard, Jean-Étienne
Venel, Gabriel François
Pluche, Noël Antoine
Time Periods
18th century
17th century
Early modern
19th century
20th century
16th century
North America: United States; Canada
Académie des Sciences, Paris
Académie Royale des Sciences (France)
Accademia del Cimento, Florence
Prussian Academy of Sciences

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