Book ID: CBB001510106

In the Light of Science: Our Ancient Quest for Knowledge and the Measure of Modern Physics (2014)


Nicolaides, Demetris (Author)

Prometheus Books

Publication Date: 2014
Physical Details: 266 pp.; bibl.; index
Language: English

The birth of science in ancient Greece had a historical impact that is still being felt today. Physicist Demetris Nicolaides examines the epochal shift in thinking that led pre-Socratic philosophers of the sixth and fifth centuries BCE to abandon the prevailing mythologies of the age and, for the first time, to analyze the natural world in terms of impersonal, rationally understood principles. He argues not only that their conceptual breakthroughs anticipated much of later science but that scientists of the twenty-first century are still grappling with the fundamental problems raised twenty-five hundred years ago. Looking at the vast sweep of human history, the author delves into the factors that led to the birth of science: urbanization, the role of religion, and in Greece a progressive intellectual curiosity that was unafraid to question tradition. Why did the first scientific approach to understanding the world take place in Greece? The author makes a convincing case that, aside from factors of geography and politics, the power of the Greek language and a cultural proclivity for critical thinking played a large role. In the Light of Science is a unique approach to the history of science revealing the important links between the ancient past and the present scientific endeavor to understand the universe.

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Authors & Contributors
Morel, Pierre-Marie
Pradeau, Jean-Françoise
Acerbi, Fabio
Sherry, David M.
Paczkowski, Przemsław
Laks, André
Studies in History and Philosophy of Science
Apeiron: Journal for Ancient Philosophy and Science
Archive for History of Exact Sciences
Organon: International Review
Kwartalnik Historii Nauki i Techniki
Ancient Philosophy
Carocci Editore
Université Marc Bloch
Editions Peeters
University of Toronto Press
Oxford University Press
Cambridge University Press
Pre-Socratic philosophers
Science and religion
Anaxagoras of Clazomenae
Thales of Miletus
Empedocles of Agrigentum
Middle and Near East
Hellenistic world
Alexandria (Egypt)
Mediterranean region
20th century
21st century
10th century
5th century

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