XWe have detected your location as outside the U.S/Canada, if you think this is wrong, you can choose your location.

Macmillan Higher Education Palgrave Higher Education

A Short History of Scientific Thought

ISBN 9780230019423
Publication Date December 2011
Formats Hardcover Paperback 
Publisher Palgrave

A highly readable historical survey of the major developments in scientific thought and the impact of science on western culture, from ancient times through to the twentieth century. Organised chronologically, the book explores the history of studies of the natural world, and man's role within that world, in a single volume.

  • Winner of the CHOICE Outstanding Academic Titles of 2012

JOHN HENRY Professor of the History of Science at the University of Edinburgh, UK. He has published widely in the history of science from the sixteenth to the nineteenth centuries, including The Scientific Revolution and the Origins of Modern Science, now in its third edition.

Setting the Scene
Plato and Aristotle
From the Roman Empire to the Empire of Islam
The Western Middle Ages
The Renaissance
Nicholas Copernicus and a New World
New Methods of Science
Bringing Mathematics and Natural Philosophy Together: Johannes Kepler
Mathematics and Mechanics: Galileo Galilei
Practice and Theory in Renaissance Medicine: William Harvey and the Circulation of the Blood
The Spirit of System: René Descartes and the Mechanical Philosophy
The Royal Society and Experimental Philosophy
Experiment, Mathematics, and Magic: Isaac Newton
Newton's Legacy: Forces and Fluids (electricity and heat)
The Chemical Revolution: From Newton to John Dalton, via Priestley and Lavoisier
Natural Theology and Natural Order: Newtonian Optimism and the History of Science
The Making of Geology: From James Hutton to Charles Lyell via Catastrophism
The History of Plants and Animals: Successive Emergence or Evolution?
Religion and Progress in Victorian Britain: Robert Chambers versus Hugh Miller
Bringing it All Together?: Charles Darwin's Evolution
Darwinian Aftermaths: Religion; Social Science; Biology
Beyond Newton: Energy and Thermodynamics
Newton Deposed: Einstein and Relativity Theory
Mathematics Instead of a World Picture: From Atomism to Quantum Theory


'A wide-ranging history of scientific thought, with a judicious selection of carefully explained topics. It is clear throughout that the work is based on extensive and deep knowledge of the field....an excellent text' - David Philip Miller, Professor of History & Philosophy of Science, University of New South Wales, Australia.
'This is an excellent, well-balanced overview. Especially notable for its emphasis on the significance of magic in the development of modern science, it is also shrewd and perceptive on the relations between science and religion, and on science's broader cultural role.' - Michael Hunter, Professor of History, Birkbeck, University of London.
Add a review