The Genesis of Science

The Genesis of Science

The Story of Greek Imagination

Book - 2010
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Random House, Inc.
Historians often look to ancient Greece as the wellspring of Western civilization. Perhaps the most ingenious achievement of the Hellenic mind was the early development of the sciences. What was it about the Greeks, as opposed to the far older civilizations of Egypt, Mesopotamia, India, and China, that gave rise to the uniquely Western, scientific mindset? Bertman explores this intriguing question in this authoritative yet accessible and eloquently told story about the origins of science. Going beyond individual Greek discoveries in the various branches of science, he emphasizes why these early investigators were able to achieve what they did. Among the exceptional characteristics of Greek culture that created the seedbed for early science were:

• the Greek emphasis on rationalism—a conviction that human reason could successfully unravel the mysteries of nature and make sense of the cosmos

• an early form of humanism—a pride and confidence in human potential despite the frailty and brief tenure of individual lives

• the drive to excel in every arena from the battlefield to the Olympic games and arts competitions
• an insatiable curiosity that sought understanding of both human nature and the world

• a fierce love of freedom and individualism that promoted freedom of thought—the prelude to science.

Focusing on ten different branches of science, the author shows why the Greeks gravitated to each specialty and explains the fascinating theories they developed, the brilliant experiments they performed, and the practical applications of their discoveries. He concludes by recounting how these early insights and achievements—transmitted over the course of two thousand years—have shaped the scientific attitude that is the hallmark of today’s world. This lively narrative captures the Greek genius and demonstrates the indelible influence of their discoveries on modern science and technology.

Book News
While it's common knowledge that the study of science originated with the ancient Greeks, we don't often think about why the Greeks were so interested in science in the first place. In this book, Bertman (classics, U. of Windsor) examines the scientific achievements of the ancient Greeks, showing how (and why) they attempted to explain the forces that shape the world. Readers encounter both the usual suspects (Archimedes, Aristotle, Euclid) as well as lesser known figures such as Eratosthenes, who made a very accurate estimate of the Earth's circumference more than 2000 years ago. Bertman's admiration for the early Greek scientists is evident in every word, and his lively style invites readers to share that admiration. The text is accompanied by many illustrations, including eight pages in full color. Annotation ©2011 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)

Blackwell Publishing
Historians often look to ancient Greece as the wellspring of Western civilization. Perhaps the most ingenious achievement of the Hellenic mind was the early development of the sciences. The names we give to science's many branches today---from physics and chemistry to mathematics, biology, and psychology---echo the Greek words that were first used to define these disciplines in ancient times and remain a testament to the groundbreaking discoveries of these pioneering thinkers.

What was it about the Greeks, as opposed to the far older civilizations of Egypt, Mesopotamia, India, and China, that gave rise to the uniquely Western scientific mind-set?

In The Genesis of Science, classics professor Stephen Bertman explores this intriguing question in an authoritative yet accessible and eloquently told story about the origins of science. Going beyond individual Greek discoveries in the various branches of science, Bertman emphasizes why these early investigators were able to achieve what they did.

Focusing on ten different branches of science, Bertman shows why the Greeks gravitated toward each specialty and explains the fascinating theories they developed, the brilliant experiments they performed, and the practical applications of their discoveries. He concludes by recounting how these early insights and achievements---transmitted over the course of two thousand years---have shaped the scientific attitude that is the hallmark of today's world.

Bertman's lively narrative captures the Greeks' genius and demonstrates the indelible influence of their discoveries on modern science and technology.

Publisher: Amherst, N.Y. : Prometheus Books, 2010
ISBN: 9781616142179
1616142170
Characteristics: 293 p. : ill. (some col.) ; 24 cm

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