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Bibliotheek / Beisbroek

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The atom in the history of human thought

Code: GES1041
Auteurs: Bernard Pullman
ISBN: 9-780-1951-1447-8
Uitgever: Oxford University Press
Uitgegeven: 1998
Taal: Engels
Korte beschrijving: The idea of the atom--the ultimate essence of physical reality, indivisible and eternal--has been the focus of a quest that has engaged humanity for 2,500 years. That quest is captured in The Atom in the History of Human Thought.
Here is a panoramic intellectual history that begins in ancient Greece, ranges across the entire span of Western philosophy and science, and ends with the first direct visual proof of the atom's existence, just ten years ago. Bernard Pullman deftly captures the richness and depth of this remarkable debate, giving us not only the ideas of philosophers, church leaders, and scientists, but also the historical and social context from which these thoughts evolved. We have marvellous accounts of the work of such thinkers as Plato and Aristotle, Aquinas and Maimonides, Galileo and Descartes, Newton and Einstein--indeed, virtually every major philosopher of Western civilization, with excursions into the Hindu and Arab world--all presented against the backdrop of history. But perhaps most fascinating is the gradual shift in the book from a philosophical and religious perspective to a scientific perspective, especially in the 19th century, as science begins to dominate how humanity understands the world. Thus a book that begins with pre-Socratic philosophers such as Democritus and Empedocles ends with nuclear physicists such as Werner Heisenberg and Richard Feynman, and with a very different world view.
Ably translated by Axel Reisinger, this is a vibrant look at humanity's search to understand the ultimate nature of physical reality, a quest that has spanned the entire course of Western civilization.