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The Beginnings of Western Science: European Scientific Tradition in Philosophical, Religious and Institutional Context, 600 B.C. to A.D.1450 Paperback – 1 May 1992

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Product details

  • Paperback: 474 pages
  • Publisher: University of Chicago Press (1 May 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0226482316
  • ISBN-13: 978-0226482316
  • Product Dimensions: 22.7 x 15.1 x 3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 699,412 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


"As entertaining and educational as that organized by the best tour operator." - Charles Burnett, New York Times Book Review "Solidly based on a competent knowledge of a huge variety of primary sources and secondary studies, engagingly written, and well produced, it provides us for the first time with an authoritative account of Western science from its beginnings to the height of medieval scientific achievement." - Richard C. Dales, American Historical Review" --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

About the Author

David C. Lindberg is the Hilldale Professor Emeritus of the History of Science at the University of Wisconsin - Madison and former president of the History of Science Society. He is the author or editor of many books, including, with coeditor Ronald L. Numbers, When Science and Christianity Meet, also published by the University of Chicago Press. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 24 July 2001
Format: Paperback
The Beginning of Western Science was the textbook for a class I took with Professor Lindberg at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. I found the book to be extremely informative-a lesson in western civilization, science and religion. Lindberg provides a comprehensive explanation of the creation of basic science as we know it today combined with the story of the creation, growth and influence of Judeo-Christian theology in western civilization. The book offers an amazing insight into the progression of science that parallel with the growth of Judeo-Christian beliefs. Lindberg 's study reads more like a historical novel filled with tragic heroes, as he describes key players including Greek philosophers, medieval saints and early astronomers, all who face life-threatening personal and social situations. The description of main characters' personal anguish helps draw the reader in to the story, allowing him or her to even create a picture of each character and incident, which could have been a merely general and drier recap of western science. Although based on historical fact, Lindberg interprets his views about the relationship between both disciplines. By providing the reader with a nice balance of science, philosophy and theology, Lindberg allows the reader to formulate their own opinion of who and what affected the origin and direction of science.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 6 reviews
56 of 64 people found the following review helpful
Clearly the best ancient/medieval science text that exists! 31 May 2001
By Matt - Published on
Format: Paperback
I read the Beginnings of Western Sceince as a student at the University of Wisconsin-Madison where I had the extreme priviledge of taking two history of science courses from the author, who is also an absolutely outstanding professor. (And also one of the two or three most knowledgeable people in the world in the history of medieval science) This is by far the most comprehensive text on the history of ancient and medieval science that is out there. You might not believe it, but there aren't even a lot of other texts that cover half of what is discussed here period, let alone any that are this polished and concise. This book not only covers the development of western science from ancient times throught the Middle Ages, but it also considers the religious, and philosophical roots of this development. This book is masterfully written in that it provides a tremendous amount of detail, and yet is accessible to anyone that is an educated and interested reader. I cannot recommend this text highly enough.
Also Recommended: The Structure of Scientific Revolutions by Thomas Kuhn
In his book The Structure of Scientific Revolutions, Thomas Kuhn discusses the importance of history and its relationship to science, the changing views of how historians view past scientific achievements, the role of scientific method in science, and the nature and foundations of scientific revolutions.
24 of 29 people found the following review helpful
Exceptional Class Material 8 April 2000
By A Customer - Published on
Format: Paperback
I read this book as a student for my History of Scientific Thought Class. This text was an excellent addition to the course work that included discussions about scientific thinking, discovery and revolutions, Greek philosophy and nature, Medieval cosmology and it's assimilation of Plato and Aristotle. Lindberg also pictured works of art that helped discuss the science and thinking of the times. The other texts that, as a class, were discussed along with Lindberg were Leonard Schlain's Art and Physics and Arthur Koestler's The Sleepwalkers and Thomas Kuhn's THe Structure of Scientific Revolutions.
27 of 36 people found the following review helpful
A great book by a great professor 2 Nov. 2000
By Aaron Louis DeMichael - Published on
Format: Hardcover
I had to read this book because I'm currently taking a history of science class taught by the author at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, and I just want to say it's excellent. It is clear, concise and (best of all from a student's point of view) not boring. It teaches you so much about looking at things in context. This is a great book from a great professor.
Medieval science 23 Aug. 2014
By oldavai - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Good introduction to Medieval science in new paradigms. Lindberg knows his History and presents it in an uncomplicated but interesting way. It will give anybody hours of enjoyment. A good beginning for the subject. He starts with Aristotle's influence on Medieval scholarship and then recounts what the Medieval scientist did with it. Revisionist history. Good bibliography.
9 of 19 people found the following review helpful
Lively dinner conversation with an expert. 25 Aug. 2000
By A Customer - Published on
Format: Paperback
I have read many, many histories of science, but this is far and away the best I have read.
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