Customer Review

13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Hard going for such an interesting subject, 8 July 2011
This review is from: God's Philosophers: How the Medieval World Laid the Foundations of Modern Science (Paperback)
This book was shortlisted for the science writing prize, and my interest in the history of science therefore meant that it soon made it onto my wish list. I was intrigued by how much science and philosophy interacted in the Medieval period and to learn more about early scientists - Roger Bacon being one of the only early natural philosophers that I was aware of.

The book takes in a large period of time, starting in the eleventh century and going all the way through to Galileo and the early seventeenth century. The development of science as a discipline, from its early days as an extension of theology and philosophy as taught mainly by members of the church, through to its independence and conflict with christian teaching is discussed. Many previously unheard of (by me) Christian philosophers are mentioned, although their work is for me discussed in too little detail, I struggled to really appreciate their contribution and how it moved the thinking of the day on.

This, I think, is the nub of my problem with the book - the author just attempts to put too much in and therefore I didn't feel as though I learnt a lot about any of the philosophers, their work and how they fit into the bigger picture.

I also found the style difficult to read, it seemed to try and tread the path between academic and dumbed-down and it just didn't work for me. All in all, not a book that I can honestly recommend.
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Location: Northamptonshire, UK

Top Reviewer Ranking: 10,576