4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Great survey of intellectual development,
This review is from: The Sleepwalkers: A History of Man's Changing Vision of the Universe (Arkana) (Paperback)
...somewhat spoiled by the audible grinding of Koestler's favourite axes - ESP, a little dig at Marxist interpretations of history, and so on.
On the latter point, I couldn't help feeling that he rather underplays the impact of economic development on intellectual development. Every so often it almost peeps through -- the telescopes that were made by spectacle-makers rather than astronomers or scientists, for example. And who was it that was so keep on getting better astronomical tables? Navigators rather than astrologers, I suspect. And those instruments that the astronomers used? Who designed and built them, and for what?
On a similar theme, why not at least a passing comment on the contrast between what the academics were teaching and what craftsmen and engineers must have understood to do their jobs - they couldn't have been applying Aristotelean physics, could they?
Still, this is a great book, and I thoroughly agree that every sixth-former (especially science students) should have to read it.