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Science in Court Society: Giovan Battista Benedetti’s “Diversarum speculationum mathematicarum et physicarum liber” (Turin, 1585)

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Book Series: Sources 11: Max Planck Research Library for the History and Development of Knowledge ISBN: 9783945561164 Year: Pages: 642 Language: English
Publisher: Edition Open Access
Added to DOAB on : 2019-12-03 09:43:11
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Giovanni Battista Benedetti is counted as one of the most brilliant mathematical and philosophical minds of the late Italian Renaissance. However, the theoretical and historical relevance of his work is still obscure in many respects. This is due to several factors, principal among which is the relative rarity of his major work, Diversarum speculationum mathematicarum et physicarum liber (Book including various mathematical and physical speculations), 1585.This work was a major contribution to Renaissance science, especially due to its insights on mechanics, the mathematical approach to natural investigation, and the connection of celestial and terrestrial dynamics in a post-Copernican perspective. The first edition was an elegant folio, which includes heterogeneous writings not only on mathematics and physics but also on technical and philosophical issues. Benedetti presented these as short treatises or letters addressed to gentlemen, courtiers, scholars, engineers, and practitioners of different arts. The Diversae speculationes appeared in a series of prestigious volumes aimed at celebrating the magnificence of the court and the capital. It aimed to make the quality of the court mathematician’s research and skills publicly appreciable. It also bore witness to the intensity of the cultural debates going on in Turin or connecting it with other centers, especially Venice.This open access edition makes the Benedetti’s work accessible to a large scholarly readership. In the extensive introduction, his achievement is presented in its rich complexity. Benedetti is emblematic of his time and of the non-linearity of the historical process of Renaissance science with its multicentric institutions and scientific networks. The apparent fragmentary nature of his work hides a fundamental unity of the conception and the method, both of which rest on geometry. Benedetti regarded mechanics as a model, but he enlarged his perspective to include the most varied fields of investigation and concretely to demonstrate the fruitfulness of his approach to universal knowledge, astronomy, physics, meteorology, and even to ethics.Edition Open Sources (EOS) pioneers a new paradigm in the publishing of historical sources. Academic editions of primary sources in the history of science are published in online, digital, and print formats that present facsimiles, transcriptions, and often translations of original works with an introduction to the author, the text, and the context in which it was written. The sources are historical books, manuscripts, documents, or other archival materials that are otherwise difficult to access. EOS is a cooperation between the University of Oklahoma Libraries, the Department for the History of Science der University of Oklahoma, and the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science.

The History of Science in a World of Readers

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Book Series: Studies 11: Max Planck Research Library for the History and Development of Knowledge ISBN: 9783945561423 Year: Pages: 189 Language: English
Publisher: Edition Open Access
Added to DOAB on : 2020-01-14 11:47:01
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What role should historians of science, technology, and medicine have in communicating their own body of literature - its methods and concerns - across linguistic boundaries? This anthology is a proactive response to this question. As the West and the East become ever more closely related through travel, trade, and - not least - the globalization of knowledge, the seven essays in this volume should stimulate new engagements between English and Chinese readers on the centrality of science, technology, and medicine for our histories and our future. A wider selection of such influential literature, published in English since 1990, has been translated into Chinese and published in China in a companion volume. The series Studies of the Max Planck Research Library for the History and Development of Knowledge is dedicated to key subjects in the history and development of knowledge, bringing together perspectives from different fields and combining source-based empirical research with theoretically guided approaches. Studies typically present working group volumes with integrative approaches. The volumes are available both as print-on-demand books and as open-access publications on the Internet. The material is freely accessible online at www.edition-open-access.de.

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Photo-Objects: On the Materiality of Photographs and Photo Archives

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Book Series: Studies 12: Max Planck Research Library for the History and Development of Knowledge ISBN: 9783945561393 Year: Pages: 326 Language: English
Publisher: Edition Open Access
Added to DOAB on : 2020-01-14 11:51:27
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Photographs are not simply images but also historically shaped three-dimensional objects. They hold a physical presence, bear traces of handling and use, and circulate in social, political, and institutional networks. Beyond their visual content, they are increasingly acknowledged as material "actors", not only indexically representing the objects they depict, but also playing a crucial role in the processes of knowledge-making within scientific practices. This has a historical dimension: most scientific disciplines rapidly adopted photography as an important research tool. The various material qualities of photographs thereby afforded certain types of uses in those disciplines. Specialized photo archives were founded as interfaces of technology and science and as laboratories for scientific thought. This book highlights some recent approaches to photo-objects and photo archives as parts of a dynamic and material system of knowledge. Taking photographic materiality as its premise, it analyzes the epistemological potential of analog and digital photographs and photo archives in the humanities and sciences. Issues range from the circulation and distribution of photographs, the construction of disciplinary methods through the handling and use of photographs, the formation and transformation of a canon through photography and respective hierarchies of value, to the arrangement, classification, and working processes in photo archives and other institutions. The series Studies of the Max Planck Research Library for the History and Development of Knowledge is dedicated to key subjects in the history and development of knowledge. It brings together perspectives from different fields and combines source-based empirical research with theoretically guided approaches. Studies typically present collaborative working group volumes with integrative approaches to research. The volumes are available both as print-on-demand books and as open-access publications. The material is freely accessible online at www.mprl-series.mpg.de.

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