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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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MPRL --- Edition Open Access

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.

Theory, Practice, and Nature In-between: Antonio Vallisneri's 'Primi Itineris Specimen'

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Book Series: Sources 9: Max Planck Research Library for the History and Development of Knowledge ISBN: 9783945561324 Year: Pages: 369 Language: English
Publisher: Edition Open Access
Added to DOAB on : 2018-04-19 14:28:52
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In the summer of 1704, Antonio Vallisneri (1661–1730), the preeminent Italian physician and natural philosopher of his time, traveled with a “daring soul” and “trembling feet” across the “silent horrors” of the northern Apennines: down the hills south of Reggio Emilia to northern Tuscany and the western edge of his native land, the Province of Garfagnana. He then wrote a report of this adventure, the Primi Itineris per Montes Specimen Physico-Medicum (“Physico-medical example of a first journey through the mountains"), and sent it to the Royal Society of London, hoping for its publication in Philosophical Transactions. Unfortunately this did not happen and the manuscript disappeared from sight. The original draft, however, survived in the State Archive of the Italian city of Reggio Emilia where it was found in 2009. With its exceptional array of geological, medical, geographical, technical, ethnographic, and historical data, the Primi Itineris Specimen is one of the earliest and most well-documented attempts to define a systematic approach to field research. Its frantically reworked pages and anxious marginal notes offer a new and precious opportunity to understand why and how experimental data and theories in the early modern period interacted and shaped the development of many crucial debates. These include the discovering of deep-time, the comprehension of geological phenomena (such as the hydrologic cycle and the origin of mountains and fossils), the perception of man’s place in nature, the constant search for new therapeutics, the tormented and charming relation between science and religion.

Studies in Multilingualism, Lingua Franca and Lingua Sacra

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Book Series: Max Planck Research Library for the History and Development of Knowledge Studies ISBN: 9783945561133 Year: Pages: 543 Language: English
Publisher: Edition Open Access Max Planck Institute for the History of Science Grant: FP7 Ideas: European Research Council - 323596
Subject: Linguistics
Added to DOAB on : 2019-04-11 11:21:07
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The present book comprises a number of studies centered around the topic of how knowledge diffuses from one culture to another, and how knowledge diffusion is connected with the spread of languages and the conceptual systems they carry by translation. This diffusion also takes place also over linguistic borders, in the way that a given receiving language may also absorb systems of knowledge from languages that are linguistically quite unrelated but culturally connected with respect to knowledge transfer. Thus we find that Sumerian concepts with considerable impact were moved into the Akkadian language, along with writing-systems, religion, science and literature, even though linguistically the languages are completely unrelated. Another example is how Chinese culture and writing systems spread throughout East Asia into Korea, Japan and Vietnam, though the languages of these countries were linguistically unrelated to Chinese. The same case can be made for Buddhist ways of thinking when it was clothed in the garb of Chinese or Tibetan, or one of the other languages along the Silk Road. This is also true for the spread of Manicheism, as it was portrayed in a great number of languages, related or unrelated. German and Latin are linguistically related, but when Latin learning was communicated in Old High German, many of its terms were created in Middle German to accommodate the Latin conceptual world, and the German language was lastingly enriched with novisms denoting concepts of the Classical traditions of learning, in a process parallel to the spread of Greek Christianity into the East European cultures and languages. The book describes some cases of such knowledge transfer and what kind of mechanisms are involved in the ensuing language changes in the receiving languages and cultures.

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Multilingualism --- culture --- languages

Algebra in Cuneiform: Introduction to an Old Babylonian Geometrical Technique

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Book Series: Textbooks 2: Max Planck Research Library for the History and Development of Knowledge ISBN: 9783945561157 Year: Pages: 156 Language: English
Publisher: Edition Open Access
Subject: Mathematics
Added to DOAB on : 2017-12-21 11:59:57
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This textbook analyzes a number of texts in “conformal translation,” that is, a translation in which the same Babylonian term is always translated in the same way and, more importantly, in which different terms are always translated differently. Appendixes are provided for readers who are familiar with basic Assyriology but otherwise philological details are avoided. All of these texts are from the second half of the Old Babylonian period, that is, 1800–1600 BCE. It is indeed during this period that the “algebraic” discipline, and Babylonian mathematics in general, culminates. Even though a few texts from the late period show some similarities with what comes from the Old Babylonian period, they are but remnants. Beyond analyzing texts, the book gives a general characterization of the kind of mathematics involved, and locates it within the context of the Old Babylonian scribe school and its particular culture. Finally, it describes the origin of the discipline and its impact in later mathematics, not least Euclid’s geometry and genuine algebra as created in medieval Islam and taken over in European medieval and Renaissance mathematics.

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MPRL --- Edition Open Access

Of the Contract

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ISBN: 9781947447042 9781947447059 Year: Pages: 162 DOI: 10.21983/P3.0174.1.00 Language: English
Publisher: punctum books
Subject: Law
Added to DOAB on : 2019-06-12 09:24:33
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Of the Contract is a version of a text that is as old as any memory, or a form of legal instrument that constitutes the basis of the world in which its terms have been translated. The text remains as open to renewal as that world remains to future alteration, and the terms are both already past, and always yet to come. The notion of the debt that is presented by the contract corresponds to a conception of accountancy and finance that provide a new approach to the contemporary problem of the sense of that external to the terms of human access. A reinterpretation of the philosophical tradition that runs through Levinas and Heidegger to Kant, Of the Contract is also grounded in the medieval tradition that was centered on the notion of “contraction,” and its writing was inspired by forms of life such as those found in the development of monastic constitutions, and the novels of knight errantry. It is also an oblique contribution to the recent discussions on the nature of debt, and is deeply marked by an awareness of climate change, and the insufficiencies of capital to overcome this crisis. All of these concerns however were contracted in a more acute awareness of the process of expression, and the work is given first of all as literature. It is the nature of the terms that they are open to untold interpretations.

Cavendish: The Experimental Life

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Book Series: Studies 7: Max Planck Research Library in the History and Development of Knowledge ISBN: 9783945561065 Year: Pages: 596 Language: English
Publisher: Edition Open Access
Subject: Chemistry (General)
Added to DOAB on : 2017-03-03 16:09:07
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Two gifted eighteenth-century Londoners, Charles Cavendish and his painfully preeminent son Henry were descendants of paired revolutions, one political and one scientific. Scions of a powerful revolutionary family, they gave an original turn to the duty of public service that attached to their social rank. The English aristocracy knew one of its finest hours when Henry Cavendish gently laid his delicate weights in the scales of the first great precision balance of the century. For this action to happen, it took two generations and two kinds of invention, one in social forms and the other in scientific methods. This joint biography of father and son tells how it came to pass. Henry Cavendish is best known for his researches in chemistry, electricity, and heat, but in truth he worked in every part of physical science, bringing to it his unique combination of experimental precision and mathematical penetration. His accomplishment is likened to the highest example: since the death of Newton, Humphry Davy wrote, England has suffered "no scientific loss so great as that of Cavendish." Through inheritance he became immensely rich. Regarding intellect and fortune, he is called "the wisest of the rich and the richest of the wise." In his exclusive devotion to science, he is compared with "the most austere anchorites," who were "not more faithful to their vows." With reference to his legendary shyness, he is described as a man of "most reserved disposition," of a "degree bordering on disease." He was, to be sure, all of these things: one of the best scientists of his time, one of the richest men in the kingdom, a member of one of the politically most influential aristocratic families, a scientific fanatic, and a person of extraordinary peculiarities. This biography, a major revision of the original published in 1999, offers an enlarged understanding of the eighteenth century world of science and a reevaluation both of the scientific genius and of the remarkable personality of Henry Cavendish. It is a comprehensive study of science, family, and society in the eighteenth century.

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MPRL --- Edition Open Access

The Globalization of Knowledge in the Iberian Colonial World

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Book Series: Proceedings 10: Max Planck Research Library for the History and Development of Knowledge ISBN: 9783945561072 Year: Pages: 322 Language: English
Publisher: Edition Open Access
Added to DOAB on : 2017-03-07 10:37:43
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This volume investigates processes of knowledge formation in the Iberian colonies by attempting to understand the Spanish and Portuguese contribution to the European scientific tradition, and by tracing the origins and history of this knowledge to find out how it was gained. The studies in this volume reconsider our understanding of what scientific knowledge is and introduce a variety of scientific cultures of European and non-European origin. They examine the mixing processes of scientific cultures and the role these cultures played in the colonial situation at the intersection of non-human processes and human action. The volume brings together contributions in the history of botany, art, materia medica, translation in the religious sphere of colonial missions as well as mining as a scientific, juridical and industrial endeavor.

Shifting Paradigms: Thomas S. Kuhn and the History of Science

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Book Series: Proceedings 8: Max Planck Research Library for the History and Development of Knowledge ISBN: 9783945561119 Year: Pages: 397 Language: English
Publisher: Edition Open Access
Added to DOAB on : 2017-03-07 12:55:38
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The publication of Thomas S. Kuhn’s "Structure of Scientific Revolutions" in 1962 stands for a turning point in the history and philosophy of science. The repercussions of this work have rearticulated the theoretical framework of history and philosophy of science and have also generated discussions that contributed to the formation of the communities of historians as well as philosophers of science in many parts of the world. Different approaches to history of science have since emerged and most of them have the "Structure" as their reference point. In October 2012, a conference at the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science brought together some of the historians of science whose work has played a decisive role in the ways history of science has evolved as a field of research in the past 50 years, both intellectually and institutionally. This volume gathers reflections by many of these historians on the history of the history of science, based on the presentations and discussions at the conference. The topics covered range from personal recollections of working with Thomas Kuhn to broad overviews of the historical development of the history of science as a discipline in the past half-century. The series Proceedings of the Max Planck Research Library for the History and Development of Knowledge presents the results of scientific meetings on current issues and supports further cooperation on these issues via an electronic platform. 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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