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eBook THE MEANING OF FOSSILS: Episodes in the History of Palaeontology download

by Martin J. S. Rudwick

eBook THE MEANING OF FOSSILS: Episodes in the History of Palaeontology download ISBN: 035604128X
Author: Martin J. S. Rudwick
Publisher: MacDonald / American Elsevier (1972)
Language: English
Pages: 287
ePub: 1595 kb
Fb2: 1614 kb
Rating: 4.9
Other formats: docx doc lit mobi
Category: Math Sciences
Subcategory: History and Philosophy

The Meaning Of Fossils is an absorbing history of changing views of what fossils are and how they .

The Meaning Of Fossils is an absorbing history of changing views of what fossils are and how they contribute to an understanding of the history of the earth. Martin J. S. Rudwick is professor emeritus of history at the University of California, San Diego and affiliated scholar in the Department of the History and Philosophy of Science at the University of Cambridge.

The Meaning of Fossils book. And this is exactly what Rudwick's book should do for many paleontologists' view of the history of their own field. -Stephen J. Gould, Paleobotany and Palynology. It is not often that a work can literally rewrite a person's view.

Martin John Spencer Rudwick (born 1932) is a British geologist, historian, and academic. His principal field of study is the history of the earth sciences; his work has been described as the "definitive histories of the pre-Darwinian earth sciences".

Электронная книга "The Meaning of Fossils: Episodes in the History of Palaeontology", Martin J. Rudwick. Эту книгу можно прочитать в Google Play Книгах на компьютере, а также на устройствах Android и iOS. Выделяйте текст, добавляйте закладки и делайте заметки, скачав книгу "The Meaning of Fossils: Episodes in the History of Palaeontology" для чтения в офлайн-режиме.

And this is exactly what Rudwick's book should do for many paleontologists' view of the history of their own field . -Roy S. Porter, History of Science. University of Chicago Press.

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Similar books and articles. Rudwick, Bursting the Limits of Time: The Reconstruction of Geohistory in the Age of Revolution. The Meaning of Fossils: Episodes in the History of Palaeontology by Martin J. Francis Haber - 1975 - Isis: A Journal of the History of Science 66:118-119. History of Natural History Mott T. Greene, Geology in the Nineteenth Century. Changing Views of a Changing World. Ithaca and London: Cornell University Press, 1983. Chicago and London: University of Chicago Press, 2005.

The British Journal for the History of Science. Geology - The Meaning of Fossils. Episodes in the History of Palaeontology. By Martin J. London: Macdonald, and New York: American Elsevier, 1972. Pp. iv + 287. £6. Rhoda Rappaport. Published online by Cambridge University Press: 05 January 2009. Export citation Request permission.

Pp. (10), 287; numerous text-figures (fine halftones, line-drawings of fossils, and graphs). Publisher's original light blue-green cloth, lettered in gilt on the spine, color pictorial dust jacket, lg 8vo. This book will be of interest not only to paleontologists and historians of science but to all who are interested in scientific thinking in the modern world.
Comments: (7)
Well written and very readable guide to the history of paleontology from the 1500s to 1870 and focusing on major controversies in the development of the science. Excellent reviews of the contributions of Steno, Cuvier, Lyell, Murchison, and many, many others; what they got right and what they got wrong. Maybe a bit light on William Smith. But what I appreciated most is how Rudwick shows the reader why earlier mistaken ideas seemed very reasonable and logical at the time. So many historians judge the contributions of pioneering scientists by what we know now, not what they knew then. He shows how the heroes are remembered for what they got right while the "villains" are remembered for what they got wrong. Yet in spite of this, Werner and others advanced the science even if nearly everything they thought was wrong. My only negative comment about the book is the title does not represent the content well.
I only gave this book 4 stars because parts of it can be a little difficult to follow, but anyone really interested in the history of science in general or the largely neglected history of paleontology in particular will find a wealth of fascinating information within it. For example it untangles what Cuvier really thought about geological catastrophes from the beliefs of the English geologists who used his work in support of natural theology, a topic on which there has been considerable confustion, especially in the English speaking world. Rudwick is careful to treat each topic in proper historical context that lets you understand what the people involved and their contemporaries really thought about what they were doing, not just what those developments would mean to the future. This book was written more than a decade before the "Science Wars" of the 1990's but it clearly demonstrates that it is possible to find a middle way and write science history in a way that puts each development in the proper philosophical and social context for its time, without loosing track of the fact that science is a progressive activity in which knowledge builds on itself and improves over time. The discussion of the complexities of the pre 18th century debate on the nature and origin of fossils, which seems so obvious to us today, but was far from obvious at the time, is alone worth the price of the book.
If you're looking for specific fossils and their meaning, this isn't the book for you. For those, see nearly anything paleontology. This book, painstakingly written, presents a history of the meaning of fossils, starting with the first book on the subject written by Gesner in the 16th century. Highly recommended if you appreciate well-written books authored by retired professors that still care about what's taught in their field.
I loved the book The Meaning of Fossils. I would also recommend Rudrick's other well written books.
Rudwick's primer on the meaning of fossils is a well written and engaging book which is read by many professional geologists. It explores the link between society and science; claiming that overarching world views affect the realm of possible explanations scientists and others can come up with. The world views held at different times determine what questions and interests scientists have and the spectrum on which the answer may lie. Rudwick revisits, in a lively and detailed fashion, several episodes in the history of geology demonstrating that there is a congruence between the intellectual, public and scientific milieu. He criticises the story as it is commonly told by practitioners who either consciously or due to lack of competency in history have defiled the history of their fields (whig or descriptions which make it appear as linearly progressive).
The book addresses an important question which is commonly ignored and that is how practitioners defined the nature of their science. Rudwick traces the different meanings that fossils have had and explores how the understanding of what constituted a fossil affected geologists and their science.
Rudwick suggests that the range of explanations which are deemed acceptable in geology seem to be in accordance not with scientific paradigms but rather, with paradigms about the nature of life, earth, God, and general world view (held by the practitioners themselves).
The book remarkably misses what is arguably one of the most important transition in geology today: the transition between the 18th and 19th centuries. The author recognises this and hopes to encourage further scholarship in the area. The book explores some of the ways in which developments within science had effects on society: old fossils implied an old Earth; different forms in the fossil record implied extinction. Rudwick's mostly internalist account of geology is revealing because it shows are far more complicated picture of the progression of science. Although Rudwick does not quite state it this way - the pattern which emerges appears to be clear: it is not that paradigms are incommensurable while offering different explanations to practising scientists and that these determine their believes, allegiances, interpretations, practise and the questions they ask; nor that free floating research programs can coexist whilst exploring similar yet different phenomena by utilising different theoretical frameworks, borrowing from other research programs in order to explain phenomena. Instead the development of science much like that of ideas is contingent in the intellectual, physical, emotional and religious context in which historical actors find themselves. In Rudwick's history overarching world-views which are compatible with a vast number of explanations and research programs which determine the realm under which scientists can operate. Thus, world views determine the realm of possibilities that actors can explore and in that sense they resemble Kuhn's paradigms; however, the development within these huge areas is much more akin to Lakatos description of scientific development.