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Publisher's Summary

The scientific theories that were first discovered and made public in the years 1700-1900 are some of the most pivotal in history. Landmark theories of planetary motion, the workings of nature, and the speed of light were all ideas that took the world by storm.
Now you can share in that story of discovery in a series of 36 lectures designed to give you a rock-solid understanding of the great discoveries of Newton, Darwin, Franklin, Pasteur, and so many others. You’ll see clearly how these great thinkers brought their ideas into a world and a time that resisted them, gaining a new admiration for their achievements in an atmosphere where scientific advancement had to struggle against established ways of both scientific and religious thinking.
While many presentations of scientific history often neglect to consider its context - the societies and cultures in which our most influential "natural philosophers" (the term scientist didn’t exist until the mid-19th century) made their contributions - these lectures put that context in the forefront where it belongs, exploring how dynamics of time and place help determine the questions that get asked and the directions scientists pursue in response.
The result is a series that adds invaluable historical depth and dimension to your study of science. As much about history as science - and often far more so, with the focus on the climate and process of scientific discovery rather than the science itself - this course will enhance your ability to see contemporary scientific events in a vividly informed context.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your Library section along with the audio.

©2003 The Teaching Company, LLC (P)2003 The Great Courses
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Juha on 06-22-14

My dream school would use these

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

It is just a small minority who are interested (or who have to study) history of physics. So this is not an audiobook for great audiences. But for people like me this is A DREAM COME TRUE. I really enjoyed this clear history in an audible form, which allowed me to listen to it where ever. I only wish I could be examined on these instead of cumbersome paper books.

What did you like best about this story?

Carnot process was explained in a manner which was easy to follow.

What about Professor Frederick Gregory’s performance did you like?

I like the way how he made reference to future parts or different professors lecturers.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

Carnot

Any additional comments?

I sure wish future "school" would better utilize these kind of learning tools.

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8 of 8 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Mike on 01-16-17

6 out of 5 stars :)

Any additional comments?

This is an amazing, 6-out-of-5 star course. I say this as a scientist with 20 years experience, and I say this for two main reasons.

The first is applicable to the entire course, during which you really get a sense of how gradual, even back-and-forth, certain "breakthroughs" have been and how very many minds are behind our most concise scientific maxims. In our schools we are asked to learn only the most famous of scientific names. This leads, then, to an obsession in students with fame and notoriety and a misplaced notion that science is for the exceptional. This course largely undoes those damages. Such a thorough history of science - taught after elementary science stripped of the normal too-basic history - would produce far better scientists/citizens. This is my opinion after this powerful course.

The second is dosed out in only one injection, in Lecture 24, but it is so profound it is worth calling out in review. Here, Professor Gregory considers the origins of the polarity between science and theology, and in so doing he makes the exceptionally salient point that the operands of science are not direct articles of reality ("truth") but rather models of it. To be clear, Professor Gregory presents this "Kantian coherence theory of truth" as a counterpoint to the "correspondence theory of truth", and the emphasis here is mine, but this is such a nuanced and important concept for 21st century science. Really impressed with the professor's depth of research and understanding here.

Get this course. See for yourself.

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5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Vernon on 10-12-16

Well put together

This was a course really worth listening to. I learned a great deal about the world it off which modern science developed.

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5 out of 5 stars
By Dusty Raven on 08-31-16

A fascinating story very well told

Any additional comments?

This is a really good course. The science is accessible without being dumbed down, and the wider context, particularly of religion, is very well explained. The teacher has an enthusiastic but realistic approach to his subject which made listening a pleasure. One of my favourite courses ( and I've listened to a lot!)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Omar on 06-17-17

Excellent book

This is an excellent course, especially in conjunction with the the History of Science Antiquity to 1700 book as well.

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