THE EVOLUTION OF TECHNOLOGY CAMBRIDGE STUDIES IN THE HISTORY OF SCIENCE

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The Evolution Of Technology

Author : George Basalla
ISBN : 9781316101582
Genre : Technology & Engineering
File Size : 85.92 MB
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This book presents an evolutionary theory of technological change based upon recent scholarship in the history of technology and upon relevant material drawn from economic history and anthropology. It challenges the popular notion that technology advances by the efforts of a few heroic individuals who produce a series of revolutionary inventions owing little or nothing to the technological past. Therefore, the book's argument is shaped by analogies taken selectively from the theory of organic evolution, and not from the theory and practice of political revolution. Three themes appear, and reappear with variations, throughout the study. The first is diversity: an acknowledgment of the vast numbers of different kinds of made things (artifacts) that have long been available to humanity; the second is necessity: the belief that humans are driven to invent new artifacts in order to meet basic biological requirements such as food, shelter, and defense; and the third is technological evolution: an organic analogy that explains both the emergence of novel artifacts and their subsequent selection by society for incorporation into its material life without invoking either biological necessity or technological progress. Although the book is not intended to provide a strict chronological account of the development of technology, historical examples - including many of the major achievements of Western technology: the waterwheel, the printing press, the steam engine, automobiles and trucks, and the transistor - are used extensively to support its theoretical framework. The Evolution of Techology will be of interest to all readers seeking to learn how and why technology changes, including both students and specialists in the history of technology and science.
Category: Technology & Engineering

Evolutionary History

Author : Edmund Russell
ISBN : 9781139496476
Genre : History
File Size : 44.63 MB
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We tend to see history and evolution springing from separate roots, one grounded in the human world and the other in the natural world. Human beings have, however, become probably the most powerful species shaping evolution today, and human-caused evolution in other species has probably been the most important force shaping human history. This book introduces readers to evolutionary history, a new field that unites history and biology to create a fuller understanding of the past than either can produce on its own. Evolutionary history can stimulate surprising new hypotheses for any field of history and evolutionary biology. How many art historians would have guessed that sculpture encouraged the evolution of tuskless elephants? How many biologists would have predicted that human poverty would accelerate animal evolution? How many military historians would have suspected that plant evolution would convert a counter-insurgency strategy into a rebel subsidy? With examples from around the globe, this book will help readers see the broadest patterns of history and the details of their own life in a new light.
Category: History

Science And Religion

Author : John Hedley Brooke
ISBN : 0521283744
Genre : Science
File Size : 74.4 MB
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In this 1991 volume, John Hedley Brooke offers an introduction and critical guide to one of the most fascinating and enduring issues in the development of the modern world: the relationship between scientific thought and religious belief. It is common knowledge that in western societies there have been periods of crisis when new science has threatened established authority. The trial of Galileo in 1633 and the uproar caused by Darwin's Origin of Species (1859) are two of the most famous examples. Taking account of recent scholarship in the history of science, Brooke takes a fresh look at these and similar episodes, showing that science and religion have been mutually relevant in so rich a variety of ways that no simple generalizations are possible. A special feature of the book is that Brooke stands back from general theses affirming 'conflict' or harmony', which have so often served partisan interests. His object is to reveal the subtlety, complexity, and diversity of the interaction as it has taken place in the past and in the twentieth century.
Category: Science

Science And The Enlightenment

Author : Thomas L. Hankins
ISBN : 0521286190
Genre : Science
File Size : 45.15 MB
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This book is a general history of eighteenth-century developments in physical and life sciences.
Category: Science

Darwinian Heresies

Author : Abigail Lustig
ISBN : 1139453475
Genre : Technology & Engineering
File Size : 40.78 MB
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In Darwinian Heresies, which was originally published in 2004, prominent historians and philosophers of science trace the history of evolutionary thought, and challenge many of the assumptions that have built up over the years. Covering a wide range of issues starting in the eighteenth century, Darwinian Heresies brings us through the time of Charles Darwin and the Origin, and then through the twentieth century to the present. It is suggested that Darwin's true roots lie in Germany, not his native England, that Russian evolutionism is more significant than many are prepared to allow, and that the true influence on twentieth-century evolution biology was not Charles Darwin at all, but his often-despised contemporary, Herbert Spencer. The collection was intended to interest, to excite, to infuriate, and to stimulate further work.
Category: Technology & Engineering

The Enterprise Of Science In Islam

Author : J. P. Hogendijk
ISBN : 0262194821
Genre : History
File Size : 31.48 MB
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Recent historical research and new perspectives on the Islamic scientific tradition.
Category: History

Making Sense Of Illness

Author : Robert A. Aronowitz
ISBN : 0521558255
Genre : Medical
File Size : 52.55 MB
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In Making Sense of Illness Robert Aronowitz offers historical essays about how diseases change their meaning. Each of the diseases or etiologic hypotheses in this book has had a controversial and contested history: psychosomatic views of ulcerative colitis, twentieth century chronic fatigue syndromes, Lyme disease, angina pectoris, risk factors for coronary heart disease, and the type A hypothesis. By juxtaposing the history of the different diseases, the author shows how values and interests have determined research programs, public health activities, clinical decisions, and the patient's experience of illness.
Category: Medical

The Nature Of Technology

Author : W. Brian Arthur
ISBN : 1439165785
Genre : Science
File Size : 74.7 MB
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“More than anything else technology creates our world. It creates our wealth, our economy, our very way of being,” says W. Brian Arthur. Yet despite technology’s irrefutable importance in our daily lives, until now its major questions have gone unanswered. Where do new technologies come from? What constitutes innovation, and how is it achieved? Does technology, like biological life, evolve? In this groundbreaking work, pioneering technology thinker and economist W. Brian Arthur answers these questions and more, setting forth a boldly original way of thinking about technology. The Nature of Technology is an elegant and powerful theory of technology’s origins and evolution. Achieving for the development of technology what Thomas Kuhn’s The Structure of Scientific Revolutions did for scientific progress, Arthur explains how transformative new technologies arise and how innovation really works. Drawing on a wealth of examples, from historical inventions to the high-tech wonders of today, Arthur takes us on a mind-opening journey that will change the way we think about technology and how it structures our lives. The Nature of Technology is a classic for our times.
Category: Science