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HISTORY OF SCIENCE.

HISTORY OF SCIENCE.

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1 GORDIN, MICHAEL D. The Pseudoscience Wars: Immanuel Velikovsky And The Birth Of The Modern Fringe.
University of Chicago Press, Chicago and London: 2012 First Edition. h Hardcover with dustjacket. Brand new book. 
Properly analyzed, the collective mythological and religious writings of humanity reveal that around 1500 BC, a comet swept perilously close to Earth, triggering widespread natural disasters and threatening the destruction of all life before settling into solar orbit as Venus, our nearest planetary neighbor. Sound implausible? Well, from 1950 until the late 1970s, a huge number of people begged to differ, as they devoured Immanuel Velikovsky's major best-seller, Worlds in Collision, insisting that perhaps this polymathic thinker held the key to a new science and a new history. Scientists, on the other hand, assaulted Velikovsky's book, his followers, and his press mercilessly from the get-go. In The Pseudoscience Wars, Michael D. Gordin resurrects the largely forgotten figure of Velikovsky and uses his strange career and surprisingly influential writings to explore the changing definitions of the line that separates legitimate scientific inquiry from what is deemed bunk, and to show how vital this question remains to us today. Drawing on a wealth of previously unpublished material from Velikovsky's personal archives, Gordin presents a behind-the-scenes history of the writer's career, from his initial burst of success through his growing influence on the counterculture, heated public battles with such luminaries as Carl Sagan, and eventual eclipse. Along the way, he offers fascinating glimpses into the histories and effects of other fringe doctrines, including creationism, Lysenkoism, parapsychology, and moreŅall of which have surprising connections to Velikovsky's theories. Science today is hardly universally secure, and scientists seem themselves beset by critics, denialists, and those they label "pseudoscientists"Ņas seen all too clearly in battles over evolution and climate change. The Pseudoscience Wars simultaneously reveals the surprising Cold War roots of our contemporary dilemma and points readers to a different approach to drawing the line between knowledge and nonsense. 
Price: 27.55 USD
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2 SMITH, PAMELA H. The Business Of Alchemy: Science And Culture In The Holy Roman Empire.
Princeton University Press, Princeton: 1993. 0691015996 / 9780691015996 s Softcover. Brand new book. 
Explores the relationships among alchemy, the court, and commerce in order to illuminate the cultural history of the Holy Roman Empire in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. In showing how an overriding concern with religious salvation was transformed into a concentration on material increase and economic policies, Smith depicts the rise of modern science and early capitalism. In pursuing this narrative, she focuses on that ideal prey of the cultural historian, an intellectual of the second rank whose career and ideas typify those of a generation. Smith follows the career of Johann Joachim Becher (1635-1682) from university to court, his projects from New World colonies to an old-world Pansophic Panopticon, and his ideas from alchemy to economics. Teasing out the many meanings of alchemy for Becher and his contemporaries, she argues that it provided Becher with not only a direct key to power over nature but also a language by which he could convince his princely patrons that their power too must rest on liquid wealth. Agrarian society regarded merchants with suspicion as the nonproductive exploiters of others' labor; however, territorial princes turned to commerce for revenue as the cost of maintaining the state increased. Placing Becher's career in its social and intellectual context, Smith shows how he attempted to help his patrons assimilate commercial values into noble court culture and to understand the production of surplus capital as natural and legitimate. With emphasis on the practices of natural philosophy and extensive use of archival materials, Smith brings alive the moment of cultural transformation in which science and the modern state emerged. "Smith has written an incisive and intelligent study which, together with affording a wealth of fascinating archival material, provides an original and well researched overview of the rise of early capitalism and modern science. Most importantly, she has given us an insight into one of the roles of alchemy in the workings of the Holy Roman Empire in the seventeenth century." - Lyndy Abraham, Parergon "A fine study of the relation between alchemy and commerce in the German-speaking lands of the later seventeenth century. . . . " - Simon Schaffer, London Review of Books "Spirited and fascinating. . . . This blending of the modern with the traditional, this seamless knitting of commerce with princely extravagance, alchemy with science, commerce, and industry, stands as the major achievement of Smith's portrait of intellectual life in the late-seventeenth-century Hapsburg territories."--Margaret C. Jacob, American Historical Review "No one has described with such authority and with the career of one of those projectors who haunted the courts of late Renaissance and Baroque Europe like so many Pied Pipers, offering philosophers' stones and irresistible weapons to any monarch who would offer them an open ear trumpet. Pamela Smith's book, in short, is fascinating, elegant, and incisive."--Anthony Grafton, Princeton University Winner of the 1995 Pfizer Most Outstanding Book Award of the History of Science Society 
Price: 39.66 USD
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3 SMITH, PAMELA H. The Business Of Alchemy: Science And Culture In The Holy Roman Empire.
Princeton University Press, Princeton: 1993. 0691015996 / 9780691015996 Third Printing. s Softcover. Very good condition. 
Explores the relationships among alchemy, the court, and commerce in order to illuminate the cultural history of the Holy Roman Empire in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. In showing how an overriding concern with religious salvation was transformed into a concentration on material increase and economic policies, Smith depicts the rise of modern science and early capitalism. In pursuing this narrative, she focuses on that ideal prey of the cultural historian, an intellectual of the second rank whose career and ideas typify those of a generation. Smith follows the career of Johann Joachim Becher (1635-1682) from university to court, his projects from New World colonies to an old-world Pansophic Panopticon, and his ideas from alchemy to economics. Teasing out the many meanings of alchemy for Becher and his contemporaries, she argues that it provided Becher with not only a direct key to power over nature but also a language by which he could convince his princely patrons that their power too must rest on liquid wealth. Agrarian society regarded merchants with suspicion as the nonproductive exploiters of others' labor; however, territorial princes turned to commerce for revenue as the cost of maintaining the state increased. Placing Becher's career in its social and intellectual context, Smith shows how he attempted to help his patrons assimilate commercial values into noble court culture and to understand the production of surplus capital as natural and legitimate. With emphasis on the practices of natural philosophy and extensive use of archival materials, Smith brings alive the moment of cultural transformation in which science and the modern state emerged. "Smith has written an incisive and intelligent study which, together with affording a wealth of fascinating archival material, provides an original and well researched overview of the rise of early capitalism and modern science. Most importantly, she has given us an insight into one of the roles of alchemy in the workings of the Holy Roman Empire in the seventeenth century." - Lyndy Abraham, Parergon "A fine study of the relation between alchemy and commerce in the German-speaking lands of the later seventeenth century. . . . " - Simon Schaffer, London Review of Books "Spirited and fascinating. . . . This blending of the modern with the traditional, this seamless knitting of commerce with princely extravagance, alchemy with science, commerce, and industry, stands as the major achievement of Smith's portrait of intellectual life in the late-seventeenth-century Hapsburg territories."--Margaret C. Jacob, American Historical Review "No one has described with such authority and with the career of one of those projectors who haunted the courts of late Renaissance and Baroque Europe like so many Pied Pipers, offering philosophers' stones and irresistible weapons to any monarch who would offer them an open ear trumpet. Pamela Smith's book, in short, is fascinating, elegant, and incisive."--Anthony Grafton, Princeton University Winner of the 1995 Pfizer Most Outstanding Book Award of the History of Science Society 
Price: 33.92 USD
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