Readings

Some Reading Strategies for History Courses: A List of Informal Suggestions

Key

[PD] = Buy at Amazon Dear, Peter. The Intelligibility of Nature: How Science Makes Sense of the World. University of Chicago Press, 2006. ISBN: 9780226139487. [Preview with Google Books]

[DL] = Buy at Amazon Lindberg, David C. The Beginnings of Western Science. 2nd ed. University of Chicago Press, 2008. ISBN: 9780226482057. [Preview with Google Books]

LEC # TOPICS READINGS
1 Introduction  
1. Matter
2 The stuff of matter in the ancient world

Required

Buy at Amazon Kirk, G. S., J. E. Raven, and M. Schofield. Excerpt from "The Ionian Thinkers: Thales of Miletus." In The Presocratic Philosophers: A Critical History with a Selection of Texts. 2nd ed. Cambridge University Press, 1984, pp. 88-95. ISBN: 9780521274555. [Preview with Google Books]

Aristotle. Book II, parts 1-3 in Physics. Translated by R. P. Hardie, and R. K. Gaye. (PDF)

[DL], pp. 25-58.

Suggested

Buy at Amazon Lloyd, G. E. R. Early Greek Science: Thales to Aristotle. W. W. Norton & Co., 1974, pp. 125-146. ISBN: 9780393005837.

3 Alchemy and experiment in the Renaissance

Required

Buy at Amazon Starkey, George. Alchemical Laboratory Notebooks and Correspondence. Edited by William R. Newman, and Lawrence M. Principe. University of Chicago Press, 2005, pp. 127-129, and 170-175. ISBN: 9780226577012.

Buy at Amazon Boyle, Robert. "To the Reader," and "Experiment 1." In New Experiments Physico-Mechanicall, Touching the Spring of the Air. Oxford UK: H. Hall, 1660. ISBN: 9781240795727 (This resource may not render correctly in a screen reader.PDF).

Buy at Amazon Dear, Peter. Revolutionizing the Sciences: European Knowledge and its Ambitions, 1500-1700. 2nd ed. Princeton University Press, 2009, pp. 127-144. ISBN: 9780691142067.

Suggested

Shapin, Steven. "Pump and Circumstance: Robert Boyle's Literary Technology." Social Studies of Science 14, no. 4 (1984): 481-520. (This resource may not render correctly in a screen reader. PDF)

4 Textbooks and chemical order, from Lavoisier to Mendeleev

Required

Buy at Amazon Lavoisier, Antoine-Laurent. Elements of Chemistry, in a New Systematic Order, Containing all the Modern Discoveries. Illustrated with Thirteen Copperplates. Translated by Robert Kerr. Gale ECCO, 2010. ISBN: 9781140937531.

[PD] "The Chemical Revolution Thwarted by Atoms." Pp. 67-89.

Suggested

Bensaude-Vincent, Bernadette. "A View of the Chemical Revolution Through Contemporary Textbooks: Lavoisier, Fourcroy, and Chaptal." British Journal for the History of Science 23 (1990): 435-460.

5 Quantum alchemy?

Required

Buy at Amazon Smyth, Henry DeWolf. Atomic Energy for Military Purposes. Princeton University Press, 1945, pp. 206-226. ISBN: 9780804717229. (PDF)

[PD] "How to Understand Nature? Einstein, Bohr, and the Quantum Universe." Pp. 141-172.

Suggested

Buy at Amazon Hoddeson, Lillian. "Mission Change in the Laboratory: The Los Alamos Implosion Program, 1943-1945." In Big Science: The Growth of Large-Scale Research. Edited by Peter Galison, and Bruce Hevly. Stanford University Press, 1992, pp. 265-289. ISBN: 9780804718790.

2. Nature
6 The nature of nature in ancient and medieval Worlds

Required

Buy at Amazon Grant, Edward. "Introduction to The Art of Falconry." In A Source Book in Medieval Science. Edited by E. Grant. Harvard University Press, 1974, pp. 657-659. ISBN: 9780674823600.

Buy at Amazon Frederick II of Hohenstaufen. Selections from The Art of Falconry being the De arte venandi cum avibus of Frederick II of Hohenstaufen. Translated and edited by Casey A. Wood, and F. Marjorie Fyfe. Stanford University Press, 1943, pp. 3-15, 64-70, 97-99, and 105-107. ISBN: 9780804703741. [Preview with Google Books]

Tufty, Barbara. "Falconry Sport Allowed." The Science News-Letter 86, no. 6 (August 8, 1964): 95.

Suggested

Buy at Amazon Park, Katharine. "Nature in Person: Medieval and Renaissance Allegories and Emblems." In The Moral Authority of Nature. Edited by Lorraine Daston, and Fernando Vidal. University of Chicago Press, 2003, pp. 50-73. ISBN: 9780226136813. [Preview with Google Books].

Buy at Amazon Josselyn, John. New England's Rarities Discovered [1674]. Applewood Books, 1986. ISBN: 9780918222794. [Preview with Google Books]

7 Exploring, collecting, classifying

Required

Buy at Amazon Linnaeus, Carl. "Observations on The Three Kingdoms of Nature." In Systema Naturae 1735. Translated by S. J. Engel-Ledeboer, and H. Engel. Amsterdam, The Netherlands. HES & De Graaf Publishers, 2003, pp. 17-30. ISBN: 9789060041048.

———. Sample original pages from Systema Naturae 1735 Latin edition (This resource may not render correctly in a screen reader.PDF – 2.4MB)

Buy at Amazon Koerner, Lisbet. "Carl Linnaeus in His Time and Place." In Cultures of Natural History. 2nd ed. Edited by N. Jardine, J. A. Secord, and E. C. Spary. Cambridge University Press, 1996, pp. 145-163. ISBN: 9780521558945. [Preview with Google Books]

[PD] "A Place for Everything: The Classification of the World." Pp. 39-67.

Suggested

Buy at Amazon Foucault, Michel. "Classifying." In The Order of Things: An Archaeology of the Human Sciences. Vintage Books, 1994, pp. 125-145. ISBN: 9780679753353.

8 Evolution and the origin of species

Required

Buy at Amazon Darwin, Charles. "Introduction," "Struggle for Existence," and "Recapitulation and Conclusion." In The Origin of Species. 1st ed. 1859. ISBN: 9780451529060. (PDF)

[PD] "Design and Disorder: The Origin of Species." Pp. 91-114.

Suggested

Buy at Amazon Bowler, Peter. "The Idea of Evolution: Its Scope and Limitations." Evolution: The History of An Idea. University of California Press, 1989, pp. 1-23. ISBN: 9780520063860. [Preview with Google Books]

9 Ecology and environment

Required

Buy at Amazon Oreskes, Naomi, and Erik M. Conway. "Challenging Knowledge: How Climate Change Science Became a Victim of the Cold War." In Agnotology: The Making and Unmaking of Ignorance. Edited by Robert Proctor, and Londa L. Schiebinger. Stanford University Press, 2008, pp. 55-89. ISBN: 9780804756525.

Suggested

Buy at Amazon Forbes, Stephen A. "The Lake as Microcosm" [1887]. In Foundations of Ecology: Classic Papers with Commentaries. Edited by Leslie A. Real, and James H. Brown. University of Chicago Press, 1991, pp. 17-27. ISBN: 9780226705941.

Buy at Amazon Kingsland, Sharon. "Prologue: The Entangled Bank." Modeling Nature: Episodes in the History of Population Ecology. University of Chicago Press, 1995, pp. 9-24. ISBN: 9780226437286. [Preview with Google Books]

Buy at Amazon Worster, Donald. "Words on a Map." Nature's Economy: A History of Ecological Ideas. 2nd ed. Cambridge University Press, 1994, pp. 191-220. ISBN: 9780521468343. [Preview with Google Books]

Global warming politics in the news — descriptions of scientists organizing to take on their critics:

Banerjee, Neela. "Climate Scientists Plan Campaign Against Global Warming Skeptics." Los Angeles Times, November 8, 2010.

Freedman, Andrew. "Scientists Launch Climate Science Counterattacks." Washington Post, November 8, 2010.

Revkin, Andrew C. "Scientists Join Forces in a Hostile Climate." New York Times, November 7, 2010.

3. Motion
10 From "natural motions" to "laws of motion"

Required

Aristotle. Book III, parts 1-3 in Physics. Translated by R. P. Hardie, and R. K. Gaye. (PDF)

Buy at Amazon Newton, Isaac. Selections from The Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy [1687], in Newton Texts, Backgrounds, Commentaries. Edited by I. Bernard Cohen, and Richard S. Westfall. W. W. Norton & Co., 1995, pp. 221-246. ISBN: 9780393959024.

[PD] "The Mechanical Universe from Galileo to Newton." Pp. 15-38.

Suggested

Buy at Amazon Cohen, I. Bernard. "Newton's Concepts of Force and Mass, with Notes on the Laws of Motion." In The Cambridge Companion to Newton. Edited by I. Bernard Cohen, and George E. Smith. Cambridge University Press, 2002, pp. 57-84. ISBN: 9780521656962. [Preview with Google Books]

11 Beer brewing, steam engines, and the fate of the cosmos

Required

Buy at Amazon Joule, James. "The Mechanical Equivalent of Heat." In Great Experiments in Physics [1959]. Edited by Morris H. Shamos. Dover Publications, 1987, pp. 166-183. ISBN: 9780486253466. [Preview with Google Books]

Buy at Amazon Bowler, Peter J., and Iwan Rhys Morus. "The Conservation of Energy." Making Modern Science: A Historical Survey. University of Chicago Press, 2005, pp. 79-102. ISBN: 9780226068619. [Preview with Google Books]

Suggested

Buy at Amazon Smith, Crosbie. "Everything in the Material World is Progressive." The Science of Energy: A Cultural History of Energy Physics in Victorian Britain. University of Chicago Press, 1999, pp. 100-125. ISBN: 9780226764207.

12 Space, time, and spacetime

Required

Buy at Amazon Einstein, Albert. Introduction, sections 1.1 and 1.2 in "On the Electrodynamics of Moving Bodies." [1905]. Translated by Arthur I. Miller. In Albert Einstein's Special Theory of Relativity: Emergence (1905) and Interpretation (1905-1911). Addison-Wesley, 1997, pp. 392-396. ISBN: 9780387948706. [Alternate translation, complete text]

Buy at Amazon Eisenstaedt, Jean. "Light and the Structure of Space-Time." The Curious History of Relativity. Translated by Arturo Sangalli. Princeton University Press, 2006, pp. 24-57. ISBN: 9780691118659. [Preview with Google Books]

Suggested

Galison, Peter. "Einstein's Clocks: The Place of Time." Critical Inquiry 26, no. 2 (2000): 355-389. [Excerpt]

Galison, Peter, and David Kaiser. "Special Relativity Primer." 2nd ed. Unpublished manuscript, 2006.

4. Body
13 Blood, guts and images

Required

Vesalius, Andreas. "Preface to On the Fabric of the Human Body" [1543]. In Charles D. O'Malley, Andreas Vesalius of Brussels, 1514-64. University of California Press, 1964, pp. 316-24. [also Alternate translation of Preface, from Proceedings of the Royal Society of Medicine 25, no. 9 (1932): 1357-1366.]

Buy at Amazon Porter, Roy. "The Body." In Blood and Guts: A Short History. W. W. Norton & Co., 2004, pp. 53-75. ISBN: 9780393325690.

Hersovitch, Penny. "Rest in Plastic: Review of 'Body Worlds, The Anatomical Exhibition of Real Human Bodies' by Gunther von Hagens." Science 299 (February 7, 2003): 828.

Smith, Orla. "Anantomy: The Art of the Oldest Science." Science 299 (February 7, 2003): 829.

Suggested

Buy at Amazon Park, Katharine. "The Criminal and the Saintly Body: Autopsy and Dissection in Renaissance Italy." In The Renaissance: Italy and Abroad, Rewriting Histories. Edited by J. J. Martin. Routledge, 2002, pp. 224-252. ISBN: 9780415260626.

Vesalius, Andreas. Online facsimile edition of On the Fabric of the Human Body. US National Library of Medicine.

14 Cell theory

Required

Buy at Amazon Hooke, Robert. "Of the Schematisme or Texture of Cork…" In Micrographia: Some Physiological Descriptions of Minute Bodies. BiblioBazaar, 2007. ISBN: 9781426486760. (PDF)

Buy at Amazon Schwann, Theodor. Excerpts from Microscopical Researches into the Accordance in the Structure and Growth of Animals and Plants [1839]. London, UK: The Sydenham Society, 1847, pp. ix-xviii, 36-40, and skim 41-64. ISBN: 9781149465820.

Buy at Amazon Hall, Thomas S. "'The Cell' through Schwann 1800-1840." Ideas of Life and Matter. Vol. II. Edited by T. S. Hall. University of Chicago Press, 1969, pp. 179-192. ISBN: 9780226313603.

Suggested

Buy at Amazon William, Coleman. "Form: Cell Theory." In Coleman, Biology in the Nineteenth Century. 2nd ed. John Wiley and Sons, 1978, pp. 16-35. ISBN: 9780521292931. [Preview with Google Books]

Hooke, Robert. Online facsimile edition of Micrographia. US National Library of Medicine.

15 Physiology and experiment

Required

Buy at Amazon Bernard, Claude. "Experimental Reasoning: Observation and Experiment," and "Experimental Considerations Common to Living Things and Inorganic Bodies." In An Introduction to the Study of Experimental Medicine [1865]. Translated by Henry Copley Greene. Dover Publications, 1957, pp. 5-10 and 59-87. ISBN: 9780486204000. [Preview with Google Books]

Marey, Etienne-Jules. "The Graphic Method in the Experimental Sciences." British Medical Journal 1, no. 783 (January 1, 1876): 1-3. (This resource may not render correctly in a screen reader.PDF)

Mendelsohn, Everett. "Physical Models and Physiological Concepts: Explanation in 19th Century Biology." British Journal for the History of Science 2 (1965): 201-219.

Suggested

Homes, F. Larry. "The Old Martyr of Science: The Frog in Experimental Physiology." Journal of the History of Biology 26, no. 2 (1993): 311-328.

16 Models of inheritance and genetics

Required

Watson, James, and Francis Crick. "A Structure for Deoxyribose Nucleic Acid." Nature 171 (1953): 737–739. (This resource may not render correctly in a screen reader.PDF)

Frankin, Rosalind, and R. G. Gosling. "Molecular Configuration in Sodium Thymonucleate." Nature 171 (1953): 740–741. (This resource may not render correctly in a screen reader.PDF)

Buy at Amazon Bowler, Peter J., and Iwan Rhys Morus. "Genetics." In Making Modern Science: A Historical Survey. University of Chicago Press, 2005, pp. 189-212. ISBN: 9780226068619. [Preview with Google Books]

Suggested

Chadarevian, Soraya de. "Portrait of a Discovery: Watson, Crick and the Double Helix." Isis 94 (2003): 90-105.

5. Heavens
17 To save the phenomena

Required

Buy at Amazon Ptolemy. Excerpts (Book I: 1-10 and Book III: 3) from The Almagest. Translated by R. C. Taliaferro. In Great Books of the Western World. Vol. 16. Edited by Mortimer Adler, and Robert M. Hutchins. Encyclopedia Brittanica, 1994, pp. 5-14 and 86-93. ISBN: 9780852295311.

Buy at Amazon Nasir al-din al-Tusi. Memoir on Astronomy. Vol. 1. Translated by F. J. Ragep. Springer, 1993, pp. 194-204, 212-214, and 222 (even-numbered pages only). ISBN: 9780387940519.

[DL] "Early Greek Astronomy," "Cosmological Developments," and "Hellenistic Planetary Astronomy." Pp. 85-105. [Preview with Google Books]

Suggested

Ragep, F. Jamil. "Copernicus and His Islamic Predecessors: Some Historical Remarks." History of Science 45 (2007): 65-81.

18 Copernicus: Round and round we go

Required

Buy at Amazon Copernicus, Nicolas. Introductions and prefaces, Book I, chapters 1-4 and 10, and Book V, chapter 5 from On the Revolutions of the Heavens [1543]. In Nicholas Copernicus Complete Works. Vol. 2. Translated by Edward Rosen, edited by Jerzy Dobrzycki. Johns Hopkins University Press, 1978, pp. xv-xvii, 3-11, 18-22, and 244-247. ISBN: 9780801820397.

Buy at Amazon Kepler, Johannes. "Preface." In Mysterium Cosmographicum [1596]. Translated by A. M. Duncan. Arabis, 1981, pp. 62-73. ISBN: 9780913870648.

Buy at Amazon Lerner, Michel-Pierre, and Jean-Pierre Verdet. "Copernicus." In Cosmology: Historical, Literary, Philosophical, Religious, and Scientific Perspectives. Translated by James Evans, edited by Norriss Hetherington. Garland, 1993, pp. 147-173. ISBN: 9780815309345. [Preview with Google Books]

Suggested

Buy at Amazon Gingerich, Owen. "The Great Copernicus Chase." In The Great Copernicus Chase and Other Adventures in Astronomical History. Cambridge University Press, 1992, pp. 69-81. ISBN: 9780521326889.

19 The Newtonian cosmos

Required

Buy at Amazon Newton, Isaac. "Four Letters to Richard Bentley." In Newton: Texts, Backgrounds, Commentaries. Edited by I. Bernard Cohen, and Richard S. Westfall. W. W. Norton & Co., 1995, pp. 330-339. ISBN: 9780393959024.

Buy at Amazon Kragh, Helge. "Newton's Inifinite Universe," and "Enlightenment Cosmologies." In Conceptions of Cosmos: From Myths to the Accelerating Universe, a History of Cosmology. Oxford University Press, 2007, pp. 67-89. ISBN: 9780199209163.

Suggested

Buy at Amazon Hahn, Roger. "Laplace and the Mechanistic Universe." In God and Nature: Historical Essays on the Encounter between Christianity and Science. Edited by David Lindberg, and Ronald Numbers. University of California Press, 1986, pp. 256-276. ISBN: 9780520056923. [Preview with Google Books]

20 Einstein, gravity, and politics

Required

Buy at Amazon Einstein, Albert. "What is the Theory of Relativity?" [Written at the request of The London Times, published November 28, 1919]. In Einstein: Ideas and Opinions. Random House, 1995. ISBN: 9780517884409. (This resource may not render correctly in a screen reader. PDF)

Suggested

Graham, Loren. "Do Mathematical Equations Display Social Attributes?" Mathematical Intelligencer 22 (2000): 31-36.

Kaiser, David. "General Relativity Primer: Or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Curved Spacetime." 2nd ed., unpublished manuscript, 2006.

6. Mind
21 Mind-body

Required

Buy at Amazon Descartes, René. Meditations I & II in "Meditations on First Philosophy." In Descartes: Selected Philosophical Writings. Vol. I. Translated by John Cottingham, Robert Stoothoff, and Dugald Murdoch. Cambridge University Press, 1988, pp. 76-86. ISBN: 9780521358125. [Preview with Google Books] [Alternate translation by John Veitch (1901)]

Buy at Amazon Offray de La Mettrie, Julien. Chapters II – VI in "Natural History of the Soul" [1745]. In Man A Machine. Translated by Gertrude C. Bussey, and M. W. Calkins. Open Court Publishing, 1912, pp. 153-161. ISBN: 9781151057761.

Suggested

Buy at Amazon Cottingham, John. "The Cartesian Method." Descartes. Wiley-Blackwell, 1991, pp. 22-46. ISBN: 9780631150466.

22 Madness

Required

Buy at Amazon Freud, Sigmund. Five Lectures on Psycho-Analysis. Edited by James Strachey. W.W. Norton & Co., 1990, pp. 5-62. ISBN: 9780393008470.

Metzl, Jonathan M. "Voyeur Nation? Changing Definitions of Voyeurism, 1950-2004." Harvard Review of Psychiatry 12 (2004): 127-131.

Suggested

Buy at Amazon Porter, Roy. "The Century of Psychoanalysis." Chapter 2 in Madness: A Short History. Oxford University Press, 2003. ISBN: 9780192802668.

23 Brains in the lab: Experimental psychology

Required

Münsterberg, Hugo. "The New Psychology and Harvard's Equipment for Teaching It." Harvard Graduate Magazine 1, no. 2 (1893): 201-209.

———. "Psychological Explanation." Part I, chapter III in Psychology: General and Applied. D. Appleton and Company, 1914, pp. 21-43.

Suggested

Buy at Amazon Danziger, Kurt. "Historical Roots of The Psychological Laboratory." Constructing the Subject: Historical Origins of Psychological Research. University of Chicago Press, 1994, pp. 17-33. ISBN: 9780521467858. [Preview with Google Books]

Nichols, Herbert. "The Psychological Laboratory at Harvard." McClure's Magazine, 1893, 399-409.

24 Man-machine

Required

Buy at MIT Press Buy at Amazon Mazlish, Bruce. "The Man-Machine and Artificial Intelligence." In Mechanical Bodies, Computational Minds. Edited by Stefano Franchi, and Guven Guzeldere. MIT Press, 2005, pp. 175-201. ISBN: 9780262562065. [Preview with Google Books]

Suggested

Turing, A. M. "Computing Machinery and Intelligence." Mind 59 (1950): 433-460.

25 Conclusion