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Item Title:

The Grand Contraption: The World as Myth, Number and Chanc


Books, Comics, Magazines



Item Condition: New
Current Time:26 Oct 16 13:09:39
Time & Datedisplayed is forUnited States - EDT
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Quantity: (1 Available)
Price : £17.24 ($21.15)

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Item Specifics - Books ISBN : 0691121338
Author :
17.24 2634569 Title: The Grand Contraption: The World as Myth, Number and Chance Recommended Retail Price : 22.95 Our Price : 9.63 You Save : 13.32 (58% discount) ISBN : 0691121338 Author : David Park Publisher : P
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Title: The Grand Contraption: The World as Myth, Number and Chance

ISBN : 0691121338
Author : David Park
Publisher : Princeton University Press
Media : Hardcover
SKU MIX31-U31-26A-RES-57874


Brand New Book, Good Condition, Dispatched from our warehouse in the UK

From Publishers Weekly&newline;&newline;This elegant work is, first and foremost, a fine introduction to the history of cosmology in the West. Park (The Fire within the Eye) covers a staggering range of beliefs in this slim volume, examining the heroic battle myths of ancient Israel, Egypt and Mesopotamia; writings on the squabbling Greek gods; the astrology of the Babylonians and Akkadians; the cosmology of the Ionians and pre-Socratics; Plato's world myth and Aristotle's &doublequote;Prime Mover&doublequote;; Ptolemy's spheres and the atoms of Epicurus; the Copernican revolution and Descartes's vortices; and modern chemistry, field theory and the big bang. While many earlier theories of the universe may strike modern readers as absurd, Park approaches each with empathy and intelligence, uncovering the profoundly human struggle to make sense of the world that lies at the heart of premodern science. In so doing, he renders these ideas less fantastical-almost reasonable-for his readers. And, perhaps more importantly, by the time he reaches the 20th century, the fantastical aspects of our own cosmology are more than apparent. In the end, Park's engrossing work suggests that the difference between modern and ancient cosmologies has little to do with progress in the technical foundations of science; even the most ancient cultures he discusses had advanced methods of calculation and a commitment to observation and experiment. But, he explains, the key cosmological questions-Why are we here? How did the cosmos begin? What is the meaning of life?-cannot be answered using calculation and experiment. As Park writes, &doublequote;statements of fact end and fall silent, but myth echoes in the memory of generations.&doublequote; &newline;Copyright Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.&newline;&newline;&newline;From Booklist&newline;&newline;*Starred Review* Bring Homer and Einstein, Aristotle and Columbus into one timeless room (with translators), and their conversation would likely turn to the themes of this astonishingly capacious history of cosmology: How do the stars and planets, the moon and the earth fit together? What is the human place in the grand scheme? Moving adroitly from the earliest biblical and Akkadian accounts of creation to the very latest scientific investigations of the dark energy that will finally pull the galaxies apart, Park weaves together the fascinating story of human efforts to fathom the universe. Joining, by turns, the voices of religious mystics, materialist philosophers, and quantum physicists, the story entails radical shifts in human perspective as philosophy replaces mythology and then science replaces philosophy. With lucid economy, Park chronicles the dramatic revolutions in cultural exchange and in technology that accelerated new thinking. Readers see, for instance, how thirteenth-century Franciscan emissaries to the Great Kahn hastened the exploration of the earth and how eighteenth-century telescopes allowed astronomers to start mapping the Milky Way. But for all the dramatic changes, Park limns remarkable continuities: Newton interprets his epoch-making discoveries by referring to revelations received by biblical patriarchs; twentieth-century environmentalists revive primal Earth Mother myths; pioneering astronomers revisit ancient Greek speculations about life on other planets. An exhilarating intellectual adventure. Bryce Christensen&newline;Copyright American Library Association. All rights reserved

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