Department of History and Philosophy of Science
Main Office: 1017 Cathedral of Learning
Pittsburgh, PA 15260
Phone: 412-624-5896

History of Science Core I: Early Modern to Contemporary Science

Comprehensive Course Guide


William Harvey
Copernican Astronomy
The Mechanical Philosophy
The Newtonian Synthesis
The Emergence of Scientific Institutions
Newtonianism and the Enlightenment
The Revolution in Chemistry
Life Sciences in the 18th Century
Uniformitarianism and Catastrophism in Geology
Darwin and Evolution
Mendel and Genetics
Social and Human Sciences and Statistical Reasoning
Thermodynamics and Statistical Mechanics
Theories of the Aether and Relativity.
Early Quantum Theory

Primary Sources:
1. Galileo. Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems, trans. Stillman Drake, Berkeley 1967. Selections: Day 1, pp. 1-48, 101-5; Day 2, pp. 114-40, 168-73; Day 4, pp. 416-30, 462-5

2. Kepler, Johannes. Kepler's Conversation with Galileo's Sidereal messenger. Translated with an introduction and notes by Edward Rosen. New York, Johnson Reprint Corp., 1965.


Secondary Sources:
Pedersen, Olaf. "Astronomy", Science in the Middle Ages, Lindberg (ed.), Chicago : University of Chicago Press, 1978. Chap. 9.

2. Drake, Stillman and Drabkin, I. E. (1969). Mechanics in Sixteenth-Century Italy. Madison: The University of Wisconsin Press.

3. Wallace, William. (1987). “The Problem of Apodictic Proof in Early Seventeenth-Century Mechanics: Galileo, Guevara, and the Jesuits.” History and Technology 4: 301-320. Reprinted in Galileo, the Jesuits and the Medieval Aristotle. Hampshire, Great Britain: Valorium.

4. Machamer, Peter. (1978). “Galileo and the Causes.” In New Perspective on Galileo, edited by Robert Butts and Joseph C. Pitt. Dordrecht: D. Reidel Publishing Company.


William Harvey Primary Sources:
1. William Harvey, The Circulation of the Blood, NY 1963.

2. Film: William Harvey and the Circulation of the Blood.


Secondary Sources:
1. Frank, Robert Jr. Harvey and the Oxford Physiologists, Berkeley 1980.

2. Cunningham, Andrew.  'Fabricius and the 'Aristotle Project' in Anatomical Teaching and Research at Padua'. In A. Wear, R.K. French, I.M. Lonie (eds.), The Medical Renaissance of the 16th Century. Cambridge 1985.

3. Bylebyl, Jerome. 'The Growth of Harvey's De Motu Cordis', Bulletin of the History of Medicine 47 (1973) 427-70.

4. Whitteridge, Gweneth. William Harvey and the Circulation of the Blood, London, 1971.

Copernican Astronomy Primary Sources:
1. Copernicus, De Revolutionibus, Book I, 1-12, Book III, 1-12; V, 1-10. A new translation from the Latin, with an introd. and notes by A. M. Duncan. Newton Abbot [Eng.] : David & Charles ; New York : Barnes & Noble, 1976.

2. Kpler, J. Mysterium cosmographicum, translation by A.M. Duncan ; introd. and commentary by E.J. Aiton ; with a pref. by I. Bernard Cohen. New York : Abaris, 1981.  pp. 35-108, 165-171.

Secondary Sources:
1. 1.
Pedersen, 0. "Astronomy", Science in the Middle Ages, Lindberg (ed.), Chicago : University of Chicago Press, 1978. Chap. 9.

2. Dreyer, J.L.E. History of Astronomy from Thales to Kepler. Dover, 1953. Chs. 11-13.

3. Goldstein, B.R. "The Role of Comets in the Copernican
Revolution". Studies in History and Philosophy of Science 1988, 19: 299-319.

4. Dijksterhuis, E. I. The Mechanization of the World Picture, Princeton, N.J. : Princeton University Press, [1986], c1961. pp 300-323.

The Mechanical Philosophy Primary Sources:
1. Descartes, Rene. Principles of Philosophy, (1644) Part II, pp. 223- 47. In I. Cottingham (ed), The Philosophical Writings of Descartes, Cambridge UP, 1988.

2. Boyle, Robert. "About the Excellency and Grounds of the
Mechanical Hypotheis"(1674) in M.A. Stewart, ed. Selected Philosophical Papers of Robert Boyle, Hackett, 19991.

Secondary Sources:
1. Hall, M.B. The Mechanical Philosophy. New York : Arno Press, 1981.

2. Osler, Margaret. Divine will and the mechanical philosophy: Gassendi and Descartes on contingency and necessity in the created world. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1994.

3. Nadler, Steven. "Doctrines of Explanation in Late Scholasticism and in the Mechanical Philosophy". In The Cambridge History of Seventeenth-Century Philosophy, edited by Daniel Garber. Cambridge 1998.

4. Chalmers, Alan. "The Lack of Excellency of Boyle's Mechanical Philosophy". Studies in History and Philosophy of Science. 1993; 24(4): 541-564.

The Newtonian Synthesis Primary Sources:
1. Newton, Isaac. Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica,(1687), Motte-Cajori translation, U California, 1966. Selections: Laws and Propositions: pp. 1- 31; Scho1ium, pp. 392-396; Vol. II, Rules of Reasoning, 398-400; General Scholium pp. 543 -547.

2.Newton, Isaac. Opticks, (lst 1704; 4th edition, 1730). Dover, 1952. Selections: Book I, Part I, 1-20; Book III, Part I, Quest. 29, 30, 31, pp. 370-406.

Secondary Sources:
1. Westfall, R. S. Force in Newton's physics: the science of dynamics in the seventeenth century. London, Macdonald and Co.; New York, American Elsevier, 1971.

2. Densmore, D. Newton's Principia: the central argument: translation, notes, and expanded proofs. Santa Fe, N.M. : Green Lion Press, c1995.

3. Cohen, I. B. and Westfall, R. S. Newton: texts, backgrounds, commentaries. New York, NY : W.W. Norton, c1995.

4. De Gandt, Fracois. Force and geometry in Newton's Principia, translated by Curtis Wilson. Princeton University Press, 1995.

5. Cohen, I.B. and Smith, George (eds). The Cambridge Companion to Newton. Cambridge University Press, 2002.

6. McGuire, J.E. Tradition and innovation : Newton's metaphysics of nature. Kluwer Academic Publishers, 1995.


The Emergence of Scientific Institutions Secondary Sources:
1. Purver, Margery. The Royal Society: Consent and Creation. (1967).

2. W .E. Knowles Middleton: The Experimenters: A Study of the Accademia del Cimento (1971).

3. Brown, Harcoun: Scientific Organizations in Seventeenth Century France (1934).

4. Hahn, Roger. An Anatomy of a Scientific Institution: The Paris Academy of Sciences. 1666-1803 (1971).

5. Shapin, S. and Schaffer, S. Leviathan and the Air-Pump: Hobbes, Boyle, and the Experimental Life (1985).

6. Hunter, Michael. Science and Society in Restoration England (1981).

7. Lux, David S. Pattonage and Royal Science in Seventeenth Century France (1989).

8. Feingold, Mordechai. The Mathematician's Apprenticeship: Science. Universities and Society in England. 1560-1640 (1984).

9. Biagio1i, M. Galileo Courtier: The Practice of Science in the Culture of Absolutism. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1993.

10. Jacob, M.C. The Newtonians and the English Revolution, 1689-1720. Hassocks: The Harvester Press, 1976.

11. Merton, R.K. Science, Technology and Society in Seventeenth-Century England. New York: Howard Fertig/Harper Torchbooks, 1970. (originally published in Osiris 4 (1938): 360-632).

Newtonianism and the Enlightenment Primary Sources:
1. Leibniz, G.W. "On Copernicanism and the Relativity of Motion" (1689); A Specimen of Dynamics (1695); The Principles of Philosophy, or, the Monadology (1714). In Philosophical Essays. Edited and translated by Roger Ariew and Daniel Garber. Hackeet. 1989.

2. Roger Cotes' Preface to the 2nd Edition of Principia (1713). In The Principia, translated by I.B. Cohen and Anne Whitman. University of California Press 1999.

3. Colin MacClaurin, Sir Isaac Newton's Philosophical Discoveries. London 1759.

4. Henry Pemberton, A View of Sir Isaac Newton's Philosophy. London 1728.

5. Voltaire. The elements of Sir Isaac Newton's philosophy. Translated by John Hanna. Birmingham, Ala. 1991.

6. Euler, Leonard. Letters of Euler on Different Subjects addressed to a German princess, ed. David Brewster, Edinburgh, W & C Tait, and Longman et al., 1823, Vol. 1, pp. 204 -221.


Secondary Sources:
1. Buchdahl, Gerd. The Image of Newton and Locke in the Age of Reason, London: Sheed and Ward, 1961.

2. Schofield, R.E. Mechanism and Materialism: British Natural Philosophy in An Age of Reason, Princeton 1969. Selections: pp. 3 -39; 235-276.

3. Metzger, Helene. Newton, Stahl, Boerhoeve et la doctrine chimique. Paris 1930.

4. Brunet, Pierre. L'introduction des theories de Newton en France au XVllle siecle. Paris. 1931.

5. Guerlac, Henry. "There the Statue Stood: Divergent Loyalties to Newton in the Eighteenth Century." In Earl R. Wasserman (ed.), Aspects of the Eighteenth Century (Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins Press, 1965).

6. Heimann, P. M. and McGuire, J. E., "Newtonian Forces and Lockean Powers: Concepts of Matter in Eighteenth-Century Thought." Historical Studies in Physical Sciences Vol. 3 (1971).

7. McEvoy, J. G.  and McGuire, J. E. "God and Nature: Priestley's Way of Rational Dissent," Historical Studies in the Physical Sciences, Vol. 6 (1975).

8. Nicolson, Marjorie Hope. Newton Demands the Muse, Newton's Opticks and the Eighteenth Century. Princeton: 1947.

9. Cohen, I.B. Franklin and Newton, an Inquiry into Speculative Newtonian Experimental Science. Philadelphia, 1956.

10. Thackery, Arnold. Atoms and Powers: An Essay on Newtonian Matter Theory and the Development of Chemistry, Cambridge, 1970. Selections: Chapters 1 and 2.

The Revolution in Chemistry Primary Sources:
1. Lavoissier, Antione. Elements of Chemistry, Dover, 1984. Chaps 1 and 2.

2. Dalton, John. "On Chemical Syntheisis" from A New System of Chemistry, (Manchester 1808). In David Knight, ed. Classical Scientific Papers: Chemistry, N.Y., American Elsevier, 1968.

3. Berzelius, Jacob  "On the cause of Chemical Proportions" (1814) in Ibid.

4. Davy, Sir Humphry. Presidential Address (1839) in Ibid.

5.Faraday, Michael. "A speculation touching Electric Conduction and the Nature of Matter" (1844) in Ibid.

6. Babbage, Charles. "On the Great Law which regulates Matter" (1837) in Ibid.

7. Maxwell, James Clarck. "Atom" (1875) in Ibid.

Secondary Sources:
Brock, W .H. The Norton History of Chemistry. New York : W.W. Norton, 1993, c1992. pp 96-121.

Life Sciences in the 18th Century: Cuvier, Buffon, Lamarck, Linnaeus Primary Sources:
1. Lamarck, J.B.  Zoological Philosophy (trans. Hugh Elliot), London, Macmillan and Co., limited, 1914. Ch. 3- 7.

2. T. Schwann, "Microscopical Researches," in M. Gabriel, S. Fogel, (eds.) Great Experiments in Biology. Englewood Cliffs, N.J., Prentice-Hall, 1955.

3. Kant, Critique of Teleological Judgment, translated, with an introd., notes, and analytical index, by James Creed Meredith. Oxford, Clarendon Press, 1928. Sections 61- 68, 71-83.

Secondary Sources:
1. Rudwick, Martin. The Meaning of Fossils (2nd edition). London, Macdonald and Co.; New York, American Elsevier, 1972.  Selections: Chap. 4.

2. Gillispie, C.G. The Edge of Objectivity. Princeton, 1960. Selections: chapters VII & VIII.

3. Peter Bowler, Evolution: The History of an Idea, Berkeley : University of California Press, c1989. Ch. 2, 3, and 5.

Uniformitarianism and Catastrophism in Geology Primary Sources:
1. James Button, "Theory of the Earth" (Abstract), Transactions of the Royal Society of Edinburgh (1788) 1: 209-304.

2. Adam Sedgwick, Presidential Address, Proceedings of the Geological Society of London 1831;

3. Charles L yell, Principles of Geology, 1st edition reprint, University of Chicago Press 1990. Vol. 1, Chapters 1 and 5; Vo1. 2, Chapters 1-5.

Secondary Sources:
1. Rudwick, Martin. The Meaning of Fossils (2nd edition). London, Macdonald and Co.; New York, American Elsevier, 1972.  Selections: Chap. 4.

2.  "Introduction" to Charles Lyell, Principles of Geology, 1st edition reprint, University of Chicago Press 1990. Vol. 1

3. Rachel Lauden, From Mineralogy to Geology, Chicago, 1987.

4. Stephen I. Gould, Time's arrow, time's cycle : myth and metaphor in the discovery of geological time , Harvard University Press, 1987.

Darwin and Evolution Primary Sources:
1. Darwin, Charles. On the Origin of Species (1st edition facsimile), Cambridge, Harvard University Press, 1964. Selections: chaps 1, 4,6, 10.

2. Adam Sedgwick, Presidential Address, Proceedings of the Geological Society of London 1831;

3. Charles L yell, Principles of Geology , 1st edition reprint, University of Chicago Press 1990.  Vol 1, Chapters 1 and 5; Vo1. 2, Chapters 1-5.

Secondary Sources:
1. E. J. Browne, Charles Darwin: A Biography. Princeton, 1995.

2. David Kohn, ed., The Darwinian Heritage, Princeton, 1985.

The Instincts Primary Sources:
1. Barrett, P. B., Gautrey, P. J., Herbert, S., Kohn, D., & Smith, S. (Eds.). (1987). N Notebook in Charle's Darwin's Notebooks. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press.

2. Lorenz, K. (1937). Ubër der Begriff der Instinckthandlung. Folia Biotheoretica, 2, 17-50. Translated as The Nature of Instinct in C. H. Schiller (Ed.), Instinctive Behavior: The development of a modern concept (pp. 129-175). New York: International Universities Press, 1957.

3. Lehrman, D. S. (1953). Critique of Konrad Lorenz's theory of instinctivebehaviour. Quarterly Review of Biology, 28 (4), 337-363. Abridged reprint in  S. Oyama & P. E. Griffiths & R. D. Gray (Eds.), Cycles of Contingency: Developmental Systems and Evolution (pp. 25-39). Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2001.

4. Bateson, P. P. G. (2000). Taking the stink out of instinct. In H. Rose & S. Rose (Eds.), Alas Poor Darwin: Arguments Against Evolutionary Psychology (pp. 189-207). New York: Random House.

Secondary Sources:
1. Richards, R. J. (1987). Darwin and the Emergence of Evolutionary Theories of Mind and behavior. Chicago: Univ. of Chicago Press. Pp. 135-136; 375-398.

2. Richards, R. J. (1974). The Innate and the Learned: The Evolution of Konrad Lorenz's Theory of Instinct. Philosophy of the Social Sciences, 4, 111-133.

3. Johnston, T. D. (2001). Towards a systems view of development: An appraisal of Lehrman's critique of Lorenz. In S. Oyama & P. E. Griffiths & R. D. Gray (Eds.), Cycles of Contingency: Developmental Systems and Evolution (pp. 15-23). Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press.

Mendel and Genetics Primary Sources:
1. Mendel, Gregor. "Experiments in Plant Hybridisation" (1865) in Curt Stem and Eva Shelwood eds., The Origins of
Mendelism, Chicago
, 1972.

2.DeVries, Hugo. The Mutation Theory; experiments and observations on the origin of species in the vegetable kingdom. Open Court publishing company 1909.

3. Bateson, W.  Materials for the study of variation treated with especial regard to discontinuity in the origin of species. London, New York, Macmillan and co., 1894. Introductio.

4. Johanssen W. 1911 American Naturalist. The Genotype conception of heredity. in JStore.

5. T.H Morgan, the theory of the gene. 1919.


Secondary Sources:
. Olby, Robert. Origins of Mendelism (2nd Edition) University of Chicago Press, 1985.

2. Kohler, Robert. Lords of the fly : Drosophila genetics and the experimental life University of Chicago Press, 1994.

Social and Human Sciences and Statistical Reasoning Primary Sources:
1. Durkheim, Suicide. Translated by John A. Spaulding and George Simpson, New York : Free Press, 1966, c1951. Part II

Secondary Sources:
1.Porter, T.M. The Rise of Statistical Thinking, 1820-1900. Princeton, N.J. : Princeton University Press, 1986.

Thermodynamics and Statistical Mechanics Primary Sources:
1. Maxwell, James Clerk. "Illustrations of the Dynamical Theory of Gases" & "An Outline of Modern Molecular Science".

2. James Clark Maxwell, Matter and Motion. Dover edition, 1920 (originally 1877).

3. Thompson, W. "On the Dynamical Theory of Heat". Phil. Mag. 4 (1852) . Reprinted in Thompson, W. Mathematical and Physical Papers, Cambridge, University Press, 1882-1911. Vol. 1, pp. 174ff.

4. Joule, J.P. "Some remarks on heat, and the constitution of elastic fluids". Phil. Mag. Series 4, Vol 14 (1857), pp. 211-216.

Secondary Sources:
1. Brush, Stephen G. The kind of motion we call heat : a history of the kinetic theory of gases in the 19th century. American Elsevier, 1976.
Theories of the Aether and Relativity. Primary Sources:
1. Maxwell, James Clarck. "On Faraday's Lines of force", "A Dynamical Theory Electromagnetic Field", "On Action at a Distance".

2. Einstein, Albert. "On the Electrodynamics of Moving Bodies" (1905) and "Does the Inertia of a Body Depend on its Energy Content" (1905). In Einstein, The Principle of Relativity. Dover 1952 (originally 1923).

3. Einstein, Albert. "Autobiographical Notes" (open Court, 1979). In Paul A Schilpp, ed. Albert Einstein: Philosopher-Scientist. Tudor, 1951.

Secondary Sources:
1. Segre, E. From X-rays to Quarks. Freeman, 1980.

2. Whittaker, Edmund. A history of the theories of aether and electricity. New York : Humanities Press, 1973.

Early Quantum Theory Primary Sources:
1. Planck, Max. "On the Theory of the Energy Distribution Law of the Normal Spectrum". In D. ter Haar, ed. The old Quantum Theory, Pergamon, 1967.

2. Einstein, A. "On a Heuristic Point of View About the Creation and Conversion of Light". In D. ter Haar, ed. The old Quantum Theory, Pergamon, 1967.

3. Planck, Max. A Survey of Physical Theory. Dover 1925.

Secondary Sources:
Jammer, Max. The conceptual development of quantum mechanics. Tomash Publishers, American Institute of Physics, 1989.