Sunday, July 29, 2012

Seeing Further


Seeing Further: The Story of Science and the Royal SocietySeeing Further: The Story of Science and the Royal Society by Bill Bryson



   Bill Bryson (editor)

As of 31-Aug-2011, have only read, and need to re-read, Neal Stephenson's essay:

Stephenson N. (2010) Atoms of Cognition: Metaphysics in the Royal Society, 1715-2010. In: Seeing Further: The Story of Science, Discovery, and the Genius of the Royal Society. Edited & Introduced by Bill Bryson. Contributing editor Jon Turney. HarperCollins e-book. EPub Edition ISBN 9780062036223. ISBN 9780061999765. | Google Books preview/extracts. Stephenson essay: pp. 84-105.

Extract: "My theme is the legacy of Leibniz's metaphysics from the time of his death down to the present day, and so a direct summary of that system, based on the scholarship of latter-day researchers, will do better service than any attempt to untangle the points and counter-points in the correspondence. The account presented below is patterned after the work of Christia Mercer of Columbia University. Her book Leibniz's Metaphysics: Its Origins and Development, published in 2001 by Cambridge University Press, is a formidable work of forensic scholarship that can in no way be improved by my attempts to summarise it."

Extremely interesting how Stephenson draws parallels between Gottfried Leibniz's metaphysics and the physics of the 20th-21st centuries.  Written with style, grace, clarity, coherence, and storytelling at its best.


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