The Philosophical Breakfast Club

The Philosophical Breakfast Club : Four Remarkable Friends Who Transformed Science and Changed the World

3.97 (395 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

"The""Philosophical Breakfast Club "recounts the life and work of four men who met as students at Cambridge University: Charles Babbage, John Herschel, William Whewell, and Richard Jones. Recognizing that they shared a love of science (as well as good food and drink) they began to meet on Sunday mornings to talk about the state of science in Britain and the world at large. Inspired by the great 17th century scientific reformer and political figure Francis Bacon--another former student of Cambridge--the Philosophical Breakfast Club plotted to bring about a new scientific revolution. And to a remarkable extent, they succeeded, even in ways they never intended.
Historian of science and philosopher Laura J. Snyder""exposes the political passions, religious impulses, friendships, rivalries, and love of knowledge--and power--that drove these extraordinary men. Whewell (who not only invented the word "scientist," but also founded the fields of crystallography, mathematical economics, and the science of tides), Babbage (a mathematical genius who invented the modern computer), Herschel (who mapped the skies of the Southern Hemisphere and contributed to the invention of photography), and Jones (a curate who shaped the science of economics) were at the vanguard of the modernization of science.
This absorbing narrative of people, science and ideas" "chronicles the intellectual revolution inaugurated by these men, one that continues to mold our understanding of the world around us and of our place within it. Drawing upon the voluminous correspondence between the four men over the fifty years of their work, Laura J. Snyder shows how friendship worked to spur the men on to greater accomplishments, and how it enabled them to transform science and help create the modern world.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 439 pages
  • 162 x 238 x 42mm | 698.53g
  • Random House Inc
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • black & white illustrations, maps
  • 0767930487
  • 9780767930482
  • 329,081

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Review quote

"Fulbright scholar and historian Laura J. Snyder plunges confidently and stylishly...Snyder engagingly stakes out an era beginning with science as a hobby of vicars and the wealthy to its evolution as the engine of imperial growth."
--"Newark Star-Ledger"
"Geeks, scientists, intellectuals will leap for joy at Laura J. Snyder's book, which tells the tale of four Victorian men of Science."
--""The Daily""
"This is an excellent book about the history and status of science in 19th century England. If you enjoy the history of science, this book stands a good chance of being the best one in that genre to come out this year."
--Tyler Cowen, "MarginalRevolution.com"
"Ms. Snyder, a scholar of Victorian science and culture at St. John's University in
New York, shows a full command of the scientific, social and cultural dimensions of
the age. In Ms. Snyder's telling, the lives and ideas of these men come across as fit for "Masterpiece Theater.""""
"--
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About Laura Snyder

An expert on Victorian science and culture, Fulbright scholar Laura J. Snyder just completed a term as president of the International Society for the History of Philosophy of Science. She is associate professor of philosophy at St. John's University and the author of "Reforming Philosophy: A Victorian Debate on Science and Society."
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Rating details

395 ratings
3.97 out of 5 stars
5 31% (124)
4 44% (173)
3 18% (73)
2 4% (14)
1 3% (11)
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