Introduction and Perspectives

  • Susan Kaufman
  • Jean-Claude Pecker


Thousands of books have been written about the history of science, notably about the history of astronomy. A selected bibliography is given at the end of this book. Some authors regard the history from an epistemological point of view, trying to find some logic to the history, to discover some trace of the evolution of methodologies and points of view. Some just try to offer examples, presumably typical of the evolution of ideas and techniques. Some defend a theory, some just give the facts. But of course, in merely giving the facts, there are biases which, unavoidably, reveal the attitudes of the writer and his epistemological position. Even more, some historians of astronomy cannot resist the temptation to introduce the scientific achievements in some philosophical frame of reference, often of a religious nature. The bias of the writer is often conveyed subtly, by implication, rather than by any overt statement.


Scientific Revolution Religious Nature Roman College Early Thinker Overt Statement 
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  1. (Anthology) (1964) Les penseurs grecs avant Socrate. GF Flammarion, Paris, pp 367 (Chap. 1)Google Scholar
  2. Walker C (ed) (1996) Astronomy before the telescope. British Museum Press, London, pp 352 (Chaps. 1–4)Google Scholar
  3. Neugebauer 0 (1983) Astronomy and history, selected essays. Springer, New York, pp 146 (Chaps. 1–3)Google Scholar
  4. Hoskin M (ed) (1999) The Cambridge concise history of astronomy. Cambridge University Press, pp xiv + 362 (all Chaps.)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • Susan Kaufman
  • Jean-Claude Pecker
    • 1
  1. 1.Collège de FranceAnnexe UlmParis Cedex 05France

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