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The Age of Genius

The Seventeenth Century and the Birth of the Modern Mind

The Age of Genius by A. C. Grayling
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What happened to the European mind between 1605, when an audience watching Macbeth at the Globe might believe that regicide was such an aberration of the natural order that ghosts could burst from the ground, and 1649, when a large crowd, perhaps including some who had seen Macbeth forty-four years earlier, could stand and watch the execution of a king? Or consider the difference between a magus casting a star chart and the day in 1639, when Jonathan Horrock and William Crabtree watched the transit of Venus across the face of the sun from their attic, successfully testing its course against Kepler's Tables of Planetary Motion, in a classic case of confirming a scientific theory by empirical testing.

In this turbulent period, science moved from the alchemy and astrology of John Dee to the painstaking observation and astronomy of Galileo, from the classicism of Aristotle, still favoured by the Church, to the evidence-based, collegiate investigation of Francis Bacon. And if the old ways still lingered and affected the new mind set – Descartes's dualism an attempt to square the new philosophy with religious belief; Newton, the man who understood gravity and the laws of motion, still fascinated to the end of his life by alchemy – by the end of that tumultuous century 'the greatest ever change in the mental outlook of humanity' had irrevocably taken place.
Bloomsbury Publishing; March 2016
368 pages; ISBN 9781408843291
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Title: The Age of Genius
Author: A. C. Grayling
 
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Review: The Age of Genius, AC Grayling - Stuff.co.nz
Sat, 21 May 2016 10:02:03 -0700
Stuff.co.nzReview: The Age of Genius, AC GraylingStuff.co.nzAtheist philosopher AC Grayling's mission is to prove that the ...
AC Grayling reduces history to a game of quidditch - Spectator.co.uk
Wed, 09 Mar 2016 20:06:19 -0800
Spectator.co.ukAC Grayling reduces history to a game of quidditchSpectator.co.ukIt is very difficult to uncover accurate ...
'The Age of Genius', by AC Grayling - Financial Times
Fri, 11 Mar 2016 05:28:31 -0800
Financial Times'The Age of Genius', by AC GraylingFinancial TimesIf you're in the former camp, you'll probably ...

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