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Thinking About the Earth By David Oldroyd

Thinking About the Earth

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The development of leading geological ideas from Antiquity to the present day is placed in the wider context of the development of scientific and intellectual thought. The book emphasizes the importance of empirical investigations in the development and shaping of theoretical knowledge.
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Thinking About the Earth Summary

Thinking About the Earth: History of Ideas in Geology by David Oldroyd

This text treats the development of geological ideas, from antiquity to the present. The significance of ideas about the earth is reflected in the range of thinkers who have written on geological questions: for example, Aristotle and Descartes, with their ideas grounded in philosophy; Werner, with ideas developed as an outgrowth of the German mining tradition; Humboldt, with his effort to produce a holistic picture of nature; Lyell, with his ideas on the earth's age and history; Jeffreys, with his geophysics; and Lovelock, with his "Gaia" hypothesis. Beginning with a discussion of "organic" views of the earth in mythopoeic cultures, the book traverses such topics as "mechanical" and "historicist" views of the earth, map-work, chemical analyses of rock and minerals, geomorphology, experimental petrology, seismology, theories of mountain building, sedimentology, and geochemistry, and brings us back to the idea that the earth may, in a sense, be regarded as a living entity, or at least that life is an essential feature of its behaviour.

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Table of Contents

Ideas about the Earth in Antiquity, the Middle Ages and the Renaissance; "mechanical" theories of the Earth, and physico-theology; the beginnings of geological science; thoughts on heat, fire and water; the Earth surveyed and geologically mapped; geological time and the tempo of geological change; thoughts about climate, glaciation and carving the Earth's surface; the making of mountains, and the pulse of the Earth; thinking about rocks and their formation; earthquakes, early seismology and the Earth's hidden interior; movement of poles and continents; some grander ways of thinking; a few concluding thoughts; some suggestions for further reading.

Additional information

Thinking About the Earth: History of Ideas in Geology by David Oldroyd
David Oldroyd
Used - Like New
Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
Book picture is for illustrative purposes only, actual binding, cover or edition may vary.
This is a used book - there is no escaping the fact it has been read by someone else and it will show signs of wear and previous use. Overall we expect it to be in very good condition, but if you are not entirely satisfied please get in touch with us.