To Explain the World: The Discovery of Modern Science

To Explain the World The Discovery of Modern Science A masterful commentary on the history of science from the Greeks to modern times by Nobel Prize winning physicist Steven Weinberg a thought provoking and important book by one of the most distinguish

  • Title: To Explain the World: The Discovery of Modern Science
  • Author: Steven Weinberg
  • ISBN: 9780062346650
  • Page: 496
  • Format: Hardcover
  • A masterful commentary on the history of science from the Greeks to modern times, by Nobel Prize winning physicist Steven Weinberg a thought provoking and important book by one of the most distinguished scientists and intellectuals of our time.In this rich, irreverent, and compelling history, Nobel Prize winning physicist Steven Weinberg takes us across centuries from anciA masterful commentary on the history of science from the Greeks to modern times, by Nobel Prize winning physicist Steven Weinberg a thought provoking and important book by one of the most distinguished scientists and intellectuals of our time.In this rich, irreverent, and compelling history, Nobel Prize winning physicist Steven Weinberg takes us across centuries from ancient Miletus to medieval Baghdad and Oxford, from Plato s Academy and the Museum of Alexandria to the cathedral school of Chartres and the Royal Society of London He shows that the scientists of ancient and medieval times not only did not understand what we understand about the world they did not understand what there is to understand, or how to understand it Yet over the centuries, through the struggle to solve such mysteries as the curious backward movement of the planets and the rise and fall of the tides, the modern discipline of science eventually emerged Along the way, Weinberg examines historic clashes and collaborations between science and the competing spheres of religion, technology, poetry, mathematics, and philosophy.An illuminating exploration of the way we consider and analyze the world around us, To Explain the World is a sweeping, ambitious account of how difficult it was to discover the goals and methods of modern science, and the impact of this discovery on human knowledge and development.

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      Published :2019-09-18T06:03:43+00:00

    About "Steven Weinberg"

    1. Steven Weinberg

      Steven Weinberg born May 3, 1933 is an American theoretical physicist and Nobel laureate in Physics for his contributions with Abdus Salam and Sheldon Glashow to the unification of the weak force and electromagnetic interaction between elementary particles.He holds the Josey Regental Chair in Science at the University of Texas at Austin, where he is a member of the Physics and Astronomy Departments His research on elementary particles and physical cosmology has been honored with numerous prizes and awards, including in 1979 the Nobel Prize in Physics and in 1991 the National Medal of Science In 2004 he received the Benjamin Franklin Medal of the American Philosophical Society, with a citation that said he is considered by many to be the preeminent theoretical physicist alive in the world today He has been elected to the US National Academy of Sciences and Britain s Royal Society, as well as to the American Philosophical Society and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.Weinberg s articles on various subjects occasionally appear in The New York Review of Books and other periodicals He has served as consultant at the U S Arms Control and Disarmament Agency, President of the Philosophical Society of Texas, and member of the Board of Editors of Daedalus magazine, the Council of Scholars of the Library of Congress, the JASON group of defense consultants, and many other boards and committees.


    1. I was pretty excited to read this one and apparently the author is a lecturer on the history of science and put the book together through the notes he uses to prepare for teaching his class. There was a lot of new stuff in this book that I didn't know, especially about the development of math which really helped make sense of why we use calculus and such. I learned a lot. That said I wish the author had focused on more than just math and physics, I understand that as a physicist that it's easies [...]

    2. إسم الكتاب: لشرح العالم - اكتشاف العلم الحديثالكتاب: ستيفين واينبيرجعدد الصفحات: ٤٣٢سنة النشر: ٢٠١٥يتناول هذا الكتاب موضوع تاريخ العلم منذ العصور القديمة حتى نيوتن بشكل شبه تفصيلي، فلا هو يرتقي لمستوى الكتب الجامعية (تكتس بوكز) ولا هو بسطحية بعض الكتب التي تعطي صورة مبسطة جد [...]

    3. There was a time when one approached a popular science book by a 'real' working scientist with trepidation. There was little doubt they would get the science right, but the chances are it would read more like a textbook or dull lecture notes. Thankfully, there are now a number of scientists who make pretty good writers too, but one area they tend to fall down on in history of science. I've lost count of the number of popular science titles by working scientists (including, infamously also the re [...]

    4. (view spoiler)[Bettie's BooksThe rating, any status updates, and those bookshelves, indicate my feelings for this book. (hide spoiler)]

    5. ספר די דחוס שעוסק בהיסטוריה והפילוסופיה של התפתחות האסטרונומיה, הפיזיקה והמתמטיקה מאז ימי היוונים ועד היום.חלקים מהספר מרתקים בעיקר המאבקים במאות ה 16 וה 17 בין המדע והדת. אבל חלקים מהספר משמימים ועוסקים בניתוח מדוקדק עד זרא של תיאוריות כושלות כולל תיאור רכיבים פיזיקליים ומת [...]

    6. I gave this book 2 stars based on my opinion that the most valuable elements in a condensed book on the history of science (made for the general public) are:1. The author's selective inclusion of subjects/scientists2. The author's detailed analysis of the key scientists' achievements relative to the overall progress of his field or science in general.3. The author's analysis and commentary on factors contributing to the beginning of science and it's continued progress, the abolition of science d [...]

    7. Wanted to read at least one first-rate history of science. Did some research and settled on this one because it is renowned for its quality and ability to communicate the subject to the non-scientifically trained. On that score, it is just right. Immensely informative and sufficiently detailed to tell you what you need to know.You get the full set of all significant contributions to science beginning with the Greeks of Miletus and Alexandria (yes, as its namesake implies, it was a Greek city at [...]

    8. To Explain the World is an uninteresting walk through the development of our understanding of the solar system. The book purports to do other things but really the majority of its bulk centers around this point. Normally, I love history of science, but this book is both slow and lacks insight. Avoid this book.The book grows out of the lecture notes for a course the author instructed and the text very much has that feel. The text feels like an outgrowth from a not particularly good outline and th [...]

    9. A friend recommended this to me. I admit its given me reason for deep thought, something I so seldom do. Its interesting that ancient revered personages come across as ignorant savages in this book. I don't think my feelings regarding Plato could sink much lower after reading this. I feel the main purpose of this book is more to point out man's prejudice toward false certainty, superstition, and instinct over a searching curiosity. And if you think this might make me an Atheist, far from it, a g [...]

    10. Stephen Weinberg, Nobel Prize-winning physicist for his work on the electroweak force, author of textbooks on cosmology, gravity, general relativity, and quantum field theory, writer of several popular books of popular science, here—at the age of 82—uncharacteristically offers his readers and fans not a work of greatness but a high school-level, superficial, simplistically argued, unoriginal overview of the history of science from the Greeks through Newton. Unexpectedly from an author of his [...]

    11. Some history of science books suffer from the problem that the authors don't actually know much science (or can't explain it). That's not a problem here. Weinberg gives superb accounts of technical astronomy up to Kepler (with one small exception having to do with the center of motion in Copernicus' system which I won't get into) and an incredibly lucid account of Newtonian mechanics. I confess I had never really understood why the earth should bulge at the equator before reading Weinberg's expl [...]

    12. Much more basic than I had imagined it would be and sadly didn't offer up much depth or reflection. It didn't offer up any new insight or really made me think. Interesting enough to finish, but generally just an OK book.

    13. The book listens like a series of lectures given to undergraduates (or maybe even graduates) in the liberal arts who want to understand how science developed and how we finally got to Newton. Newton changes everything, and the author will explain why the greatest book ever about the physical world is Newton's Principia ("Principles of Natural Philosophy"). The author outlines the steps that it took for the world to create a Newton. But just like in a college course you have to learn a lot of dif [...]

    14. This book is ostensibly about the development of science, and particularly the scientific method: the development, in short, of the understanding that we need both theory and experiment to derive natural laws. It goes into a lot of the history of the development of astronomy and physics, and thus necessarily chemistry to some degree as well (since the makeup of an atom affects chemistry)… but neglects biology almost entirely. Since biology is my interest, I’d hoped for a bit more of it, but [...]

    15. I shouldn't write a review of this book because, honestly, I gave it only perfunctory attention as I read. I was disappointed with the content and could not imagine I was reading anything new or useful. I did not get a sense of the wonder and excitement he generated in his earlier books especially Dreams of Final Theory. To Explain the World seems to be nothing more than an author selected incomplete history of only some subjects, most noticeably math and astronomy and his dislike or appreciatio [...]

    16. Actual rating 4.5/5Review in English on my YT channel youtu/BETXD2q4g7gRecensione in italiano sul mio canale YT youtu/KZZFUdYPDEo

    17. Confession time: I studied history at university and one of the first thing I learned - you can’t judge the past by the present for a whole lot of reasons not least of which is that they didn’t have the same access as us to, well, history. Which brings me to the recent book by Nobel Prize winning theoretical physicist Steven Weinberg, To Explain the World. Weinberg isn’t an historian and feels no need to follow this rule. In fact, he rejects it out of hand which meant at least to me once I [...]

    18. Weinberg is a Nobel laureate and winner of a gazillion awards, which I had not known when I bought the book. It kinda became clear that he was a real physicist when he actually provided clear and detailed information on various theories (his discussion of Newton's theories was, um, a bit over my head, but I got the general idea). Anyhow, this is an interesting bit of research into how we came to think scientifically about the things we think we know about the world. (Or something that makes more [...]

    19. Weinberg tells you from the outset that he wants to judge the past by the standards of the present. This is so that we appreciate not just the achievements and discoveries of science, but more importantly the scientific method itself. We've come a long way from Plato and Aristotle extracting things out their rectum and calling it natural philosophy and generations of scholars following them blindly and no one asking: well, how do you know? Science didn't get going until we understood what questi [...]

    20. Me diverti aprendendo como foram as deduções que levaram à descoberta de que Mercúrio, Vênus, Marte e Júpiter são planetas e não estrelas, de onde vêm os signos do zodíaco, como a gravidade foi entendida e bem mais. Mas acho que o nome do livro deveria ser To Explain the Universe, já que ele é basicamente voltado para astronomia e o que foi necessário para isso. Pontos bônus por citar e explicar como foi o desenvolvimento científico no Oriente Médio também, algo bem raramente ci [...]

    21. I brought TETW forward, as a sensible complement to my currently readings in philosophy. I notice that I am poor in predicting when I will take up books from my shelves. TETW turns out to be great stuff, even though I had seen most of the material before. Weinberg is one of the few physicists who engage the outlook of antique philosophers. I think back on Heisenberg recounting the history of man’s views of matter, going back to the 6th century BCE, in order to put quantum theory in context. A [...]

    22. Weinberg wants to recover the moment when philosophy turned into the scientific method. He locates this moment sometime between Galileo and Newton which isn't surprising, as that is where the role of experimentation is traditionally thought to play a part in the synthesis.He contrasts this with the "pure reason" method of Descartes and Plato. This "discovery" as espoused by Weinberg is in contrast to philosophers of science like Paul Feyerabend and Irme Lakatos who demonstrate in detail that eve [...]

    23. „Lumea explicată” e o călătorie care trece în revistă istoria fizicii de la Thales la Newton, în care cititorul descoperă ce anume a condus către conceptul modern de știință reprezentat de realizările lui Newton și ale urmașilor lui.Povestea pleacă din Milet, pe la începutul secolului VI î. Cr, cu un secol înainte de Socrate, unde aflăm că Thales, primul milesian de care știm câte ceva, este creditat cu predicția unei eclipse solare. Tot lui Thales, figură legendară, [...]

    24. This book has been on my mind ever since I read it; and not in a positive way. I was hoping for a Eric Kandel kind of work: eminent, a beautiful mix of scientific and historical perspectives. Not in this case. Although Weinberg's remarks were at time insightful and enjoyable (definitely the explanation of the math behind inventions and discoveries), as a historical work it came close to terrible.My issue: as Weinberg carries on to explain how the modern scientific method came into existence, he [...]

    25. The book has a nice collection of not terribly integrated nuggets from the history of Science and the reflections that a physicist has on them. It contains a bit of interesting information both about ancient thinkers and about modern Science, but I didn't find in it an explanation of how we got from there to here. Instead, from this book I got a sequence of disconnected leaps from one scientific attitude to another, each one more and more approximating the attitude of modern Science. But what se [...]

    26. This was an interesting book, with much to learn about the history of scientific discovery. The writing was a little dry, and contained far too much mundane science-speak (equations, calculations, etc.). These stories are fascinating, so I think they could be told in a more engaging way than was presented. One item of note: The book chronicles scientists and philosophers as they work out the mysteries of the natural world. There was so much unknown becoming known that it was hard to understand i [...]

    27. Weinberg traces the history of our (incomplete) scientific understanding of Nature, focusing on the process of what went wrong and right, leading to our modern scientific method and knowledge. Technical details of historic problems are left to Appendices. A nice reading overall, but I think it lacks a more thorough analysis of the complicated processes of deduction/inference/heuristic/chance, etc, throughout history. He doesn't analyze some current debates on redefining/extending the scientific [...]

    28. A solid book on the history of science, goes in fascinating detail about the dawn of critical thought in ancient Greece, through the dark ages and Renaissance to the modern day. Main thought of the book is to show how the scientific thought evolved from the religious mysticism to fully experimental tool of the thought we know and understand today.I liked book's focus on the movement of celestial bodies as a overarching theme through which the desire to know and understand the world motivated anc [...]

    29. I've read Weinberg before and was expecting much and was a little disappointed. It is a solid history of ancient and medieval science up through the scientific revolution but I felt it could have gotten a more detailed treatment by Weinberg. I know he is a working physicist and not a historian. It is interesting to see what take Weinberg has on his pre-scientific predecessors but the book is really short and I would have liked to hear more from Weinberg with more details but it is a short book.

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