HPS 392 Graduate Precept, Fall 1980

Professor Michael S. Mahoney

Reading for graduate precepts begins with the week's assignment in the undergraduate syllabus. The readings below supplement that assignment by pointing to the primary and secondary literature that has largely informed the lectures or that seems of special importance to anyone wishing to pursue the subject farther. It is not necessary to read all of the works cited, nor to read any one in its entirety. Rather, one should know what they contain, and hence what one can gain from them should the need arise.

Week 2: Mythopoeic Accounts of Nature, Pre-Greek Science

C. Levi-Strauss, The Savage Mind
T.H. Caster, "Mythic Thought in the Ancient Near East", J.Hist.Ideas 16(1955), 422-426 (an essay review of Frankfort, et al.)
S.N. Kramer, (Review of Frankfort), J.Cuneiform Stud. 2(1948), 39ff.
S.N. Kramer, History Begins at Sumer
Th. Jacobsen, (Review of Kramer's Sumerian Mythology), J. Near Eastern Stud. 5(1946), 128-152
G.S. Kirk, Myth: Its Meaning and Function
A. Cotogni, Dal mito al pensiero razionale
C. Blacker & M. Loewe (eds.), Ancient Cosmologies

R. Biggs, "Medicine in Ancient Mesopotamia", History of Science 8(1969), 94-105
B.L. van der Waerden, Science Awakening (Vol. I, Mathematics; Vol. II, Astronomy)
O. Neugebauer, A History of Ancient Mathematical Astronomy (3 vols.)
O. Neugebauer, Vorgriechische Mathematik
M.S. Mahoney, "Babylonian Algebra: Form vs. Content", Stud. Hist. Phil. Sci. 1(1970), 369-380

(At some point you should take a look at the editions of the primary sources:
J.H. Breasted, The Edwin Smith Surgical Papyrus
B. Ebbell, The Papyrus Ebers
R.C. Archibald, The Rhind Papyrus
O. Neugebauer, Mathematische Keilschrift-Texte (MKT)
                            Mathematical Cuneiform Texts (MCT)
                            Astronomical Cuneiform Texts (ACT) )

Week 3: From Myth to Science: Greek Natural Philosophy to Plato (Timaeus)

Frankfort, et al., "Conclusion"
B. Snell, The Discovery of the Mind
W. Burkert, Lore and Science in Ancient Pythagoreanism (orig. Weisheit und Wissenschaft)
F.M. Cornford, Principium Sapientiae
G.E.R. Lloyd, Magic, Reason and Experience: Studies in the Origin and Development of Greek Science
D.J. Furley & R.E. Allen, Studies in Presocratic Philosophy (contains many interesting articles, among them Gregory Vlastos' review of Cornford's Principium Sapientiae)
J.M. Robinson, An Introduction to Early Greek Philosophy (the nicest English version of the texts)
F.M. Cornford, Plato's Cosmology
G. Vlastos, Plato's Universe

Week 4: Aristotle's Nature

J.H. Randall, Aristotle
D. Ross, Aristotle (a handy outline of doctrines and loci classici )
M. Grene, A Portrait of Aristotle
G.E.L. Owen, et al., "Aristotle", DSB I, 250-258
F. Solmsen, Aristotle's System of the Physical World
L.A. Kosman, "Aristotle's Definition of Motion", Phronesis 14(1969), 40-62
A. Gotthelf, "Aristotle's Conception of Final Causality", Review of Metaphysics 30(1976), 226-254

Week 5: Hellenistic Science

(As individual scientists begin to play a major role, one should get in the habit of looking them up in the DSB, not only for the precis of their careers and for the most recent balance of any controversies about them, but also for the bibliography. Among general accounts, the following are especially useful:)

H. Sigerist, History of Medicine, Vol. II
Ludwig Edelstein, Ancient Medicine
O. Temkin, "Greek Science as Medicine and Craft", ISIS 44(1953), 213-225
O. Temkin, Galenism
C.R.S: Harris, The Heart and Vascular System in Ancient Greek Medicine from Alcmaeon to Galen
L. Wilson,."Erasistratus, Galen, and the Pneuma", Bull.Hist.Med.33(1959),293-314
D.W. Thompson, "Aristotle as Biologist", Nature 91(1913), 204ff.
D.W. Thompson, "Aristotle the Naturalist", Science and the Classics, 37-78

T.L. Heath, A History of Greek Mathematics
I. Thomas, Selections Illustrating the History of Greek Mathematics (offers Greek-English texts of the passages discussed by Heath in the order in which he discusses them)
P.-H. Michel, De Pythagore A Euclide
A. Szabo, Anfange der griechischen Mathematik
M.S. Mahoney, "Another Look at Greek Geometrical Analysis", Arch.Hist.Ex.Sci. 5(1968), 318-348

Neugebauer, Mathematical Astronomy (cf. above, Week 2)
T.S. Kuhn, The Copernican Revolution (A good introduction to mathematical astronomy)
O. Pedersen & M. Pihl, Early Physics and Astronomy
O. Pedersen, A Survey of the Almagest

Week 6: The Decline of Greek Science

Peter Brown, The World of Late Antiquity
B. Farrington, Greek Science, Part II, Chap.4
L. Edelstein, "Recent Trends in the Interpretation of Greek Science". J.Hist.Ideas 13(1952)
                        "Motives and Incentives for Science in Antiquity", in A.C. Crombie (ed.), Scientific Change
                        The Idea of Progress in Classical Antiquity
M.I. Finley, "Technological Innovation and Economic Progress in the Ancient World", Economic History Review, 2nd ser., 18(1965), 29-45
O. Gigon, "Plinius and der Zerfall der antiken Naturwissenschaft", in his Studien zur antiken Philosophie, 370-390

Week 7: Arabic Science

Seyyed Hosein Nasr, Science and Civilization in Islam
R. Taton (ed.), Histoire generale des sciences, Vol. I, Chap.2: "La science arabe" (also in English translation)
R. Walzer, Greek into Arabic
F. Peters, Aristotle and the Arabs
G.E. von Grnebaum, Islam: Essays in the Nature and Growth of a Cultural Tradition
R. Lemay, Abu Ma'shar and Latin Aristotelianism in the 12th Century

These are the major general works that recur in the bibliographies and articles I have read. For more particular aspects of Arabic science, one may begin with the DSB, which in many ways represents the most up-to-date source. In addition, I suggest the following:

A.P. Juschkewitsch, Mathematik im Mittelalter (contains a long and excellent survey of Arabic mathematics)
M. Schramm, Ibn al-Haytham's Weg zur Physik
E. Wiedemann, Aufsätze zur arabischen Wissenschaft (devoted almost entirely to mechanics and physical sciences)
M. Meyerhoff, Von Alexandrien nach Baghdad (medicine and medical education), in Sitzungsberichte der preussischen Akademie, phil.-hist. Kl., 23(1930)
D. Lindberg, Theories of Vision from al-Kindi to Kepler
B. Dodge, Muslim Education in Medieval Times
A. Sayili, The Observatory in Islam

Week 8: The New Learning in the West

L. Minio-Paluello, "Aristotle: Tradition and Influence", in DSB I
J.E. Murdoch, "Euclid: Transmission of the Elements", in DSB IV -- see also the articles by Tannery on 11th-century geometry and by Clagett on Archimedes, as cited in Lindberg, Chap. 5, notes.
                        "The Medieval Euclid: Salient Aspects of the Translations of the Elementsby Adelard of Bath and Campanus of Novara," Revue de Synthèse, 89(1968) (3e ser., nos. 49-52), 67-94
F. van Steenberghen, Aristotle in the West: The Origins of Latin Aristotelianism The Philosophical Movement in the Thirteenth Century
N.H. Steneck, Science and Creation in the Middle Ages: Henry of Langenstein (d.1397) on Genesis

Week 9: Natural Philosophy in the Scholastic University

G. Beaujouan, "Motives and Opportunities for Science in the Medieval Universities", Scientific Change, 219-236
F. van Steenberghen, "L'Organisation des etudes au moyen age et ses repercussions sur le mouvement philosophique", Rev. philos. Louvain 52(1954), 572-592
A. Maier, "Die erkenntnistheoretische Wendung and die neuen Strömungen des 14. Jahrhunderts", Zwei Grundprobleme der spätscholastischen Naturphilosophie, Chap.8
J. Murdoch, "Philosophy and the Enterprise of Science in the Later Middle Ages", in Y. Elkana (ed.), The Interaction between Science and Philosophy
A.B. Cobban, The Medieval Universities: Their Development and Organization
G. Leff, Paris and Oxford Universities in the 13th and 14th Centuries

Week 10: The Science of Motion

E. Sylla, "Medieval Quantification of Qualities: The Merton School", Arch.Hist.Ex.Sci., 8(1971), 9-39
J.E. Murdoch, "Mathesis in philosophiam scholasticam introducta: The Rise and Development of the Application of Mathematics in 14th-Century Philosophy and Theology", Arts libéraux et philosophie au moyen age (= 4th Cong. Intern. de philos. méd. )
A. Funkenstein, "Some Remarks on the Concept of Impetus and the Determination of Simple Motion", Viator 2 (1971), 329-348
M. Wolff, Geschichte der Impetustheorie

Two large works consisting in large part of primary source material constitute the locus classicus for the history of the medieval science of motion: Marshall Clagett's Science of Mechanics in the Middle Ages and Annaliese Maier's 5-vol. Studien zur spätscholastischen Naturphilosophie. The second is seldom easy to read, but it always rewards the effort.

Week 11: Optics, Experimental Science, and Technology

D. Lindberg, John Pecham and the Science of Optics; cf. his Theories of Vision cited above
Robert Grosseteste, De Luce (On Light)
A.C. Crombie, Robert Grosseteste and the Origins of Experimental Science
P. Sternagel, Die artes mechanicae im Mittelalter
B. Bischoff, "Die Uberlieferung der technischen Literatur", Artigianato e tecnica nella società dell'alto medioevo occidentale, 267-296
G. Beaujouan, L'Interdependance entre la science scholastique et les techniques utilitaires(XIIe, XIIIe, et XIVe siecles)
L. White, Jr. Medieval Religion and Technology: Collected Essays; cf. esp. "Cultural Climates and Technological Advance in the Middle Ages" (orig. in Viator, 2(1971), 171-201)

Week 12: Magic and the Occult

E. Peters, The Magician, the Witch, and the Law in the Middle Ages
G.W. Coopland, Nicole Oresme and the Astrologers; cf. Bert Hansen's ed. of Oresme's Quodlibetal Questions (Princeton Ph.D.)
A.G. Molland, "Roger Bacon as Magician", Traditio 30(1974), 445-460
C. Jenkins, "St. Augustine and Magic", Sciences Medicine, and History (= Singer Festschrift), I, 131-140
M.R. Best & F.H. Brightman, eds., The Book of Secrets of Albertus Magnus