The Sleepwalkers: A History of Man's Changing Vision of the Universe

The Sleepwalkers: A History of Man's Changing Vision of the Universe


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An extraordinary history of humanity's changing vision of the universe. In this masterly synthesis, Arthur Koestler cuts through the sterile distinction between 'sciences' and 'humanities' to bring to life the whole history of cosmology from the Babylonians to Newton. He shows how the tragic split between science and religion arose and how, in particular, the modern world-view replaced the medieval world-view in the scientific revolution of the seventeenth century. He also provides vivid and judicious pen-portraits of a string of great scientists and makes clear the role that political bias and unconscious prejudice played in their creativity.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780140192469
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 06/05/1990
Series: Compass Series
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 624
Sales rank: 237,909
Product dimensions: 5.10(w) x 7.80(h) x 1.40(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Arthur Koestler (1905–1983) was an extraordinary polymath, writer, and political polemicist. His most famous works include the novels Darkness at Noon and Arrival and Departure; his autobiographical writings, including Spanish Testament and Scum of the Earth; and his visionary nonfiction, including The Ghost in the Machine, The Case of the Midwife Toad, and The Sleepwalkers.

Herbert Butterfield was an influencial historiographer born in 1900 in Yorkshire, England. A graduate of Peterhouse, University of Cambridge, he is best known for his 1931 work The Whig Interpretation of History. He died in 1979.

Table of Contents

The Sleepwalkers - Arthur Koestler Preface
Part One: The Heroic Age
1. Dawn
2. The Harmony of the Spheres
3. The Earth Adrift
4. The Failure of Nerve
5. The Divorce from Reality
Chronological Table to Part One
Part Two: Dark Interlude
1. The Rectangular Universe
2. The Walled-in Universe
3. The Universe of the Schoolmen
Chronological Table to Part Two
Part Three: The Timid Canon
1. The Life of Copernicus
2. The System of Copernicus
Chronological Table to Part Three
Part Four: The Watershed
1. The Young Kepler
2. The "Cosmic Mystery"
3. Growing Pains
4. Tycho de Brahe
5. Tycho and Kepler
6. The Giving of the Laws
7. Kepler Depressed
8. Kepler and Galileo
9. Chaos and Harmony
10. Computing a Bride
11. The Last Years
Part Five: The Parting of the Ways
1. The Burden of Proof
2. The Trial of Galileo
3. The Newtonian Synthesis
Chronological Table to Parts Four and Five
Selected Bibliography

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The Sleepwalkers: A History of Man's Changing Vision of the Universe 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Koestler goes through the history of astronomy, but the real aim of the book is to help to understand the process of the scientific and creative mind. He centers his attention specially on Kepler's work and life, and through a declared admiration for him he tells us the relationship between Ancient Greek (Pithagorean School above all), Middle Age and Modern Age. 'The Sleepwalkers' has helped me in understanding my own work in music, and it has made many ideas to raise in my mind.