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The great Devonian controversy : the shaping of scientific knowledge among gentlemanly specialists

Author: M J S Rudwick
Publisher: Chicago : University of Chicago Press, [1985]
Series: Science and its conceptual foundations.
Edition/Format:   Print book : State or province government publication : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
Acclaimed everywhere as a masterpiece in the history of science, The Great Devonian Controversy recreates a scientific debate of the 1830s and 1840s about a dating of certain puzzling rock strata and fossils. -- from back cover.
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Genre/Form: History
Material Type: Government publication, State or province government publication, Internet resource
Document Type: Book, Internet Resource
All Authors / Contributors: M J S Rudwick
ISBN: 0226731014 9780226731018 0226731022 9780226731025
OCLC Number: 11158682
Description: xxxiii, 494 pages : illustrations, portraits ; 26 cm.
Contents: Part I: Setting the scene --
Chapter 1: Scientific research under a historical microscope --
Introducing the Devonian controversy --
Watching the natives at work --
Applying a historical microscope --
Research as skilled craftsmanship --
The revival of narrative --
Beyond earshot of the natives --
Chapter 2: Arenas of gentlemanly debate --
Gentlemanly specialists in geology --
The geological society --
The Société Géologique --
The British association --
The art of letter writing --
The romance of fieldwork --
Chapter 3: Unraveling the Earth --
Creation and causation --
Sections and sequences --
Structures and correlations --
Defining a global sequence --
Part II: The plot unfolds --
Chapter 4: Prelude: Unraveling the greywacke --
A father figure for geology (1831) --
Sedgwick's graywacke grindstone (1831) --
Murchison gets out of Lyell's shadow (1831-33) --
Weaver and the Irish question (1832-33) --
The proprietor of the Welsh Borderland (Summer 1833 to October 1834) --
De la Beche and the Devonshire survey (1834) --
Chapter 5: The controversy goes public --
De la Beche's "Interesting" fossil plants (October to November 1834) --
Preconceived opinions versus facts (December1834) --
De la Beche springs to his own defense (December 1834) --
Restoring a gentlemenly civility (December 1834 and January 1835) --
Marshalling support behind the scenes (December 1834 and January 1835) --
Weaver recants his heresy (January and February 1835) --
Phillips interprets the anomaly (February to April 1835) --
De la Beche's livelihood secured (May to August 1835) --
Chapter 6: Taming the transition --
Murchison defines the Silurian system (June and July 1835) --
The Dublin Festival of Science (July and August 1835) --
Anglo-Belgian correlations (September 1835) --
Murchison's surreptitious fieldwork (September and October 1835) --
The greywacke defended and attacked (November 1835 to February 1836) --
Successes for the fossil criterion (February to April 1836) --
Chapter 7: Devonshire put to the test --
Preparing an invasion (February to June 1836) --
The Devonshire campaign (July and August 1836) --
The grand attack at Bristol (August 1836) --
Sedgwick explores the Cambrian in Devon (September and October 1836) --
Reproofs and reciminations (September to November 1836) --
De la Beche consolidates his defense (October and November 1836) --
Chapter 8: Interpretative maneuvers --
Preparing a new attack (December 1836 and January 1837) --
Problems at the eleventh hour (January 1837) --
Hamlet without the prince (February 1837) --
Lyell saves the phenomena (February 1837) --
The spread of ugly rumors (February to April 1837) --
The ambiguities of critical evidence (March to May 1837) --
A damp squib on Devonshire (May and June 1837) --
Chapter 9: Shifting the argument --
Putting a provincial in his place (July to September 1837) --
The provincials move center stage (October and November 1837) --
Austen's enigmatic fossils (December 1837) --
Weaver reenters the lists (January 1838) --
The judgment of a universal scientist (February1838) --
Expanding the carboniferous in Devon (January to May 1838) --
Fighting back for the greywacke (March and April 1838) --
The disappointment of the Cambrian system (May to July 1838) --
Pressure on the Cambrian of Devon (July 1838) --
Chapter 10: Big books in colllision --
A surfeit of Silurianism (August 1838) --
Continential Silurianism (September to November 1838) --
Encapsulating a consensus (December 1838) --
Murchison's Magnum Opus (January 1839) --
De la Beche's Report (February 1839) --
A priority dispute flares up (February and March 1839) --
Continental itineraries (February to April 1839) --
Chapter 11: The Devonian system reborn --
Old red in Devon? (February and March 1839) --
The Devonian system redefined (April 1839) --
First reactions to the Devonian (April 1839) --
Williams provides a peg for the argument (April 1839) --
Consolidating the Devonian (April and May 1839) --
Chapter 12: Conquering the continent --
Murchison opens the Rhineland campaign (May and June 1839) --
Sedgwick joins the campaign (June to August 1839) --
Establishing the Devonian at home (June to August 1839) --
The Devonian vanishes on the continent (August and September 1839) --
A triumvirate in the Rhineland (September and October 1839) --
A postmortem on the Devonian (October to December 1839) --
An interlude on Devonshire (September 1839 to January 1840) --
The Devonian redivivus (December 1839 to February 1840) --
Chapter 13: Creating a consensus --
Devonshire in a new dress (February 1840) --
A geological enclosure act (February and March 1840) --
Setting the record straight (March to May 1840) --
Resolving Russia (May to September 1840) --
Devonshire on the sidelines (May to September 1840) --
From Moscow to New York (September 1840 to April 1841) --
Chapter 14: The Devonian naturalized --
Mopping up Devonshire (April to August 1841) --
From the Urals to Niagara (April to October 1841) --
Securing Murchison's monument (November 1841 to February 1842) --
Murchison's apotheosis (December 1841 to November 1842) --
Completing the consensus (1842 to 1847) --
Part III: The action analyzed --
chapter 15: The shape of the controversy --
A first approximation --
A coarse-grained analysis --
A pattern of trajectories --
Mapping the field of competence --
Locating the core set --
Chapter 16: The shaping of natural knowledge --
The continuum of relative privacy --
Contests on the agonistic field --
Persuasive powers and social interests --
The transformation of a paradigm --
Social construction and natural knowledge.
Series Title: Science and its conceptual foundations.
Responsibility: Martin J.S. Rudwick.
More information:

Abstract:

Acclaimed everywhere as a masterpiece in the history of science, The Great Devonian Controversy recreates a scientific debate of the 1830s and 1840s about a dating of certain puzzling rock strata and fossils. -- from back cover.

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