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What did the Romans know? : an inquiry into science and worldmaking

Author: Daryn Lehoux
Publisher: Chicago ; London : The University of Chicago Press, 2012.
Edition/Format:   Print book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
Lehoux contends that even though many of the Romans' views about the natural world have no place in modern science--the umbrella-footed monsters and dog-headed people that roamed the earth and the stars that foretold human destinies--their claims turn out not to be so radically different from our own. He begins with Cicero's theologico-philosophical trilogy On the Nature of the Gods, On Divination, and On Fate.  Read more...
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Genre/Form: History
Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Daryn Lehoux
ISBN: 9780226471143 0226471144
OCLC Number: 743755841
Description: xi, 275 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
Contents: The web of knowledge --
A Roman world --
Knowing nature in the Roman context --
Overview --
Nature, gods, and governance --
Divinity and divination --
Roman virtues --
Nature and the legitimation of the republic --
A Ciceronian contradiction? --
Knowledge of nature and virtuous action --
Fabulae versus learned observation --
Conclusion --
Law in nature, nature in law --
Laws of nature --
Natural laws --
Human and divine governance --
Is a "law of nature" even possible in antiquity? --
Divinity, redux --
Conclusion --
Epistemology and judicial rhetoric --
Theory-ladenness and observation --
Observations as models --
Observational selectivity --
Examination of witnesses --
The natural authority of morals --
Declamation and certainty --
The embeddedness of seeing --
Doubts about vision --
Mechanisms of seeing in antiquity --
The eyes as organs --
Not every black box is a camera obscura --
Epistemologies of seeing --
The centrality of experience --
The trouble with taxa --
Knowledge claims and context-dependence --
Unproblematic facticity --
Problems with experience --
The lab section of the chapter --
The question of worlds --
Epilogue --
The long reach of ontology --
Kinds of justification for prediction --
Predictability and determinism --
Physical solutions to determinism --
The cascading effect --
Dreams of a final theory --
Explaining the cosmos --
Orbs, souls, laws --
Numbers in nature --
Harmony and empiricism --
Conclusion --
Of miracles and mistaken theories --
History as a problem for realism --
Quantum magnum pi? --
Can we avoid the problems history poses? --
First strategy: we have something they didn't --
Second strategy: the curate's egg --
Other ways out --
Worlds given, worlds made --
What's in a world? --
Kuhn's world --
What good is relativism? --
Coherence --
Truth and meaning --
Realism, coherence, and history.
Responsibility: Daryn Lehoux.

Abstract:

What did the Romans know about their world? The author contends that even though many of the Romans' views about the natural world have no place in modern science - that umbrella-footed monsters and  Read more...

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"At the intersection of classics, history, and philosophy of science, this is a very original book that explores Roman ways of knowing the world, and shows how, despite seeming irrational or Read more...

 
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