383 pages, 24 b/w illustrations
Now in its third edition, The Rise of Early Modern Science argues that to understand why modern science arose in the West it is essential to study not only the technical aspects of scientific thought but also the religious, legal and institutional arrangements that either opened the doors for enquiry, or restricted scientific investigations. Toby E. Huff explores how the newly invented universities of the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, and the European legal revolution, created a neutral space that gave birth to the scientific revolution. Including expanded comparative analysis of the European, Islamic and Chinese legal systems, Huff now responds to the debates of the last decade to explain why the Western world was set apart from other civilisations.
"Huff cogently substantiates how the underlying cultural values of a society and civilization assist or check scientific inquiry, and thus discloses modern science as an intercivilizational phenomenon."
"[...] Huff provides a thorough, coherent hypothesis and thus helps sharpen the debates on the rise of modern science."
- MESA Bulletin
"[...] Huff's comparison of Catholic Europe, Islamic Asia, and Confucian China in terms of natural philosophy and educational institutions is timely and rewarding [...]."
- Benjamin Elman, American Journal of Sociology
"[...] Huff's excellent book is a comparative study of the development of these exclusive commitments within the thoughts, institutions, and beliefs about the nature of existence and of man in the West, and of the contrasting consequences of the different commitments and beliefs of Islam and China. His scope is impressive."
- A. C. Crombie, Journal of Asian Studies
"[...] provides a definitive, albeit implicit, commentary on the thesis much beloved by some theologians that the Christian doctrine of creation was responsible for the rise of modern science [...] casts light on the general theme of the origins of modernity [...] of sustained interest and full of copious reference to primary and secondary literature [...] "
- Religious Studies
"[...] essential reading [...]"
- Scientific and Medical Network Review
1. The comparative study of science
2. Arabic science and the Islamic world
3. Philosophy, science, and civilizational configurations
4. The European legal revolution
5. Madrasas and the transmitted sciences
6. Universities and the institutionalization of science
7. Science and civilization in China
8. Education, examinations, and Neo-Confucianism
9. Poverties and triumphs of Chinese science
10. The rise of modern science
Epilogue: science, history and development
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Toby E. Huff is a research associate in the Department of Astronomy, Harvard University, Massachusetts, and Chancellor Professor in Policy Studies at the University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth. He has lectured in Europe, Asia and the Middle East and has lived in Malaysia. Huff is the author of Intellectual Curiosity and the Scientific Revolution: A Global Perspective (Cambridge, 2011) and coeditor of Max Weber and Islam (with Wolfgang Schluchter, 1999).