The Scientific Method: An Evolution of Thinking from Darwin to Dewey

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Product Details

Harvard University Press
Publish Date
6.5 X 9.3 X 1.5 inches | 1.5 pounds

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About the Author

Henry M. Cowles is Assistant Professor of History at the University of Michigan. A scholar of the history of science and medicine, he has written on evolutionary theory, animal psychology, and efforts to combat extinction. His research explores how the human sciences shape our perceptions of agency, possibility, and progress.


With dazzling brilliance and rare verve, Henry Cowles has accomplished what historians dream of--seizing upon an important fixture in our lives that we often take for granted, and making its story come alive. What is science? Anyone with even a passing interest in that question will have to read this book.--Jonathan Levy, author of Freaks of Fortune: The Emerging World of Capitalism and Risk in America
The Scientific Method tells the exciting story of how nineteenth-century psychologists and anthropologists were crucial in establishing how to think about science. Unexpected, provocative, and far-reaching, this book positions the human sciences at the center of rational thought.--Janet Browne, author of Charles Darwin: A Biography
Cowles brings to life a lush and unexpected intellectual history of the concept of the scientific method. This fine book will be of great significance to both historians and practicing scientists interested in the advances and limitations of contemporary science.--Richard Prum, author of The Evolution of Beauty: How Darwin's Forgotten Theory of Mate Choice Shapes the Animal World--and Us
Henry Cowles has produced an extremely rich history of the idea of 'the scientific method.' He recounts its eventful life from the crucial period when modern science took shape, tracing the influences of many diverse intellectual trends such as Darwinism and pragmatism. This is a unique and exemplary blend of philosophical and historical scholarship, with pertinent lessons for the troubled relationship between science and politics today.--Hasok Chang, author of Inventing Temperature: Measurement and Scientific Progress
Cowles's probing work delivers fresh insight into a less frequently visited part of intellectual history.--Publishers Weekly (02/05/2020)