am 21. September 2014
I cannot quite understand the negative comments made by the two previous reviewers. Maybe this is the case of wrong expectations? This is a book written by a historian and philosopher of science. It is not a technical book on how the wheel was invented. The author cares about what people think and this is a fascinating adventure of the human mind. Many of the questions discussed today in the philosophy of science (and religion) were already discussed thousand years ago. Indeed the middle ages were much smarter, lively, and complex than we are usually told. After all, our modern academic tradition is firmly rooted in what happened centuries ago - despite the prejudice that it all only started in the age of enlightenment. If one wants so nurture this prejudice this is not the book for you. Here the development of thinking is nicely put into its historical context - something that is way too often forgotten when the picture of the terrible and dark middle ages is painted today. The book does not present one coherent story, but highlights individual thinkers and their lives throughout the centuries. Hence, once can peek into many corners of history but also gets loaded with lots of information. The writing is lively and understandable, but some academic background and interest will certainly help when reading this book.
am 4. Januar 2014
I had thought that the book would discuss specific technical & scientific topics that were made during the middle ages.
Instead the book is purely theoretical, discusses the priests & popes, their attitudes, but no specific scientific data.
If James Hannam intended to show that science was indeed brought forward it's a feeble attempt. Not very convincing.