6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Scientists without calculus,
This review is from: Encyclopedia of the Scientific Revolution: From Copernicus to Newton (Garland Reference Library of the Humanities) (Hardcover)
A weighty and useful summary of the dawn of the scientific era. Applebaum surveys several hundred scientists. He ends with Isaac Newton, the co-inventor of calculus and who ranks with Einstein as one of the greatest scientists of all time.
Applebaum's choice of Newton as the endpoint of his book is instructive. Because calculus is a dividing line. Once you have this as a tool, the physical sciences and engineering become quantitative subjects. Calculus leads to a fundamental change in a worldview. Thus, the subjects of this book, who predate calculus, were by our standards, working virtually blind. Yet, Applebaum shows that they were able to gain insights into nature, and move on. In doing so, they laid the ground for Newton and the rest of us.