This book seeks to illustrate the interconnections of science and philosophy with religion and politics in the early modern period by focusing on the institutional dynamics of the university. Much of the work is devoted to one key university- that of Cambridge- and examines the major issues of the institutional setting of Newton’s work, the religious and political circumstances that favoured its dissemination, and the way in which it was dealt with in the curriculum. But the author also seeks to place the problem of the role of science in the early modern university in a larger, European context. To do so, he includes a close prosopographical analysis of the scientific community from the mid-15th TO the end of the 18th century, and discusses the complex relations between the universities and the Enlightenment.
Table of Contents
Contents: Isaac Barrow’s academic milieu: Interregnum and Restoration Cambridge; The universities and the Scientific Revolution: the case of Newton and Restoration Cambridge; The Cambridge curriculum in the age of Newton as revealed through the accounts of Samuel Blithe; Politics, patronage and Newtonianism: the Cambridge example; Mathematics and meritocracy: the emergence of the Cambridge mathematical tripos; Church and state allied:the failure of parliamentary reform of the English universities, 1688-1800; A reappraisal of the role of the universities in the Scientific Revolution; The 18th-century scientific community: a prosopographical study; The universities and the Enlightenment; Index.
'Gascoigne combines formidable erudition with a very readable prose style, using well-chosen quotations from contemporary sources to point up his incisive analytical judgements.' Journal of the History of the Behavioral Sciences, Vol. 36(3).282-283 'These studies deserve re-publication as a collection.... they provide a penetrating view of the interplay of intellectual and political currents in the universities of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.' The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science