Institute's Bibliography (PuRe) Team

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Books

Scholars of the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science (MPIWG) have a strong book publication record, with output including individual publications, group collaborations, and edited volumes. Our Working Group books are volumes written by two or more authors as the result of intensive collaboration, and are a particular specialty of the Institute.

 

 

2019
Special Journal Issue

Listening to the Archive: Sound Data in the Humanities and Sciences

Our aim here is to take a first step in research on the epistemic challenges that sound archiving has posed within and between the humanities, the social sciences, and the natural sciences since the late nineteenth century—and even more so since the availability of digital sound archives and tools for sound analysis.

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Book

Against Nature

Why have human beings, in many different cultures and epochs, looked to nature as a source of norms for human behavior? From ancient India and ancient Greece, medieval France and Enlightenment America, up to the latest controversies over gay marriage and cloning, natural orders have been enlisted to illustrate and buttress moral orders.

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Edited Book

Animals through Chinese History: Earliest Times to 1911

This volume opens a door into the rich history of animals in China. As environmental historians turn their attention to expanded chronologies of natural change, something new can be said about human history through animals and about the globally diverse cultural and historical dynamics that have led to perceptions of animals as wild or cultures as civilized.

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Book

Creatures of Cain: the Hunt for Human Nature in Cold War America

After World War II, the question of how to define a universal human nature took on new urgency. Creatures of Cain charts the rise and precipitous fall in Cold War America of a theory that attributed man’s evolutionary success to his unique capacity for murder.

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Edited Book

Culture and Cognition: Essays in Honor of Peter Damerow

Peter Damerow (1939–2011) was a visionary scholar of rare versatility. A key figure in the foundation and early development of the Max Planck Institute for the History of Science, he contributed to fields as wide-ranging as pedagogy, mathematics, philosophy, psychology, Near Eastern studies, as well as the history of knowledge and science.

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Book

Empire of Style: Silk and Fashion in Tang China

This first book on fashion in premodern China is informed by archaeological sources-paintings, figurines, and silk artifacts-and textual records such as dynastic annals, poetry, tax documents, economic treatises, and sumptuary laws. Tang fashion is shown to have flourished in response to a confluence of social, economic, and political changes that brought innovative weavers and chic court elites to the forefront of history.

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Working Group Book

Entangled Itineraries: Materials, Practices, and Knowledges across Eurasia

Trade flowed across Eurasia, around the Indian Ocean, and over the Mediterranean for millennia, but in the early modern period, larger parts of the globe became connected through these established trade routes. Knowledge, embodied in various people, materials, texts, objects, and practices, also moved and came together along these routes in hubs of exchange where different social and cultural groups intersected and interacted.

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Book

Geschichte des mestizischen Europas: Vermischung als Leitkategorie europäischer Geschichtsschreibung

Es ist an der Zeit, die europäische Geschichte als eine Vielzahl von Vermischungsprozessen zu verstehen, die durch Europas Teile und durch die globale Eingebundenheit des Kontinents seit der Antike stattgefunden haben.

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Book

Heisenberg’s 1958 Weltformel and the Roots of Post-Empirical Physics

In 1958, Werner Heisenberg, in his 57th year, jumped the shark. At the Max Planck centennial in Berlin, he presented what others would label his Weltformel (World Formula), a final theory reducing all of physics, known and unknown, to the interactions of one elementary quantum field.

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Book

In Pursuit of the Great Peace: Han Dynasty Classicism and the Making of Early Medieval Literati Culture

Through an examination of the Great Peace (taiping), one of the first utopian visions in Chinese history, Zhao Lu describes the transformation of literati culture that occurred during the Han Dynasty. Driven by anxiety over losing the mandate of Heaven, the imperial court encouraged classicism in order to establish the Great Peace and follow Heaven’s will.

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Book

L'eglise comme lieu de concert: pratiques musicales et usages de l'espace (Paris, 1830-1905)

Alors que de nombreux travaux ont mis en lumière le rôle central de Paris dans la vie musicale européenne du xixe siècle, l’histoire de certains de ses hauts lieux de musique est demeurée dans l’ombre. L’historiographie a eu tendance à passer systématiquement sous silence l’importance des églises dans cette activité artistique.

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Book

Planning Labour: Time and the Foundations of Industrial Socialism in Romania

Impoverished, indebted, and underdeveloped at the close of World War II, Romania underwent dramatic changes as part of its transition to a centrally planned economy. As with the Soviet experience, it pursued a policy of “primitive socialist accumulation” whereby the state appropriated agricultural surplus and restricted workers’ consumption in support of industrial growth.

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Book

Practicing the Correspondence Principle in the old Quantum Theory: a Transformation through Implementation

This book presents a history of the correspondence principle from a new perspective. The author provides a unique exploration of the relation between the practice of theory and conceptual development in physics. In the process, he argues for a new understanding of the history of the old quantum theory and the emergence of quantum mechanics.

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Book

Sonic Skills: Listening for Knowledge in Science, Medicine, and Engineering (1920s–Present)

It is common for us today to associate the practice of science primarily with the act of seeing—with staring at computer screens, analyzing graphs, and presenting images. We may notice that physicians use stethoscopes to listen for disease, that biologists tune into sound recordings to understand birds, or that engineers have created Geiger tellers warning us for radiation through sound.

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Working Group Book

Surprise: 107 Variations on the Unexpected

Science depends on the unexpected. Yet surprise and its role in the process of scientific knowledge-making has hitherto received little attention, let alone systematic investigation. This collection explores surprise as a historical category, as a staged performance or as a spontaneous reaction, or as part of a personal experience during scholarly endeavors.

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Book

Swinging and Rolling: Unveiling Galileo's Unorthodox Path from a Challenging Problem to a New Science

This volume explores the reorginisation of knowledge taking place in the course of Galileo's research process extending over a period of more than thirty years, pursued within a network of exchanges with his contemporaries, and documented by a vast collection of research notes.

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Edited Book

Technosphäre

Was geschieht, wenn Technologien und Techniken zu planetarischen Akteuren werden? Im Laufe des 20. Jahrhunderts hat sich mit der Technosphäre eine neue Komponente des Erdsystems etabliert, vergleichbar in ihrer Wirkmacht und Funktion mit der Bio- oder Hydrosphäre.

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The Oxford Handbook of Music Listening in the 19th and 20th Centuries

This handbook takes on the task of examining the history of music listening over the past two hundred years. It uses the “art of listening” as a leitmotif encompassing an entanglement of interdependent practices and discourses about a learnable mode of perception.

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Working Group Book

Working with Paper: Gendered Practices in the History of Knowledge

Working with Paper builds on a growing interest in the materials of science by exploring the gendered uses and meanings of paper tools and technologies, considering how notions of gender impacted paper practices and in turn how paper may have structured knowledge about gender.

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2018
Book

A Yogācāra Buddhist Theory of Metaphor

This book is about what metaphors mean and do within Buddhist texts. More specifically, it is about the fundamental Buddhist ambivalence toward language, which is seen as obstructive and yet necessary for liberation, as well as the ingenious response to this tension that one Buddhist philosophical school—the early Indian Yogācāra (3rd–6th century CE)—proposed by arguing that all language use is in fact metaphorical (upacāra).

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