The Science of Leonardo: Inside the Mind of the Great Genius of the Renaissance

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The Science of Leonardo: Inside the Mind of the Great Genius of the Renaissance

Format:  Paperback,

329 pages

Publisher: Random House Inc

Publish Date: Dec 2008

ISBN-13: 9781400078837

ISBN-10: 1400078830

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The following content was provided by the publisher.
Leonardo da Vinci's scientific explorations were virtually unknown during his lifetime, despite their extraordinarily wide range. He studied the flight patterns of birds to create some of the first human flying machines; designed military weapons and defenses; studied optics, hydraulics, and the workings of the human circulatory system; and created designs for rebuilding Milan, employing principles still used by city planners today. Perhaps most importantly, Leonardo pioneered an empirical, systematic approach to the observation of nature-what is known today as the scientific method.Drawing on over 6,000 pages of Leonardo's surviving notebooks, acclaimed scientist and bestselling author Fritjof Capra reveals Leonardo's artistic approach to scientific knowledge and his organic and ecological worldview. In this fascinating portrait of a thinker centuries ahead of his time, Leonardo singularly emerges as the unacknowledged "father of modern science."


Publisher: Random House Inc
Publish Date: Dec 2008
ISBN-13: 9781400078837
ISBN-10: 1400078830
Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 329
Shipping Weight (in pounds): 0.98
Product in Inches (L x W x H): 6.0 x 9.25 x 1.0

Chapter outline

Photographic Acknowledgments
Introduction: An Interpreter of Nature
Leonardo, the Man
Infinite Grace
The Universal Man
The Florentine
A Well-Employed Life
Leonardo, the Scientist
Science in the Renaissance
Science Born of Experience
Geometry Done with Motion
Pyramids of Light
The Eye, the Senses, and the Soul
Epilogue: "Read me, O reader, if in my words you find delight
Leonardo's Geometry of Transformations
Leonardo's Notebooks: Facsimiles and Transcriptions


Review by Library Journal (2007-09-01)

Capra, since his first book, Tao of Physics (1975), has argued against the reductive approach to scientific inquiry that has been prevalent in experimental science since the scientific revolution of the 16th century. He continues that discussion in his biography of Leonardo da Vinci, artist and scientist. Drawing from secondary sources, anecdotal material, and Leonardo's notebooks, Capra describes a Renaissance man who integrated traits that we view as peculiar to a scientific mind with the sensitivity and skill of a great artist.

With few ties to accepted schools of scientific thought (he did not read Latin), Leonardo exemplifies for Capra what science needs today, an "integrative, systemic thinker". Capra asserts that new areas of inquiry, such as deep ecology, that employ pattern recognition within complex systems rather than reductive approaches are following in Leonardo's footsteps on a path that embraces the full array of intellectual and spiritual effort. A theoretical physicist who transitioned to popular science writing, Capra has an engaging style and a thorough understanding of the science behind Leonardo's inventions and thinking. Recommended for public and academic libraries. (Index not seen.)-Sara Rutter, Univ. of Hawaii at Manoa Lib., Honolulu

(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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