Introduction to the History and Social Studies of Science

Ten Chapter textbook as it appeared on previous platform

Scientific Revolution: Intro to HPS

As previously posted on old platform, but with two additions: the English version of the Preface written for the Mandarin edition of this book, published in Shanghai 2013; and, a two page Guide to the seven Sections into which the book is divided.

Welcome to Relaunched Site

The site ‘Descartes-agonistes’ has moved. All previous articles are present, along with a few new items such as: my recent review of Alan Chalmers’ One Hundred Years of Pressure, and my invited ‘Focus Section’ piece in Isis June 2019 on explanation in the history of science. Contact:

Schuster. The Real Descartes Stands Up, Nacht van Descartes, University of Utrecht, October 2008

Invited public talk, concluding the afternoon session of the ‘Nacht van Descartes’ of the University of Utrecht, Descartes Centre for the History of the Natural Sciences and Humanities, 2 October 2008.  Full title Descartes agonistes: The ‘Real’ Descartes Stands Up–How the agendas, identities, rebellions, successes, failures and delusions of ‘youth’ (1618-33) generated the historians’ mature Descartes.

Schuster Organizing the Experimental Life at the Early Royal Society, Ghent 2008

This paper invited by the Centre for the History of Science, University of Ghent, is based in part on work originally pursued with Dr Alan B. H. Taylor. It examines how knowledge claims were manufactured and communicated at the early Royal Society. We examine the Society’s organisationally sedimented patterns of decision-making and action-taking. This cuts across Shapin’s characterization of ‘the new Experimental Science’ in terms of a supposedly new ‘form of life’ which purportedly broke with the previously dominant culture of natural philosophy. Three case studies suggest that the contested culture of natural philosophy continued to play through and be played upon within the Royal Society. These findings are amplified in my monograph in progress dealing with ‘the fate of natural philosophy and the rise of modern sciences in the Scientific Revolution’.

Schuster 2018 Review of Alan Chalmers 100 Years of Pressure

John Schuster (2018) Review of Alan Chalmers, One Hundred Years of Pressure: Hydrostatics from Stevin to Newton. Dordrecht: Springer, 2017 Annals of Science 78: 145-148. On the issues raised here about the rise of experimental sciences and roles of natural philosophy in the Scientific Revolution, see also Schuster and Watchirs 1990 in research section, as well as Schuster 2002 on ‘Aristotelianism and its Alternatives’. The issue is still understudy in a monograph in progress on ‘the fate of natural philosophy and rise of modern sciences in the Scientific Revolution’.