HomeGroupsTalkMoreZeitgeist
Search Site
This site uses cookies to deliver our services, improve performance, for analytics, and (if not signed in) for advertising. By using LibraryThing you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your use of the site and services is subject to these policies and terms.

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

Loading...

Time's Arrow, Time's Cycle: Myth and Metaphor in the Discovery of Geological Time (1987)

by Stephen Jay Gould

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
642337,136 (3.43)5
Rarely has a scholar attained such popular acclaim merely by doing what he does best and enjoys most. But such is Stephen Jay Gould's command of paleontology and evolutionary theory, and his gift for brilliant explication, that he has brought dust and dead bones to life, and developed an immense following for the seeming arcana of this field. In Time's Arrow, Time's Cycle his subject is nothing less than geology's signal contribution to human thought--the discovery of "deep time," the vastness of earth's history, a history so ancient that we can comprehend it only as metaphor. He follows a single thread through three documents that mark the transition in our thinking from thousands to billions of years: Thomas Burnet's four-volume Sacred Theory of the Earth (1680-1690), James Hutton's Theory of the Earth (1795), and Charles Lyell's three-volume Principles of Geology (1830-1833). Gould's major theme is the role of metaphor in the formulation and testing of scientific theories--in this case the insight provided by the oldest traditional dichotomy of Judeo-Christian thought: the directionality of time's arrow or the immanence of time's cycle. Gould follows these metaphors through these three great documents and shows how their influence, more than the empirical observation of rocks in the field, provoked the supposed discovery of deep time by Hutton and Lyell. Gould breaks through the traditional "cardboard" history of geological textbooks (the progressive march to truth inspired by more and better observations) by showing that Burnet, the villain of conventional accounts, was a rationalist (not a theologically driven miracle-monger) whose rich reconstruction of earth history emphasized the need for both time's arrow (narrative history) and time's cycle (immanent laws), while Hutton and Lyell, our traditional heroes, denied the richness of history by their exclusive focus upon time's arrow.… (more)
Loading...

Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 5 mentions

Showing 3 of 3
Ich weiß nicht, wie das Buch in meine Bibliothek gelang, aber es lag da schon Jahre rum und da ich mir wohl irgendwann mal was dabei gedachte habe, habe es jetzt mal gelesen. Allerdings ist es dann doch eher für Geologen interessant, behandelt es die Anfänge der Geologie zur Zeit Darwins und die Unterscheidung zwischen Zeitkreis und Zeitpfeil. Wer das jetzt schon spannend findet, der wird bei der Lektüre sicherlich gut aufgehoben sein, allen anderen empfehle ich das doch genau zu überdenken. ( )
  iffland | Mar 19, 2022 |
Popular science at its best! ( )
  leslie.98 | Jun 26, 2013 |
Gould looks at time - is it linear, like an arrow? Or cyclical? He examines the various ideas throughout history, and seems to come to the conclusion that it is both. Interesting, but not as much as most of his other works. ( )
  Devil_llama | Apr 16, 2011 |
Showing 3 of 3
no reviews | add a review

Belongs to Publisher Series

You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
People/Characters
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Epigraph
Dedication
For

Richard Wilson, M. D.

Karen Antman, M. D.

Sine quibus non

In the most brutal, literal sense.
First words
Sigmund Freud remarked that each major science has made one signal
contribution to the reconstruction of human thought—and that each step in
this painful progress had shattered yet another facet of an original hope for
our own transcendent importance in the universe
Quotations
Last words
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Blurbers
Original language
Canonical DDC/MDS
Canonical LCC

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (2)

Rarely has a scholar attained such popular acclaim merely by doing what he does best and enjoys most. But such is Stephen Jay Gould's command of paleontology and evolutionary theory, and his gift for brilliant explication, that he has brought dust and dead bones to life, and developed an immense following for the seeming arcana of this field. In Time's Arrow, Time's Cycle his subject is nothing less than geology's signal contribution to human thought--the discovery of "deep time," the vastness of earth's history, a history so ancient that we can comprehend it only as metaphor. He follows a single thread through three documents that mark the transition in our thinking from thousands to billions of years: Thomas Burnet's four-volume Sacred Theory of the Earth (1680-1690), James Hutton's Theory of the Earth (1795), and Charles Lyell's three-volume Principles of Geology (1830-1833). Gould's major theme is the role of metaphor in the formulation and testing of scientific theories--in this case the insight provided by the oldest traditional dichotomy of Judeo-Christian thought: the directionality of time's arrow or the immanence of time's cycle. Gould follows these metaphors through these three great documents and shows how their influence, more than the empirical observation of rocks in the field, provoked the supposed discovery of deep time by Hutton and Lyell. Gould breaks through the traditional "cardboard" history of geological textbooks (the progressive march to truth inspired by more and better observations) by showing that Burnet, the villain of conventional accounts, was a rationalist (not a theologically driven miracle-monger) whose rich reconstruction of earth history emphasized the need for both time's arrow (narrative history) and time's cycle (immanent laws), while Hutton and Lyell, our traditional heroes, denied the richness of history by their exclusive focus upon time's arrow.

No library descriptions found.

Book description
Haiku summary

Current Discussions

None

Popular covers

Quick Links

Rating

Average: (3.43)
0.5
1
1.5
2 5
2.5 1
3 16
3.5 2
4 16
4.5 1
5 3

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.

 

About | Contact | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 208,724,443 books! | Top bar: Always visible