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The Birth of Physics


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Table of Contents

Introduction / Editions of Lucretius / Translator's note / 1. Protocol / 2. Mathematics / 3. Return to the Model / 4. Experiences / 5. Conditions / 6. Application: Genesis of the Text / 7. History / 8. Morality / Index

About the Author

Michel Serres is a Professor in the History of Science at Stanford University and a member of the Academie Francaise.


Webb and Ross have provided us with an elegant and idiomatic new translation of one of Michel Serres's most timely and revolutionary books, allowing English readers to experience the extraordinary power and seductive quality of the Serresian idiom. It is my expectation and hope that their excellent work will open the riches of this important text to a new generation of Anglophone scholars. -- Chris Watkin, Monash University, Australia
This long-awaited translation will change the way we think about materialism, and about the relationship between thought and life. Vortices, declinations, flows: the atoms of ancient physics have all the life and vibrancy that the twenty-first century often thought it was discovering in its new materialism. The history of ideas and life alters dramatically - and for the better - if we take Serres's thought seriously. Atoms are not static building blocks but deviating forces, and the birth of physics was a moment of wild difference if only we read Lucretius with the keen eye that Serres offers. -- Claire Colebrook, Edwin Erle Sparkes Professor of English, Penn State University

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