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Uneasy Genius
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A hundred years have now gone by since in the midsummer of 1882 Pierre Duhem, a graduate of College Stanislas, completed with brilliant success his entrance exams to the Ecole Normale Superieure and embarked on his career as a theoretical physicist. His father, a textile salesman, hoped that Hierre would pursue a career in business, one of the few professional fields where perhaps he would not have succeeded. Not that young Duhem lacked sense for the practical. He could have easily made a name for himself as an artist had he developed professionally his skill to draw portraits and landscapes. His ability to make a point and his readiness to join in a debate, could have earned him fame as a lawyer. A potential actor was in sight when he entertained friends with mimicry. That as a student of physics he entered and stayed first in his class at the Ecole Normale, did not thwart his talents for the life sciences. No less a biologist than Pasteur tried to obtain Duhem for assistant. His command of Greek and Latin would have secured him a career as a classicist. He was a Frenchman, not to be met too often, whose rightful ad- miration for and mastery of his native tongue, did not prove a barrier to the major modern languages. As one who taught himself the complex art of medieval paleo- graphy, he could easily have mastered the many auxiliary sciences needed by a consummate historian.
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Table of Contents

1. Young Pierre.- Parents, home and early years.- Eyewitness to a fateful year.- College Stanislas.- Life at Stanislas.- Young scholar.- Personal exploits.- Teachers remembered.- Ready for the grandes ecoles.- 2. The Normalien.- A far cry from `normal' school.- Cacique general.- An ill-fated thesis.- Anticlericals versus Catholics.- Sailing on waters and events.- Under Pasteur's eyes.- Young man in pursuit of rigor.- 3. Lecturer in Lille.- Citadel against citadel.- Encomiums from officialdom.- A brilliant doctorate.- Students in awe.- A vibrant faculty group.- Portrait of a mind.- Politics: ordinary and academic.- Married and widowed.- Comforts and frustrations of science.- Crushing weight of stacked cards.- 4. In Transit in Rennes.- A not so somnolent town.- Frustrated teacher.- Creating a stir.- In the center of a debate.- Scholar in a wrong place.- 5. Bordeaux: A Road to Paris?.- From home to university.- A chair and a department.- A string of doctorates and their perspective.- A great first ignored.- Prodigious productivity and a recognition.- Life at home.- Avid hiker.- A chair and its political prize.- A small speech as a big crime.- In a clash for a sacred cause.- 6. Bordeaux: Journey's En.- A companionable solitary.- Intransigent integrity.- Twice bereaved.- Relentless work and growing recognition.- A drawn-out election.- A student forever.- Waging his war to the end.- 7. In Memoriam.- Din of war and summer lull.- Bordeaux remembers.- The first anniversary.- Postwar reminiscences.- Some noble efforts.- Missed anniversaries.- Illustrations.- 8. Duhem the Physicist.- The making of a physicist.- The physicist as seen by himself.- The physicist and his peers.- A narrowing advance.- The physicist and posterity.- 9. Duhem the Philosopher.- Common sense with a realist touch.- Attitude to metaphysics.- Rigor as strength and weakness.- Philosophy through history.- Philosopher on trial.- The Theorie physique.- Critics of the Theorie physique.- Christian positivism.- French philosophers.- American dissertations.- The crux of the matter.- 10. Duhem the Historian.- A special historian.- To unsuspected headwaters.- Continuity through Leonardo.- The source of continuous growth.- Scholarship as apologetics.- The quest for completeness.- A gamut of reactions.- Attitudes toward a new vision.- The Renaissance threatened.- Posthumous volumes.- An age in the middle.- List of Duhem's Publications.- Index of Names.- Index of Subjects.

About the Author

Stanley L. Jaki, a Hungarian-born Catholic priest of the Benedictine Order, is Distinguished Professor at Seton Hall University, South Orange, New Yersey. With doctorates in theology and physics, he has for the past twenty-five years specialized in the history and philosophy of science. The author of twenty books and over seventy articles, he has served as Gifford Lecturer at the University of Edinburgh and as Fremantle Lecturer at Balliol College, Oxford, Membre correspondant of the Academie Nationale des Sciences, Belles-Lettres et Arts of Bordeaux, he is the recipient of the Lecomte du Nouy Prize for 1970 and of the Templeton Prize for 1987.

Reviews

` Uneasy Genius is a tribute not only to the physicist, philosopher, and historian who was Pierre Duhem, but also to the historian, philosopher and physicist who is Stanley L. Jaki. ' John Lyon in ISIS ` On reste confondu devant le livre de Stanley L. Jaki, devant son erudition et l'accumulation de faits . . . Il a tout lu, tout fouille, tout depouille! C'est un oeuvre magistrale qui ne laisse plus rien a ecrire sur Pierre Duhem. ' Analyses Bibliographiques ` Ouvrage exceptionel . . . ; cette richesse de la documentation vient etayer chaque affirmation de ses dix chapitres. ' Paul Germain, Secretaire Perpetuel de l'Academie des Sciences ` . . . This is a book on an `uneasy genius' that deserves to be chewed and digested. ' H. W. Paul in Nature

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