Cover: Pierre Simon Laplace, 1749–1827: A Determined Scientist, from Harvard University PressCover: Pierre Simon Laplace, 1749–1827 in HARDCOVER

Pierre Simon Laplace, 1749–1827

A Determined Scientist

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Product Details


$43.50 • £34.95 • €39.00

ISBN 9780674018921

Publication Date: 10/24/2005


322 pages

6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches

3 halftones


  • Introduction
  • 1. Norman Beginnings
  • 2. From Scholasticism to Higher Mathematics
  • 3. The Gifted Mathematician
  • 4. Setting Fundamental Principles: The Philosophical Program
  • 5. Finding the Stability of the Solar System: The Celestial Program
  • 6. Exploring the Physical World: The Terrestrial Program
  • 7. Revolutionary Tumult
  • 8. The Politics of Science
  • 9. Celestial Mechanics
  • 10. Probability and Determinism
  • 11. The Waning Years
  • Conclusion
  • Abbreviations
  • Draft of a Letter to Laplace by Jean-Etienne Guettard
  • Four Nonscientific Manuscripts by Laplace
  • Illness and Last Moments of M. de Laplace
  • Notes
  • Index

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Books influence us in untold ways, and the ones that influence us the most are often read in childhood. Harvard University Press Senior Editor Julia Kirby is reminded of this on the anniversary of the birth of one of this country’s most celebrated economists. This month would have brought Thomas Schelling’s one-hundredth birthday—and he got closer to seeing it than many mortals. The Nobel laureate economist died just five years ago, after a brilliant career as both a scholar and an advisor to US foreign policy strategists. What better day to dip into his classic work