The Discoverers

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  • The Discoverers. A History of Man's Search to Know His World and Himself.
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The Discoverers: A History of Man's Search to Know His World and Himself

The Discoverers is a non-fiction historical work by Daniel Boorstin , published in , and is the first in the Knowledge Trilogy , which also includes The Creators and The Seekers. Discovery in many forms is described: exploration, science, medicine, mathematics, and more-theoretical ones, such as time, evolution, plate tectonics, and relativity.

Boorstin praises the inventive, human mind and its eternal quest to discover the universe and humanity's place in it. The world we now view from the literate West In the deep recesses of the past, they remain anonymous. The Discoverers as well as The Creators and The Seekers resonates with tales of individuals, their lives, beliefs and accomplishments. They form the building blocks of his tale and from them flow descriptions and commentary on historical events. In this respect he is like other historians David McCullough , Paul Johnson , Louis Hartz and Richard Hofstadter , to name a few who give prominence to the individual and the incremental approach to history.

Thus, in the chapter "In Search of the Missing Link", he features Edward Tyson and his contributions in comparative anatomy. The role of religion and culture is another recurring theme. Boorstin, a reform Jew, has been described as a "secular, skeptical moderate Northeastern liberal of the New Deal rather than the New Left school. He suggests that Jews and Christians, primarily from Western Europe , came to believe that the Creator wished them to unravel the secrets of His universe. Scientific research, discovery and education became intertwined with the moral good and were elevated to lofty goals within Western societies.

Conversely, Hindus did not explore the seas due to the caste system some were forbidden to travel over salt water , Muslims became satisfied with the Arabian status quo [2] and China, with an increasingly weak central government, lost its drive for exploration and withdrew to its own borders. China, for example, only allowed the ruling class indulgence in scientific ventures. A third theme is the role of tradition and experience in shaping mankind's history.

Throughout the work he demonstrates how the discoveries of one individual are built upon the efforts of those who came before. This long chain of incremental improvements - one generation improving or amplifying the results of previous generations - contrasts sharply with the idea of overthrowing the current order and replacing it with revolutionary ideas originating not in experience but in ideology. External Reviews. Metacritic Reviews. Photo Gallery. Trailers and Videos. Crazy Credits. Alternate Versions. Rate This. Director: Justin Schwarz.

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