(Studies in the Scientific Revolution)

Assignment 6: Due Thursday, 10/11/07

Exam Review Materials:


Read Koestler_SleepWs_Galileo120.pdf [5.1 MB] pp. 455-495 in this engaging telling of the Galileo’s run-in with authority. This PDF has the entire section on Galileo for those interested in reading the whole thing or those who wish to do a souped-up homework assignment.


Read Hall_LeeuwenhoekLecture88s.pdf [775. KB] on the microscopy of Antony van Leeuwenhoek.


Read Fournier_FabricOfLifeHookeExc.pdf [1.3 MB] on the microscopy of Robert Hooke.


Read HookeMicrographiaExcerpts.pdf [1.8 MB]. These are a few excerpts from his famous book Micrographia from 1665. 


Bring to class anything you think might be interesting to look at under magnification.  If you have any of the following, please bring it/them in: a louse (louse is the singular of lice), bed bug, various insects or tiny creatures, plant seeds, hot and/or mild spices, smooth tasting substance, moss, fungus,… etc. 


Be prepared for a quiz on these readings. 

Homework Suggestions: Write up an essay or similar report on the issues of microscopy.  What sorts of expectations did the early microscopists have?  What were they hoping to see or were they unbiased?  How does their method reflect that of Harvey or Galileo or Kepler?  Did theological issues bump into microscopists like they did for the astronomers? 


Cite all sources.  Make it look good.  Production quality matters.

We will take the first EXAM next class on 10/18. 

I will post some review sheets on the assignment pages.  I will put a notice on the syllabus to indicate where you will find them.




Fournier, Marian. The Fabric of Life: Microscopy in the Seventeenth Century. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1996.


Hall, A. R. "The Leeuwenhoek Lecture, 1988. Antony Van Leeuwenhoek 1632-1723." Notes and Records of the Royal Society of London 43, no. 2 (1989): 249-273.


Hooke, Robert. Micrographia; or, Some Physiological Descriptions of Minute Bodies Made by Magnifying Glasses, with Observations and Inquiries Thereupon. New York,: Dover Publications, 1961 (1st ed. 1665).


Koestler, Arthur. The Sleepwalkers : A History of Man's Changing Vision of the Universe. New York: Arkana, 1959/89.

Additional sources of interest:  Could be used for a souped-up assignment.


Ford, Brian J. "The Van Leeuwenhoek Specimens." Notes and Records of the Royal Society of London 36, no. 1 (1981): 37-59. [3.9 MB]


Hull, Derek. "Robert Hooke: A Fractographic Study of Kettering-Stone." Notes and Records of the Royal Society of London 51, no. 1 (1997): 45-55. Hull_HookeKettering-Stone.pdf [1.4 MB]


Wilson, Catherine. "Visual Surface and Visual Symbol: The Microscope and the Occult in Early Modern Science." Journal of the History of Ideas 49, no. 1 (1988): 85-108. Wilson_VisualSymbol-MicroscopeOccult.pdf [2.7 MB]


Yost, R. M., Jr. "Locke's Rejection of Hypotheses About Sub-Microscopic Events." Journal of the History of Ideas 12, no. 1 (1951): 111-130. Yost_LockeRejectionMicroEvents.pdf [2.4 MB]

Back to SciRev Syllabus.