The Grand Contraption: The World as Myth, Number and Chance (Hardback)David Park (author)
Hardback Published: 21/03/2005
- Not available
"The Grand Contraption" tells the story of humanity's attempts through 4,000 years of written history to make sense of the world in its cosmic totality, to understand its physical nature, and to know its real and imagined inhabitants. No other book has provided as coherent, compelling, and learned a narrative on this subject of subjects. David Park takes us on an incredible journey that illuminates the multitude of elaborate "contraptions" by which humans in the Western world have imagined the earth they inhabit - and what lies beyond. Intertwining history, religion, philosophy, literature, and the physical sciences, this eminently readable book is, ultimately, about the "grand contraption" we've constructed through the ages in an effort to understand and identify with the universe. According to Park, people long ago conceived of our world as a great rock slab inhabited by gods, devils, and people and crowned by stars. Thinkers imagined ether to fill the empty space, and in the comforting certainty of celestial movement they discerned numbers, and in numbers, order. Separate sections of the book tell the fascinating stories of measuring and mapping the Earth and Heavens, and later, the scientific exploration of the universe. The journey reveals many common threads stretching from ancient Mesopotamians and Greeks to people of today. For example, humans have tended to imagine Earth and Sky as living creatures. Not true, say science-savvy moderns. But truth isn't always the point. The point, says Park, is that Earth is indeed the fragile bubble we surmise, and we must treat it with the reverence it deserves.
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Weight: 628 g
Dimensions: 229 x 152 x 25 mm
You may also be interested in...
Please sign in to write a review
Simply reserve online and pay at the counter when you collect. Available in shop from just two hours, subject to availability.
Thank you for your reservation
Your order is now being processed and we have sent a confirmation email to you at
When will my order be ready to collect?
Following the initial email, you will be contacted by the shop to confirm that your item is available for collection.
Call us on or send us an email at
Unfortunately there has been a problem with your order
Please try again or alternatively you can contact your chosen shop on or send us an email at