Download Uneasy Genius: The Life And Work Of Pierre Duhem by Stanley L. Jaki (auth.) PDF

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By Stanley L. Jaki (auth.)

A hundred years have now passed by because within the midsummer of 1882 Pierre Duhem, a graduate of faculty Stanislas, accomplished with exceptional good fortune his front checks to the Ecole Normale Superieure and launched into his profession as a theoretical physicist. His father, a fabric salesman, was hoping that Hierre could pursue a occupation in company, one of many few specialist fields the place maybe he shouldn't have succeeded. no longer that younger Duhem lacked feel for the sensible. He can have simply made a reputation for himself as an artist had he built professionally his ability to attract photographs and landscapes. His skill to make some degree and his readiness to hitch in a debate, may have earned him popularity as a attorney. a possible actor used to be in sight whilst he entertained neighbors with mimicry. That as a scholar of physics he entered and stayed first in his classification on the Ecole Normale, didn't thwart his skills for the existence sciences. No much less a biologist than Pasteur attempted to procure Duhem for assistant. His command of Greek and Latin could have secured him a profession as a classicist. He was once a Frenchman, to not be met too usually, whose rightful advert­ miration for and mastery of his local tongue, didn't turn out a barrier to the main glossy languages. As one that taught himself the complicated artwork of medieval paleo­ graphy, he may possibly simply have mastered the various auxiliary sciences wanted through a consummate historian.

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Finally, during the last four years you have given one first to St. Cyr, one first to the Ecole Poly technique, and two firsts to the Ecole Normale, one in the section of letters, another in the section of sciences. 57 53. , p. 21, where the qualification is added that Pierre shared first place with his classmate, Andre Nouette-Delorrne. 54. Annuaire 1876-1877, p. 38. 55. In the Archives of the College. Courtesy of the Abbe G. Milet, present director of Stanilas. 56. Annuaire 1881-82, p. 202. 57.

74. L. Cons, Histoire de France depuis les origines jusqu 'd nos jours . • Cours moyen (Paris: C. Delagrave, 1880), pp. 227-28. 75. , p. 220. Cons had very harsh words for absolute monarchs. 76. Paris: Librairie Ch. 139. At the same time Cons wrote enthusiastically about Diderot and the Encyclopedie (pp. 141-42). 28 plorers, and scientists. Cuvier, Ampere, and Arago stood for contemporary history, and in a graphic way which could but stir interest and imagination. Cons even had an eye for the immunity which a great scientist could expect from a powerful ruler.

In his last letter Edmond asks me to convey to you his friendship and his respect to your family. Paris Pierre's reference to the place where his letter was written was perfunctory but cryptically prophetic as well. His brilliant performance at the Ecole Normale was to keep him, for the rest of his life, away from Paris, the only place where he truly felt at home. 102. This letter was read in full by Jean de la Laurencie at the session, devoted to Duhem's memory, of the Academie Internationale d'Histoire des Sciences (Paris, January 27,1937) and printed in Archeion 19 (1937): 150-51.

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