“Best in the genre” — Tyler Cowen

Economist Tyler Cowen has a nice notice of The Philosophical Breakfast Club on his website MarginalRevolution.com.

“This is an excellent book about the history and status of science in 19th century England. If you enjoy the history of science, this book stands a good chance of being the best one in that genre to come out this year.”

You can see the full comment here.

Cowen quotes an excerpt from part of the book in which I discuss the great French table-making project, the 18 volume Tables du Cadastre (the tables for the French Ordnance Survey) which was supervised in the 1790s by the mathematician and civil engineer the Baron de Prony. For this immense project De Prony, influenced by Adam Smith’s discussion of the division of labor in Wealth of Nations, saw that a division of intellectual labor could be useful. De Prony’s project was an influence on and inspiration to Charles Babbage, when he began to think of a calculating engine in the 1820s.

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