Science, technology and society in the XIX century: The concept of energy, its history and its cultural meanings Ciencia, tecnología y sociedad en el siglo XIX: el concepto de energía, su historiaysus significados culturales
Academic Article in Scopus
In this essay we offer a historical perspective of the science of energy in the nineteenth century and a particular view of its cultural meanings. Our explanatory proposal seeks to articulate the physical interpretation of reality, the industrial and economic praxis, and the philosophical questions about man and his destiny that emerged at that time. To pursue that goal, we start from the recognition that the nineteenth-century physics manifests itself powerfully in both aspects, as intellectual adventure and as a civilizing and transforming force, through various ways: in the first instance by generating ideas and concepts that would reveal pervasively the mysterious forces that govern the Universe; on the other hand providing the theoretical tools to exploit these forces in the form of usable energy that could be transformed into useful work that would promote growing economies; finally, being the support of a set of concerns of transcendental character.