On the Philosophy of Discovery: Chapters Historical and Critical

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J.W. Parker and son, 1860 - Philosophy - 531 pages
 

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About the author (1860)

Born the son of a builder in Lancaster, England, William Whewell soon revealed his intellectual gifts, which opened the doors to an education at Trinity College, Cambridge University. Whewell is remembered chiefly for having been an extraordinary polymath. His earliest studies were in mathematics, with his first publications being two very successful textbooks on mechanics. In 1826 he was ordained a priest and two years later became professor of mineralogy at Trinity. In a few short years he revolutionized British crystallography with the introduction of a new system of nomenclature and taxonomy. At the same time he was writing a work on the architecture of German churches; he soon resigned the professorship to continue his architectural studies. Whewell next turned to astronomy, natural theology, and a mathematical study of the tides. In 1837 he published his History of the Inductive Sciences, which served as the foundation for his magnum opus, The Philosophy of the Inductive Sciences (1840). This work is strikingly modern in its insistence that the philosophy of science be sensitive to the history of science, but Whewell's Kantianism and the religious setting of his philosophy of science may strike the modern reader as somewhat anachronistic. Whewell's later works included a book arguing for the likelihood of extraterrestial life, translations of Plato (see also Vol. 3) and of various poets, and several works on moral philosophy, most notably the Elements of Morality Including Polity (1845). In 1838 he became professor of moral philosophy at Trinity College. He soon resigned his second professorship and in 1841 was made master of Trinity.

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