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History of the Inductive Sciences: From the Earliest to the Present Times (Cambridge Library Collection - Philosophy)
A central figure in Victorian science, William Whewell (1794-1866) held professorships in Mineralogy and Moral Philosophy at Trinity College, Cambridge, before becoming Master of the college in 1841. His mathematical textbooks, such as A Treatise on Dynamics (1823), were instrumental in bringing French analytical methods into British science. This...
A central figure in Victorian science, William Whewell (1794-1866) held professorships in Mineralogy and Moral Philosophy at Trinity College, Cambridge, before becoming Master of the college in 1841. His mathematical textbooks, such as A Treatise on Dynamics (1823), were instrumental in bringing French analytical methods into British science. This three-volume history, first published in 1837, is one of Whewell's most famous works. Taking the 'acute, but fruitless, essays of Greek philosophy' as a starting point, it provides a history of the physical sciences that culminates with the mechanics, astronomy, and chemistry of 'modern times'. Volume 2 focuses on the rise and development of modern mechanics in the seventeenth century. Whewell shows how Galileo's laws of motion exemplify a paradigmatic shift from 'formal' to 'physical' sciences - a new approach concerned with explaining causes rather than merely observing phenomena. It also discusses the implications for physical astronomy of Newton's discoveries.
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