The Scotsman George Combe (1788–1858) was an energetic and vocal promoter of phrenology, natural philosophy, and secularism, who rose from humble origins to tour widely in Europe and the United States and become a best-selling author. His most famous book, The Constitution of Man, was published in 1828, and had sold approximately 350,000 copies, distributed by over 100 publishers, by 1900. It put forward Combe's version of naturalism, and was hugely influential – perhaps more so even than Charles Darwin – in changing popular understanding of the place of humanity in the natural order, as subject to natural laws (physical, organic and moral). Combe's essay illustrates the relations between these laws with a view to the improvement of education and the regulation of individual conduct. It stirred up enormous controversy for decades after its publication, and is central to the understanding of the philosophical and scientific debates of the Victorian period.
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- Date Published: July 2009
- format: Paperback
- isbn: 9781108004138
- length: 336 pages
- dimensions: 216 x 140 x 19 mm
- weight: 0.43kg
- availability: Available
Table of Contents
1. On natural law
2. Of the constitution of man, and its relations to external objects
3. To what extent are the miseries of mankind referable to infringements of the laws of nature?
4. On the combined operation of the natural laws
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