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Defining Science
William Whewell, Natural Knowledge and Public Debate in Early Victorian Britain

£37.99

Part of Ideas in Context

  • Date Published: September 2003
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521541169

£ 37.99
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About the Authors
  • This 1993 book deals with debates about science - its history, philosophy and moral value - in the first half of the nineteenth century, a period in which the 'modern' features of science developed. Defining Science also examines the different forms or genres in which science was discussed in the public sphere - most crucially in the Victorian review journals, but also in biographical, historical and educational works. William Whewell wrote major works on the history and philosophy of science before these became technical subjects. Consequently he had to define his own role as a metascientific critic (in a manner akin to cultural critics like Coleridge and Carlyle) as well as seeking to define science for both expert and lay audiences.

    • Major re-interpretation of the first great historian and philosopher of science
    • Important contribution to debates about Victorian scientific culture
    • Study of the emergence of a distinctive scientific vocabulary - Whewell first to coin the term 'scientist'
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    Reviews & endorsements

    '… a thoughtful discussion of the emergence of science as a major factor in the definition of Victorian civilisation.' Metascience

    '… at once a seminal vocational biography of the most prominent Victorian metascientist, and a penetrating study of the complex debate about the nature of science in nineteenth century Britain. It is a book no student of Victorian intellectual history can afford to ignore.' Isis

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    Product details

    • Date Published: September 2003
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521541169
    • length: 300 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 17 mm
    • weight: 0.44kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Preface
    1. Introduction
    2. Science and the public sphere
    3. Metascience as a vocation
    4. Reviewing science
    5. Moral scientists
    6. Using history
    7. Moral science
    8. Science, education and society
    9. The unity of science.

  • Author

    Richard Yeo, Griffith University, Queensland

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