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This controversial essay, first published in 1853, addresses the question of the existence of intelligent life on other planets. It was first published anonymously, owing to the ferocity of the ongoing debates between the religious and scientific scholarly communities. Its author, William Whewell (1794-1866) was a leading intellectual of the Victorian period, and a notable polymath. A contemporary and adviser of Herschel, Darwin and Faraday, he wrote extensively on subjects ranging from astronomy and mineralogy to moral philosophy, educational reform and architecture, and engaged with John Stuart Mill in a lively debate about inductive reasoning. In Of The Plurality of Worlds, Whewell denied the probability of life elsewhere in the universe, afraid that the concept of extraterrestrial life would encourage the theory of evolution and put at risk mankind's connection to God.
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- Date Published: July 2009
- format: Paperback
- isbn: 9781108000185
- length: 296 pages
- dimensions: 216 x 140 x 17 mm
- weight: 0.38kg
- availability: Available
Table of Contents
1. Astronomical discoveries
2. Astronomical objection to religion
3. The answer from the microscope
4. Further statement of the difficulty
6. The argument from geology
7. The nebulae
8. The fixed stars
9. The planets
10. Theory of the solar system
11. The argument from design
12. The unity of the world
13. The future.
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