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Victorian Scientific Naturalism

Author: Bernard Lightman
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 022610964X
Size: 59.20 MB
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Victorian Scientific Naturalism examines the secular creeds of the generation of intellectuals who, in the wake of The Origin of Species, wrested cultural authority from the old Anglican establishment while installing themselves as a new professional scientific elite. These scientific naturalists—led by biologists, physicists, and mathematicians such as William Kingdon Clifford, Joseph Dalton Hooker, Thomas Henry Huxley, and John Tyndall—sought to persuade both the state and the public that scientists, not theologians, should be granted cultural authority, since their expertise gave them special insight into society, politics, and even ethics. In Victorian Scientific Naturalism, Gowan Dawson and Bernard Lightman bring together new essays by leading historians of science and literary critics that recall these scientific naturalists, in light of recent scholarship that has tended to sideline them, and that reevaluate their place in the broader landscape of nineteenth-century Britain. Ranging in topic from daring climbing expeditions in the Alps to the maintenance of aristocratic protocols of conduct at Kew Gardens, these essays offer a series of new perspectives on Victorian scientific naturalism—as well as its subsequent incarnations in the early twentieth century—that together provide an innovative understanding of the movement centering on the issues of community, identity, and continuity.

The Age Of Scientific Naturalism

Author: Michael S. Reidy
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1317318285
Size: 52.14 MB
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The essays in this volume focus on the way Victorian Physicist John Tyndall and his correspondents developed their ideas through letters, periodicals and journals and challenge assumptions about who gained authority, and how they attained and defended their position within the scientific community.

Epistemic Virtues In The Sciences And The Humanities

Author: Jeroen van Dongen
Publisher: Springer
ISBN: 3319488937
Size: 41.63 MB
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This book explores how physicists, astronomers, chemists, and historians in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries employed ‘epistemic virtues’ such as accuracy, objectivity, and intellectual courage. In doing so, it takes the first step in providing an integrated history of the sciences and humanities. It assists in addressing such questions as: What kind of perspective would enable us to compare organic chemists in their labs with paleographers in the Vatican Archives, or anthropologists on a field trip with mathematicians poring over their formulas? While the concept of epistemic virtues has previously been discussed, primarily in the contexts of the history and philosophy of science, this volume is the first to enlist the concept in bridging the gap between the histories of the sciences and the humanities. Chapters research whether epistemic virtues can serve as a tool to transcend the institutional disciplinary boundaries and thus help to attain a ‘post-disciplinary’ historiography of modern knowledge. Readers will gain a contextualization of epistemic virtues in time and space as the book shows that scholars themselves often spoke in terms of virtue and vice about their tasks and accomplishments. This collection of essays opens up new perspectives on questions, discourses, and practices shared across the disciplines, even at a time when the neo-Kantian distinction between sciences and humanities enjoyed its greatest authority. Scholars including historians of science and of the humanities, intellectual historians, virtue epistemologists, and philosophers of science will all find this book of particular interest and value.

Spirit Matters

Author: J. Jeffrey Franklin
Publisher: Cornell University Press
ISBN: 1501715453
Size: 71.89 MB
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Spirit Matters explores the heterodox and unorthodox religions and spiritualities that arose in Victorian Britain as a result of the faltering of Christian faith in the face of modernity, the rise of the truth-telling authority of science, and the first full exposure of the West to non-Christian religions. J. Jeffrey Franklin investigates the diversity of ways that spiritual seekers struggled to maintain faith or to create new faiths by reconciling elements of the Judeo-Christian heritage with Spiritualism, Buddhism, occultism, and scientific naturalism. Spirit Matters covers a range of scenarios from the Victorian hearth and the state-Church altar to the frontiers of empire in Buddhist countries and Egyptian crypts. Franklin reveals how this diversity of elements provided the materials for the formation of new hybrid religions and the emergence in the 20th century of New Age spiritualities. Franklin investigates a broad spectrum of experiences through a series of representative case studies that together trace the development of unorthodox religious and spiritual discourses. The ideas and events discussed by Franklin through these case studies were considered outside the domain of orthodox religion yet still religious or spiritual rather than atheistic or materialistic. Among the works—obscure and canonical—he analyzes are Edward Bulwer-Lytton’s Zanoni and A Strange Story; Forest Life in Ceylon, by William Knighton; Anthony Trollope’s The Vicar of Bullhampton; Anna Leonowens’s The English Governess at the Siamese Court; Literature and Dogma, by Matthew Arnold; and Bram Stoker’s Dracula.

Huxley S Church And Maxwell S Demon

Author: Matthew Stanley
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 022616487X
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During the Victorian period science shifted from being practiced in a theistic context (integrating religious considerations and ideas) to a naturalistic context (explicitly forbidding religious matters). This book examines the foundations of that change. While it is generally thought that the transformation was due to the methodological superiority of naturalistic science, Matthew Stanley shows that most of the methodological values underlying scientific practice were virtually identical between the theists and the naturalists. Each agreed on the importance of the uniformity of natural laws, the use of hypothesis and theory, the moral value of science, and intellectual freedom. This was despite the claims by both groups that those fundamentals were intrinsic to their worldview, and completely incompatible with that of their opponents. Stanley goes on to argue that the victory of the scientific naturalists came from deliberate strategies executed over a generation to gain control of the institutions of scientific education and to re-imagine the history of their discipline. Rather than a sudden revolution, the similarity between theistic and naturalistic science allowed for a relatively smooth transition in practice from the old guard to the new. "Huxley's Church and Maxwell's Demon" explores this shift through a parallel study of two major scientific figures: James Clerk Maxwell, a devout Christian physicist, and Thomas Henry Huxley, the iconoclast biologist who coined the word agnostic. Both were deeply engaged in the methodological, institutional, and political issues that were crucial to the theistic-naturalistic transformation. The author s astute examination of the ascendance of scientific naturalism sheds new light on the controversies over science and religion in modern America. "

Darwin Tennyson And Their Readers

Author: Valerie Purton
Publisher: Anthem Press
ISBN: 1783083484
Size: 74.65 MB
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‘Darwin, Tennyson and Their Readers: Explorations in Victorian Literature and Science’ is an edited collection of essays from leading authorities in the field of Victorian literature and science, including Gillian Beer and George Levine. Darwin, Tennyson, Huxley, Ruskin, Richard Owen, Meredith, Wilde and other major writers are discussed, as established scholars in this area explore the interaction between Victorian literary and scientific figures which helped build the intellectual climate of twenty-first century debates.

Academic Writing Real World Topics

Author: Michael Rectenwald
Publisher: Broadview Press
ISBN: 1554812461
Size: 34.62 MB
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Academic Writing, Real World Topics fills a void in the writing-across-the-curriculum textbook market. It draws together articles and essays of actual academic prose as opposed to journalism; it arranges material topically as opposed to by discipline or academic division; and it approaches topics from multiple disciplinary and critical perspectives. With extensive introductions, rhetorical instruction, and suggested additional resources accompanying each chapter, Academic Writing, Real World Topics introduces students to the kinds of research and writing that they will be expected to undertake throughout their college careers and beyond. Readings are drawn from various disciplines across the major divisions of the university and focus on issues of real import to students today, including such topics as living in a digital culture, learning from games, learning in a digital age, living in a global culture, our post-human future, surviving economic crisis, and assessing armed global conflict. The book provides students with an introduction to the diversity, complexity and connectedness of writing in higher education today. Part I, a short Guide to Academic Writing, teaches rhetorical strategies and approaches to academic writing within and across the major divisions of the academy. For each writing strategy or essay element treated in the Guide, the authors provide examples from the reader, or from one of many resources included in each chapter’s Suggested Additional Resources. Part II, Real World Topics, also refers extensively to the Guide. Thus, the Guide shows student writers how to employ scholarly writing practices as demonstrated by the readings, while the readings invite students to engage with scholarly content.

Visions Of Science

Author: James A. Secord
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 022620328X
Size: 71.46 MB
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The first half of the nineteenth century witnessed an extraordinary transformation in British political, literary, and intellectual life. There was widespread social unrest, and debates raged regarding education, the lives of the working class, and the new industrial, machine-governed world. At the same time, modern science emerged in Europe in more or less its current form, as new disciplines and revolutionary concepts, including evolution and the vastness of geologic time, began to take shape. In Visions of Science, James A. Secord offers a new way to capture this unique moment of change. He explores seven key books—among them Charles Babbage’s Reflections on the Decline of Science, Charles Lyell’s Principles ofGeology, Mary Somerville’s Connexion of the Physical Sciences, and Thomas Carlyle’s Sartor Resartus—and shows how literature that reflects on the wider meaning of science can be revelatory when granted the kind of close reading usually reserved for fiction and poetry. These books considered the meanings of science and its place in modern life, looking to the future, coordinating and connecting the sciences, and forging knowledge that would be appropriate for the new age. Their aim was often philosophical, but Secord shows it was just as often imaginative, projective, and practical: to suggest not only how to think about the natural world but also to indicate modes of action and potential consequences in an era of unparalleled change. Visions of Science opens our eyes to how genteel ladies, working men, and the literary elite responded to these remarkable works. It reveals the importance of understanding the physical qualities of books and the key role of printers and publishers, from factories pouring out cheap compendia to fashionable publishing houses in London’s West End. Secord’s vivid account takes us to the heart of an information revolution that was to have profound consequences for the making of the modern world.

Victorian Popularizers Of Science

Author: Bernard Lightman
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 0226481174
Size: 31.58 MB
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The ideas of Charles Darwin and his fellow Victorian scientists have had an abiding effect on the modern world. But at the time The Origin of Species was published in 1859, the British public looked not to practicing scientists but to a growing group of professional writers and journalists to interpret the larger meaning of scientific theories in terms they could understand and in ways they could appreciate. Victorian Popularizers of Science focuses on this important group of men and women who wrote about science for a general audience in the second half of the nineteenth century. Bernard Lightman examines more than thirty of the most prolific, influential, and interesting popularizers of the day, investigating the dramatic lecturing techniques, vivid illustrations, and accessible literary styles they used to communicate with their audience. By focusing on a forgotten coterie of science writers, their publishers, and their public, Lightman offers new insights into the role of women in scientific inquiry, the market for scientific knowledge, tensions between religion and science, and the complexities of scientific authority in nineteenth-century Britain.

Notebooks English Virtuosi And Early Modern Science

Author: Richard Yeo
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 022610673X
Size: 60.53 MB
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In Notebooks, English Virtuosi, and Early Modern Science, Richard Yeo interprets a relatively unexplored set of primary archival sources: the notes and notebooks of some of the leading figures of the Scientific Revolution. Notebooks were important to several key members of the Royal Society of London, including Robert Boyle, John Evelyn, Robert Hooke, John Locke, and others, who drew on Renaissance humanist techniques of excerpting from texts to build storehouses of proverbs, maxims, quotations, and other material in personal notebooks, or commonplace books. Yeo shows that these men appreciated the value of their own notes both as powerful tools for personal recollection, and, following Francis Bacon, as a system of precise record keeping from which they could retrieve large quantities of detailed information for collaboration. The virtuosi of the seventeenth century were also able to reach beyond Bacon and the humanists, drawing inspiration from the ancient Hippocratic medical tradition and its emphasis on the gradual accumulation of information over time. By reflecting on the interaction of memory, notebooks, and other records, Yeo argues, the English virtuosi shaped an ethos of long-term empirical scientific inquiry.