William Whewell was a giant of Victorian intellectual culture. His influence, whether recognized or forgotten, is palpable in areas as diverse as moral philosophy, mineralogy, architecture, the politics of education, physics, engineering, and theology. Recent studies of the place of the sciences in nineteenth-century Britain have repeatedly indicated the significance of Whewell's sweeping and critical proposals for a reformed account of scientific knowledge and
moral values. However, until now there has been no detailed study of the context and impact of his project. This collection of essays by recognized authorities in the fields of history, history of science, and philosophy thus represents the first attempt to do justice to a
magisterial nineteenth-century intellectual. More generally, it makes an important contribution to our understanding of Victorian intellectual life and its aftermath.
`both books, and in particular the collection of essays, do pull together what is currently known about Whewell and this can only act as a stimulus to further study'
`the first time the results have been brought together in this way ... wide-ranging and no more collection of pieces d'occasion'
J.W. Burrows, Times Literary Supplement
'this book succeeds like no other in synthesizing the full scope of his diverse historical influence ... This volume is a valuable contribution to the understanding of 19th-century intellectual life and should be acquired by libraries supporting a curriculum in the history and philosophy of science. Level: upper-division undergraduate and up.'
L.C. Archie, Lander College, Choice, Nov '91
'well-balanced, readable, and insightful study of Whewell's study of science ... This critical appraisal of Whewell's philosophy of science is highly recommended for all college libraries and is indispensable for history of science programs.'
L.C. Archie, Lander College, Choice, Feb '92
'It brings together thirteen accomplished Whewell scholars to explore the context and content of his prodigious life and work. If one wishes to work historically into the Whewell text, one can do no better than begin with Composite Portrait'
Don McNally, Pascal Centre, Ontario, History of Science, Volume 25, 1992
Harvey W. Becher: William Whewell's Odyssey: From Mathematics to Moral Philosophy; Menachem Fisch: A Philosopher's Coming of Age: A Study in Erotetic Intellectual History; Geoffrey N. Cantor: Between Rationalism and Romanticism: Whewell's Historiography of the Inductive Sciences; Michael Ruse: William Whewell, Omniscientist; Perry Williams: Passing on the Torch:
Whewell's Philosophy and the Principles of English University Education; John Brooke: Indications of a Creator: Whewell as Apologist and Priest; Richard R. Yeo: William Whewell's Philosophy of Knowledge and its Reception; Simon Shaffer: The History and Geography of the Intellectual World: Whewell's Politics of Language; David B. Wilson: Convergence: Metaphysical Pleasure versus
Physical Constraint; M. J. S. Hodge: The History of the Earth, Life, and Man: Whewell and Palaetiological Science; Menachem Fisch: Antithetical Knowledge; Gerd Buchdahl: Deductivist versus Inductivist Approaches in the Philosophy of Science as Illustrated by some Controversies between Whewell and Mill; John Wettersten: Whewell's Problematic Heritage