Science and Beliefs : From Natural Philosophy to Natural Science, 1700–1900 book cover
1st Edition

Science and Beliefs
From Natural Philosophy to Natural Science, 1700–1900

ISBN 9781138258907
Published March 6, 2017 by Routledge
286 Pages

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Book Description

The years between 1700 and 1900 witnessed a fundamental transition in attitudes towards science, as earlier concepts of natural philosophy were replaced with a more modern conception of science. This process was by no means a simple progression, and the changing attitudes to science was marked by bitter arguments and fundamental differences of opinion, many of which are still not entirely resolved today. Approaching the subject from a number of cultural angles, the essays in this volume explore the fluid relationship between science and belief during this crucial period, and help to trace the development of science as an independent field of study that did not look to religion to provide answers to the workings of the universe. Taking a broadly chronological approach, each essay in this book addresses a theme that helps illuminate these concerns and highlights how beliefs - both religious and secular - have impinged and influenced the scientific world. By addressing such key issues such as the ongoing debate between Christian fundamentalists and followers of Darwin, and the rise of 'respectable atheism', fascinating insights are provided that help to chart the ever-shifting discourse of science and beliefs.

Table of Contents

Contents: Introduction: Science and beliefs, David M. Knight. Part I Beliefs Within Science: The metaphysics of science in the Romantic era, Barry Gower; Rearranging 17th-century natural history into natural philosophy: 18th-century editions of Boyle's works, Harriet Knight; Boundary work: 'national quarrels and party factions' in 18th-century British botany, Susan McMahon; Sociability, utility and curiosity in the Spalding Gentlemen's Society, 1710-60, Michael Honeybone; Set in stone: medicine and the vocabulary of the earth in 18th-century Scotland, Matthew D. Eddy; Scientific servicemen in the Royal Navy and the professionalisation of science, 1816-55, Randolph Cock; Expertise and Christianity: high standards versus the free market in popular publishing, Aileen Fyfe. Part II Beliefs Underlying Science: Darwinian 'becoming' and early 19th-century historiography: the cases of Jules Michelet and Thomas Carlyle, Richard Somerset; Charles Darwin: a Christian undermining Christianity?, Momme von Sydow; Michael Faraday meets the 'high-priestess of God's works': a romance on the theme of science and religion, Geoffrey Cantor; An 'open clash between Science and the Church'?: Wilberforce, Huxley and Hooker on Darwin at the British Association, Oxford, 1860, Frank A.J.L. James; The invention of altruism: August Comte's Positive Polity and respectable unbelief in Victorian Britain, Thomas Dixon; The radiometer and its lessons: William Carpenter versus William Crookes, William H. Brock; From science to the popularisation of science: the career of J. Arthur Thomson, Peter J. Bowler. Conclusion: concluding reflections, John H. Brooke. Index.

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Professor David M. Knight is at the Department of Philosophy at the University of Durham, UK. Matthew D. Eddy is Lecturer in the History and Philosophy of Science at the University of Durham, UK.


’As a whole, this collection of essays gives interesting insight into the current state of studies in 'Science and Religion'.’ Nuncius ’It was a pleasure to read this book.’ Ambix