Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home
Hostname: page-component-684899dbb8-8hm5d Total loading time: 0.468 Render date: 2022-05-19T04:41:41.376Z Has data issue: true Feature Flags: { "shouldUseShareProductTool": true, "shouldUseHypothesis": true, "isUnsiloEnabled": true, "useRatesEcommerce": false, "useNewApi": true }

2 - Science in the Long Eighteenth Century

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  15 June 2021

Frans De Bruyn
Affiliation:
University of Ottawa
Get access

Summary

This chapter offers an overview of key points of entry for the study of eighteenth-century science. The first section addresses how seventeenth-century philosophers challenged Aristotelianism and ancient cosmologies. The second details the importance of empiricism in the new study of the natural world. The third focuses on the roles of specific instruments and institutions in natural philosophical inquiry. Sections four and five cover two of the fiercest philosophical debates of the period: first, about gravity and action at a distance, and second, about theories of matter and spirit. The final section examines encyclopaedism and the emergence toward the end of the century of three new sub-disciplines: chemistry, botany, and geology. A distinguishing feature of eighteenth-century science is how closely it was interwoven with theology. Theories about providence and intelligent design were central to nearly every scientific debate because it was assumed that studying the causes of natural phenomena was the best way to understand the Prime Mover’s intentions for humankind. Accordingly, a recurrent theme in this chapter is the interconnection of religion and science.

Type
Chapter
Information
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2021

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)

Save book to Kindle

To save this book to your Kindle, first ensure coreplatform@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about saving to your Kindle.

Note you can select to save to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be saved to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

Available formats
×

Save book to Dropbox

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Dropbox.

Available formats
×

Save book to Google Drive

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

Available formats
×