History of the Inductive Sciences. From the Earliest to the Present Times

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A central figure in Victorian science, William Whewell (1794–1866) held professorships in Mineralogy and Moral Philosophy at Trinity College, Cambridge, before becoming Master of the college in 1841. His mathematical textbooks, such as A Treatise on Dynamics (1823), were instrumental in bringing French analytical methods into British science. This three-volume history, first published in 1837, is one of Whewell's most famous works. Taking the 'acute, but fruitless, essays of Greek philosophy' as a starting point, it provides a history of the physical sciences that culminates with the mechanics, astronomy, and chemistry of 'modern times'. – Volume 3 first covers the mechanico-chemical sciences, emphasizing the convergence of mechanical and chemical theories in discoveries pertaining to electricity, magnetism and thermodynamics. A section on chemistry surveys Becher and Stahl's phlogiston theory, Lavoisier's theory of oxygen, and Faraday's laws of electromagnetic induction. The volume also covers mineralogy, botany, zoology, and anatomy. – Contents : – Part III. The Mechanico-Chemical Sciences; – Book XI. History of Electricity: 1. Discovery of the laws of electric phenomena; 2. The progress of electrical theory; – Book XII. History of Magnetism: 1. Discovery of the laws of magnetic phenomena; 2. Progress of magnetic theory; – Book XIII. History of Galvanism, or Voltaic Electricity: 1. Discovery of voltaic electricity; 2. Reception and confirmation of the discovery of voltaic electricity; 3. Discovery of the laws of the mutual attraction and repulsion of voltaic currents; 4. Discovery of electro-magnetic action. Oersted; 5. Discovery of the laws of electro-magnetic action; 6. Theory of electro-dynamic action; 7. Consequences of the electro-dynamic theory; 8. Discovery of the laws of magneto-electric induction. Faraday; 9. Transition to chemical science; – Part IV. The Analytical Science. – Book XIV. History of Chemistry: 1. Improvement of the notion of chemical analysis, and recognition of it as the spagiric art; 2. Doctrine of acid and alkali. Sylvius; 3. Doctrine of elective attractions. Geoffroy. Bergman; 4. Doctrine of acidification and combustion. Phlogistic theory; 5. Chemistry of gases. Black. Cavendish; 6. Epoch of the theory of oxygen. Lavoisier; 7. Application and correction of the oxygen theory; 8. Theory of definite, reciprocal, and multiple proportions; 9. Epoch of Davy and Faraday; 10. Transition from the chemical to the classificatory sciences; – Part V. The Analytico-Classificatory Science; – Book XV. History of Mineralogy: Introduction; 1. Prelude to the epoch of De Lisle and Haüy; 2. Epoch of Romé and Haüy. Establishment of the fixity of crystalline angles, and the simplicity of the laws of derivation; 3. Reception and corrections of the Haüian crystallography; 4. Establishment of the distinction of systems of crystallization. Weiss and Mohs; 5. Reception and confirmation of the distinction of systems of crystallization; 6. Correction of the law of the same angle for the same substance; 7. Attempts to establish the fixity of other physical properties. Werner; 8. Attempts at the classification of minerals; 9. Attempts at the reform of mineralogical systems. Separation of the chemical and natural history methods; – Part VI. Classificatory Sciences; – Book XVI. History of Systematic Botany and Zoology: 1. Imaginary knowledge of plants; 2. Unsystematic knowledge of plants; 3. Formation of a system of arrangement of plants; 4. The reform of Linnaeus; 5. Progress towards a natural system of botany; 6. The progress of systematic zoology; 7. The progress of ichthyology; – Part VII. Organical Sciences; – Book XVII. History of Physiology and Comparative Anatomy: 1. Discovery of the organs of voluntary motion; 2. Discovery of the circulation of the blood; 3. Discovery of the motion of the chyle, and consequent speculations; 4. Examination of the process of reproduction in animals and plants, and consequent speculations; 5. Examination of the nervous system, and consequent speculations; 6. Introduction of the principle of developed and metamorphosed symmetry; 7. Progress of animal morphology; 8. The doctrine of final causes in physiology; – Part VIII. The Palaetiological Sciences; – Book XVIII. History of Geology: 1. Prelude to systematic descriptive geology; 2. Formation of systematic descriptive geology; 3. Sequel to the formation of systematic descriptive geology; 4. Attempts to discover general laws in geology; 5. Inorganic geological dynamics; 6. Progress of the geological dynamics of organized beings; 7. Progress of physical geology; 8. The two antagonist doctrines of geology.