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William Whewell
William Whewell's "Great Tide Experiment" of 1835 - an early crowdsourcing experiment
Published: 2017/03/23
Channel: The Crowd & The Cloud
William Whewell
William Whewell
Published: 2016/01/29
Channel: WikiAudio
William Whewell Quotes
William Whewell Quotes
Published: 2012/03/30
Channel: quotetank
What is INDUCTIVISM? What does INDUCTIVISM mean? INDUCTIVISM meaning, definition & explanation
What is INDUCTIVISM? What does INDUCTIVISM mean? INDUCTIVISM meaning, definition & explanation
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Channel: The Audiopedia
Which came first - Science or Scientists? explained in ten seconds
Which came first - Science or Scientists? explained in ten seconds
Published: 2013/11/26
Channel: minutephysics
John Wilkins - Philosophy of Science - An Introduction
John Wilkins - Philosophy of Science - An Introduction
Published: 2014/08/12
Channel: Adam Ford
Download William Whewell Philosopher of Science PDF
Download William Whewell Philosopher of Science PDF
Published: 2017/01/23
Channel: Oyeleke
Why Study Science? 1955 Young America Films (Centron Corp.)
Why Study Science? 1955 Young America Films (Centron Corp.)
Published: 2016/12/15
Channel: Jeff Quitney
Get Motivated In 60 Seconds
Get Motivated In 60 Seconds
Published: 2013/05/23
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History of science
History of science
Published: 2016/09/16
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Ben whewell 50 states
Ben whewell 50 states
Published: 2013/06/08
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Acoustic Original- Nathan Whewell
Acoustic Original- Nathan Whewell
Published: 2013/10/30
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Telling Lives- Dr Whewell
Telling Lives- Dr Whewell
Published: 2013/12/28
Channel: Craig Walters
Total Wipeout Rap (Charlie Whewell)
Total Wipeout Rap (Charlie Whewell)
Published: 2011/12/18
Channel: DanniBusbyYT
Dhruv Raina - Rewriting the History of Science and Philosophy in Late Colonial India
Dhruv Raina - Rewriting the History of Science and Philosophy in Late Colonial India
Published: 2014/10/24
Channel: Cosmopolitanism and the Local
Whewell First Iteration Mouth Test Animation
Whewell First Iteration Mouth Test Animation
Published: 2017/01/31
Channel: Caleb Whewell
Long Long Ago and Far Far Away - Part 1
Long Long Ago and Far Far Away - Part 1
Published: 2010/04/28
Channel: Jeff The Watchman
Whewell Mouth Storyboard
Whewell Mouth Storyboard
Published: 2017/02/02
Channel: Caleb Whewell
Whewell Walk Cycle Animation Final Iteration
Whewell Walk Cycle Animation Final Iteration
Published: 2017/01/19
Channel: Caleb Whewell
LRGS Whewell Society Debate ft. Eric Ollerenshaw MP for Lancaster and Fleetwood
LRGS Whewell Society Debate ft. Eric Ollerenshaw MP for Lancaster and Fleetwood
Published: 2013/04/26
Channel: Phil Compton
Whewell Mouth Iteration 2
Whewell Mouth Iteration 2
Published: 2017/02/06
Channel: Caleb Whewell
THE SCIENTIFIC METHOD
THE SCIENTIFIC METHOD
Published: 2017/09/08
Channel: Paul Ross
Electrode
Electrode
Published: 2017/04/03
Channel: Search Engine
Which came first - Science or Scientists? explained in ten seconds
Which came first - Science or Scientists? explained in ten seconds
Published: 2013/12/24
Channel: SuperGlobaLVideos
Whewell Mouth Iteration1
Whewell Mouth Iteration1
Published: 2017/02/02
Channel: Caleb Whewell
Couto Whewell Final
Couto Whewell Final
Published: 2017/03/16
Channel: Cameron Couto
This house resents the teaching of Classics - LRGS Whewell Society Debate
This house resents the teaching of Classics - LRGS Whewell Society Debate
Published: 2013/02/17
Channel: Phil Compton
ALASTAIR WHEWELL - 22 de noviembre de 1973 al 23  de abril de 2010
ALASTAIR WHEWELL - 22 de noviembre de 1973 al 23 de abril de 2010
Published: 2010/05/19
Channel: KARINA GARCILAZO
CIENCIA VS RELIGION - Documental Completo
CIENCIA VS RELIGION - Documental Completo
Published: 2016/10/15
Channel: JoseLuis
John Wilkins - What is the Philosophy of Science All About?
John Wilkins - What is the Philosophy of Science All About?
Published: 2014/11/03
Channel: Adam Ford
BRAZIL WHEWELL 2230 27 6 h264
BRAZIL WHEWELL 2230 27 6 h264
Published: 2013/07/03
Channel: nicksw9
Where Does The Word Science Comes From?
Where Does The Word Science Comes From?
Published: 2017/10/08
Channel: Bun Bun 1
はじめての目玉焼き- 1st Challenge Fried Egg -
はじめての目玉焼き- 1st Challenge Fried Egg -
Published: 2017/07/19
Channel: Potetime ぽてたいむ
Conflict Between Science and Christianity? - How to Answer
Conflict Between Science and Christianity? - How to Answer
Published: 2017/03/22
Channel: Muscle Christianity
LRGS Whewell Society Debate - Science Vs Religion
LRGS Whewell Society Debate - Science Vs Religion
Published: 2013/05/08
Channel: Phil Compton
Who Was The First Scientist In The World?
Who Was The First Scientist In The World?
Published: 2017/10/08
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ప్రపంచం ఎరుగని మొట్టమొదటి శాస్త్రవేత్త,ఇంజినీర్.the first engineer and scientist in the world.
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Covered Episode 8 Segment 2 - MBIE Building Technical Guides
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Published: 2017/02/15
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PURIFYING Join.t HEiR.s To ION On t.HEiR WAY!
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Babbage
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Published: 2012/11/17
Channel: James Sheils
The Holy Matrimony of the Modern Poet and Scientist - Emily Dumler-Winckler
The Holy Matrimony of the Modern Poet and Scientist - Emily Dumler-Winckler
Published: 2016/11/01
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Beast in the harlot solo cafe
Beast in the harlot solo cafe
Published: 2013/01/16
Channel: Nathan Whewell
NYSL: Laura J. Snyder on "The Philosophical Breakfast Club"
NYSL: Laura J. Snyder on "The Philosophical Breakfast Club"
Published: 2011/04/15
Channel: The New York Society Library
Physicist
Physicist
Published: 2014/08/15
Channel: Audiopedia
My First Project
My First Project
Published: 2013/03/19
Channel: Caleb Whewell
The Word!, Bringing all the Puzzle Pieces Together!
The Word!, Bringing all the Puzzle Pieces Together!
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Couto_Whewell_MocapFinal
Couto_Whewell_MocapFinal
Published: 2017/05/29
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WIKIPEDIA ARTICLE

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The Reverend
William Whewell
FRS FGS
Whewell William signature.jpg
Born (1794-05-24)24 May 1794
Lancaster, Lancashire, England
Died 6 March 1866(1866-03-06) (aged 71)
Cambridge, Cambridgeshire, England
Residence England
Nationality English
Alma mater Trinity College, Cambridge
Known for Coining the words 'scientist' and 'physicist'
Awards Smith's Prize (1816)
Royal Medal (1837)
Scientific career
Fields Polymath, philosopher, theologian
Institutions Trinity College, Cambridge
Influences John Gough
John Hudson
Influenced Augustus De Morgan
Isaac Todhunter

William Whewell FRS FGS (/ˈhjuːəl/ HEW-əl; 24 May 1794 – 6 March 1866) was an English polymath, scientist, Anglican priest, philosopher, theologian, and historian of science. He was Master of Trinity College, Cambridge. In his time as a student there, he achieved distinction in both poetry and mathematics.

What is most often remarked about Whewell is the breadth of his endeavours. In a time of increasing specialisation, Whewell appears as a vestige of an earlier era when natural philosophers dabbled in a bit of everything. He researched ocean tides (for which he won the Royal Medal), published work in the disciplines of mechanics, physics, geology, astronomy, and economics, while also finding the time to compose poetry, author a Bridgewater Treatise, translate the works of Goethe, and write sermons and theological tracts. In mathematics, Whewell introduced what is now called the Whewell equation, an equation defining the shape of a curve without reference to an arbitrarily chosen coordinate system.

One of Whewell's greatest gifts to science was his wordsmithing. He often corresponded with many in his field and helped them come up with new terms for their discoveries. Whewell contributed the terms scientist, physicist, linguistics, consilience, catastrophism, and uniformitarianism, amongst others; Whewell suggested the terms ion, dielectric, anode, and cathode to Michael Faraday.

Whewell died in Cambridge in 1866 as a result of a fall from his horse.

Life and career[edit]

Whewell was born in Lancaster. His father, a carpenter, wished him to follow his trade, but his success in mathematics at Lancaster and Heversham grammar schools won him an exhibition (a type of scholarship) at Trinity College, Cambridge (1812). In 1814 he was awarded the Chancellor's Gold Medal for poetry.[1] He was Second Wrangler in 1816, President of the Cambridge Union Society in 1817, became fellow and tutor of his college, and, in 1841, succeeded Christopher Wordsworth as master. He was professor of mineralogy from 1828 to 1832 and Knightbridge Professor of Philosophy (then called "moral theology and casuistical divinity") from 1838 to 1855.[2]

Whewell died in Cambridge in 1866 as a result of a fall from his horse.[3][4] He is buried in the Mill Road cemetery, Cambridge, together with his first and second wives: Cordelia Whewell and Everina Frances, Lady Affleck.

Endeavours[edit]

Tracing the history and development of science[edit]

William Whewell, c. 1860s

For all these pursuits, it comes as no surprise that his best-known works are two voluminous books which attempt to map and systematize the development of the sciences, History of the Inductive Sciences (1837) and The Philosophy of the Inductive Sciences, Founded Upon Their History (1840). While the History traced how each branch of the sciences had evolved since antiquity, Whewell viewed the Philosophy as the "Moral" of the previous work as it sought to extract a universal theory of knowledge through the history he had just traced. In the Philosophy, Whewell attempted to follow Francis Bacon's plan for discovery of an effectual art of discovery. He examined ideas ("explication of conceptions") and by the "colligation of facts" endeavoured to unite these ideas with the facts and so construct science. But no art of discovery, such as Bacon anticipated, follows, for "invention, sagacity, genius" are needed at each step.

Whewell's three steps of induction[edit]

Whewell analysed inductive reasoning into three steps:

  • The selection of the (fundamental) idea, such as space, number, cause, or likeness (resemblance);
  • The formation of the conception, or more special modification of those ideas, as a circle, a uniform force, etc.; and,
  • The determination of magnitudes.

Upon these follow special methods of induction applicable to quantity: the method of curves, the method of means, the method of least squares and the method of residues, and special methods depending on resemblance (to which the transition is made through the law of continuity), such as the method of gradation and the method of natural classification. In Philosophy of the Inductive Sciences Whewell was the first to use the term "consilience" to discuss the unification of knowledge between the different branches of learning.

Opponent of English empiricism[edit]

Here, as in his ethical doctrine, Whewell was moved by opposition to contemporary English empiricism. Following Immanuel Kant, he asserted against John Stuart Mill the a priori nature of necessary truth, and by his rules for the construction of conceptions he dispensed with the inductive methods of Mill.

Whewell's neologisms[edit]

As stated, one of Whewell's greatest gifts to science was his wordsmithing. He often corresponded with many in his field and helped them come up with new terms for their discoveries. In fact, Whewell came up with the term scientist itself in 1833, and it was first published in Whewell's anonymous 1834 review of Mary Somerville's On the Connexion of the Physical Sciences published in the Quarterly Review.[5] (They had previously been known as "natural philosophers" or "men of science").

Work in college administration[edit]

Whewell was prominent not only in scientific research and philosophy, but also in university and college administration. His first work, An Elementary Treatise on Mechanics (1819), cooperated with those of George Peacock and John Herschel in reforming the Cambridge method of mathematical teaching. His work and publications also helped influence the recognition of the moral and natural sciences as an integral part of the Cambridge curriculum. In general, however, especially in later years, he opposed reform: he defended the tutorial system, and in a controversy with Connop Thirlwall (1834), opposed the admission of Dissenters; he upheld the clerical fellowship system, the privileged class of "fellow-commoners," and the authority of heads of colleges in university affairs. He opposed the appointment of the University Commission (1850), and wrote two pamphlets (Remarks) against the reform of the university (1855). He stood against the scheme of entrusting elections to the members of the senate and instead, advocated the use of college funds and the subvention of scientific and professorial work.

He was elected Master of Trinity College, Cambridge in 1841, and retained that position until his death in 1866; he is buried in the chapel of Trinity College, Cambridge while his wives are buried together in the Mill Road Cemetery, Cambridge.

The Whewell Professorship of International Law and the Whewell Scholarships were established through the provisions of his will.[6][7]

Whewell's interests in architecture[edit]

Aside from Science, Whewell was also interested in the history of architecture throughout his life. He is best known for his writings on Gothic architecture, specifically his book, Architectural Notes on German Churches (first published in 1830). In this work, Whewell established a strict nomenclature for German Gothic churches and came up with a theory of stylistic development. His work is associated with the "scientific trend" of architectural writers, along with Thomas Rickman and Robert Willis.

He paid from his own resources for the construction of two new courts of rooms at Trinity College, Cambridge, built in a Gothic style. The two courts were completed in 1860 and (posthumously) in 1868, and are now collectively named Whewell's Court (in the singular).

Whewell's works in philosophy and morals[edit]

Portrait by James Lonsdale

Between 1835 and 1861 Whewell produced various works on the philosophy of morals and politics, the chief of which, Elements of Morality, including Polity, was published in 1845. The peculiarity of this work—written from what is known as the intuitional point of view—is its fivefold division of the springs of action and of their objects, of the primary and universal rights of man (personal security, property, contract, family rights and government), and of the cardinal virtues (benevolence, justice, truth, purity and order).

Among Whewell's other works—too numerous to mention—were popular writings such as the third Bridgewater Treatise Astronomy and General Physics considered with reference to Natural Theology (1833), and the essay, Of the Plurality of Worlds (1853), in which he argued against the probability of life on other planets, and also the Platonic Dialogues for English Readers (1850–1861), the Lectures on the History of Moral Philosophy in England (1852), the essay, Of a Liberal Education in General, with particular reference to the Leading Studies of the University of Cambridge (1845), the important edition and abridged translation of Hugo Grotius, De jure belli ac pacis (1853), and the edition of the Mathematical Works of Isaac Barrow (1860).[8][9]

Whewell was one of the Cambridge dons whom Charles Darwin met during his education there, and when Darwin returned from the Beagle voyage he was directly influenced by Whewell, who persuaded Darwin to become secretary of the Geological Society of London. The title pages of On the Origin of Species open with a quotation from Whewell's Bridgewater Treatise about science founded on a natural theology of a creator establishing laws:[10]

"But with regard to the material world, we can at least go so far as this—we can perceive that events are brought about not by insulated interpositions of Divine power, exerted in each particular case, but by the establishment of general laws."

Works by Whewell[edit]

Honors and recognitions[edit]

In fiction[edit]

In the 1857 novel Barchester Towers Charlotte Stanhope uses the topic of the theological arguments, concerning the possibility of intelligent life on other planets, between Whewell and David Brewster in an attempt to start up conversation between her impecunious brother and the wealthy young widow Eleanor Bold.[14]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ University of Cambridge (1859), A Complete Collection of the English Poems which Have Obtained the Chancellor's Gold Medal in the University of Cambridge (PDF), Cambridge: W. Metcalfe, retrieved 1 October 2008 
  2. ^ "Whewell, William (WHWL811W)". A Cambridge Alumni Database. University of Cambridge. 
  3. ^ GRO Register of Deaths: MAR 1866 3b 353 CAMBRIDGE – William Whewell, aged 71
  4. ^ Full bibliographical details are given by Isaac Todhunter, William Whewell: An Account of his Writings, with selection from his literary and scientific correspondence, London: Macmillan, 1876, (volume 1, volume 2). See also Mrs Stair Douglas The Life and Selections from the Correspondence of William Whewell, D.D., London: C. Kegan Paul & Co., 1881, at Internet Archive
  5. ^ Ross, Sydney (1962). "Scientist: The story of a word" (PDF). Annals of Science. 18 (2): 65–85. doi:10.1080/00033796200202722. Retrieved 2011-03-08.  To be exact, the person coined the term scientist was referred to in Whewell 1834 only as "some ingenious gentleman." Ross added a comment that this "some ingenious gentleman" was Whewell himself, without giving the reason for the identification. Ross 1962, p.72.
  6. ^ Statutes and Ordinances of the University of Cambridge. Cambridge University Press. 2009. pp. 49–50. ISBN 9780521137454. 
  7. ^ Dr. William Whewell laid in his will: "an earnest an express injunction on the occupant of this chair that he should make it his aim in all parts of his treatment of the subject, to lay down such rules and suggest such measures as might tend to diminish the evils of war and finally to extinguish war among nations. See Maine, Henry Sumner (1888). Whewell Lectures, International Law, A Series of Lectures Delivered before the University of Cambridge, 1887 (1 ed.). London: John Murray. p. 1. Retrieved 8 September 2015.  via Internet Archive
  8. ^ Grotius on the Right of War and Peace, An Abridged Translation by William Whewell, Cambridge: At the University Press, 1853 at Internet Archive
  9. ^ The Mathematical Works of Isaac Barrow, D.D., edited for Triniity College by W. Whewell, Cambridge: At University Press, 1860, at Internet Archive
  10. ^ Darwin, Charles (1859), On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life, London: John Murray  (The Origin of Species page ii.) Retrieved on 5 January 2007
  11. ^ "Review of On the Principles of English University Education by William Whewell". The Quarterly Review. 59: 439–483. October 1837. 
  12. ^ "Book of Members, 1780–2010: Chapter W" (PDF). American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Retrieved 15 September 2016. 
  13. ^ http://www.sedgwickmuseum.org/index.php?page=whewell-mineral-gallery
  14. ^ Bowen, John, ed. (2014). "Explanatory notes". Barchester Towers. Oxford University Press. p. 452. ISBN 9780199665860. 

Further reading[edit]

  • Heilbron, J. L. (2002), "Coming to terms", Nature (published 7 February 2002), 415 (6872), pp. 585–585, PMID 11832919, doi:10.1038/415585a 
  • Losee, J. (1983), "Whewell and Mill on the relation between philosophy of science and history of science", Studies in history and philosophy of science (published Jun 1983), 14 (2), pp. 113–126, PMID 11615935, doi:10.1016/0039-3681(83)90016-X 
  • Fisch, M. (1991), William Whewell Philosopher of Science, Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Fisch, M. and Schaffer S. J. (eds.) (1991), William Whewell: A Composite Portrait, Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Metcalfe, J. F. (1991), "Whewell's developmental psychologism: a Victorian account of scientific progress", Studies in history and philosophy of science (published Mar 1991), 22 (1), pp. 117–139, PMID 11622706, doi:10.1016/0039-3681(91)90017-M 
  • Morrison, M. (1997), "Whewell on the ultimate problem of philosophy", Studies in history and philosophy of science Part A, 28 (3), pp. 417–437, doi:10.1016/S0039-3681(96)00028-3 
  • Ruse, M. (1975), "Darwin's debt to philosophy: an examination of the influence of the philosophical ideas of John F. W. Herschel and William Whewell on the development of Charles Darwin's theory of evolution", Studies in history and philosophy of science (published Jun 1975), 6 (2), pp. 159–181, PMID 11615591, doi:10.1016/0039-3681(75)90019-9 
  • Sandoz, R. (2016), "Whewell on the classification of the sciences", Studies in history and philosophy of science Part A, 60, pp. 48–54, doi:10.1016/j.shpsa.2016.10.001 
  • Schipper, F. (1988), "William Whewell’s conception of scientific revolutions", Studies in history and philosophy of science Part A, 19 (1), pp. 43–53, doi:10.1016/0039-3681(88)90019-2 
  • Snyder, Laura J. (2006), Reforming Philosophy: A Victorian Debate on Science and Society, Chicago: The University of Chicago Press . Includes an extensive bibliography.
  • Snyder, Laura J. (2011), The Philosophical Breakfast Club, New York: Broadway Books .
  • Whewell, W., Astronomy and General Physics Considered with Reference to Natural Theology; Bridgewater Treatises, W. Pickering, 1833 (reissued by Cambridge University Press, 2009; ISBN 978-1-108-00012-3)
  • Whewell, W., Of the Plurality of Worlds. An Essay; J. W. Parker and son, 1853 (reissued by Cambridge University Press, 2009; ISBN 978-1-108-00018-5)
  • Yeo, Richard. "Whewell, William (1794–1866)". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/29200.  (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
  • Yeo, R. (1991), Defining Science: William Whewell, Natural Knowledge and Public Debate in Early Victorian Britain, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Zamecki, Stefan, Komentarze do naukoznawczych poglądów Williama Whewella (1794–1866): studium historyczno-metodologiczne [Commentaries to the Logological Views of William Whewell (1794–1866): A Historical-Methodological Study], Warsaw, Wydawnictwa IHN PAN, 2012, ISBN 978-83-86062-09-6, English-language summary: pp. 741–43.

External links[edit]

Academic offices
Preceded by
Christopher Wordsworth
Master of Trinity College, Cambridge
1841–1866
Succeeded by
William Hepworth Thompson

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