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Preliminary discourse on the study of natural philosophy Paperback – September 4, 2010

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 382 pages
  • Publisher: Nabu Press (September 4, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1178286746
  • ISBN-13: 978-1178286748
  • Product Dimensions: 7.4 x 9.7 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

Editorial Reviews

Book Description

J. F. W. Herschel's A Preliminary Discourse on the Study of Natural Philosophy, originally published in 1830, carefully sets out the principles and methods of scientific observation. He covers a wide range of methodological and philosophical subjects that include astronomy, light and the relationship between religious faith and scientific enquiry. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

About the Author

John F. Herschel (1792-1871) was a fellow of St. John's College, Cambridge, and one of the most important British scientists of the nineteenth century. The son of astronomer William Herschel, John Herschel was also known for his influential role in British astronomy and in science generally.
--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Format: Paperback
John Frederick William Herschel (1792-1871) was an English mathematician, astronomer, chemist, inventor, and experimental photographer.

He wrote in the first chapter of this 1831 book, "[Man] is led to the conception of a Power and an Intelligence superior to his own, and adequate to the production and maintenance of all that he sees in nature---a Power and Intelligence to which he may well apply the term infinite... refinement follows upon refinement, wonder on wonder, till his faculties become bewildered in admiration, and his intellect falls back on itself in utter hopelessness of arriving at an end." (Pg. 4-5)

He argues, "when we see a great number of things precisely alike, we do not believe this similarity to have originated except from a common principle independent of them... A line of spinning-jennies, or a regiment of soldiers dressed exactly alike, and going through precisely the same evolutions, gives us no idea of independent existence... And this conclusion... acquires irresistible force when their number if magnified beyond the power of imagination to conceive. If we mistake not, then, the discoveries alluded to effectually destroy the ideas of an eternal self-existent matter, by giving to each of its atoms the essential characters, at once, of a manufactured article, and a subordinate agent." (Pg.
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