Reforming Philosophy: A Victorian Debate On Science And Society by Laura J. SnyderReforming Philosophy: A Victorian Debate On Science And Society by Laura J. Snyder

Reforming Philosophy: A Victorian Debate On Science And Society

byLaura J. Snyder

Paperback | October 22, 2014

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The Victorian period in Britain was an “age of reform.”  It is therefore not surprising that two of the era’s most eminent intellects described themselves as reformers. Both William Whewell and John Stuart Mill believed that by reforming philosophy—including the philosophy of science—they could effect social and political change. But their divergent visions of this societal transformation led to a sustained and spirited controversy that covered morality, politics, science, and economics. Situating their debate within the larger context of Victorian society and its concerns, Reforming Philosophy shows how two very different men captured the intellectual spirit of the day and engaged the attention of other scientists and philosophers, including the young Charles Darwin.
Mill—philosopher, political economist, and Parliamentarian—remains a canonical author of Anglo-American philosophy, while Whewell—Anglican cleric, scientist, and educator—is now often overlooked, though in his day he was renowned as an authority on science. Placing their teachings in their proper intellectual, cultural, and argumentative spheres, Laura Snyder revises the standard views of these two important Victorian figures, showing that both men’s concerns remain relevant today.
A philosophically and historically sensitive account of the engagement of the major protagonists of Victorian British philosophy, Reforming Philosophy is the first book-length examination of the dispute between Mill and Whewell in its entirety. A rich and nuanced understanding of the intellectual spirit of Victorian Britain, it will be welcomed by philosophers and historians of science, scholars of Victorian studies, and students of the history of philosophy and political economy.  
Laura J. Snyder is a Fulbright Scholar, professor of philosophy at St. John’s University in New York City, past president of the International Society for the History of Philosophy of Science, and author of The Philosophical Breakfast Club: Four Remarkable Friends Who Transformed Science and Changed the World.
Title:Reforming Philosophy: A Victorian Debate On Science And SocietyFormat:PaperbackDimensions:386 pages, 9 × 6 × 1.1 inPublished:October 22, 2014Publisher:University of Chicago PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:022621432X

ISBN - 13:9780226214320

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Table of Contents

Introduction: “Reforming the Philosophy of the Age”  
1. Whewell and the Reform of Inductive Philosophy  
2. Mill’s Radicalization of Induction  
3. Reforming Science  
4. Reforming Culture: Morality and Politics  
5. Reforming Political Economy  
Conclusion: The Debate’s Legacy 

Editorial Reviews

“Reforming Philosophy is a superb piece of work that fills out in needed detail the debates in the mid-nineteenth century about the nature of good science.  She follows through with understanding and clarity the ideas of the chief actors in the discussions, William Whewell and John Stuart Mill, showing that their concerns are no less valid for us today.  This book will be required reading for students of the period as well as for those interested in the way that science defined itself through the ages.”