Read e-book online A scientist's voice in American culture: Simon Newcomb and PDF

By Albert E. Moyer

ISBN-10: 0520076893

ISBN-13: 9780520076891

In past due nineteenth-century the USA, Simon Newcomb used to be the nation's such a lot celebrated scientist and--irascibly, doggedly, tirelessly--he made the main of it. formally a mathematical astronomer heading a central authority service provider, Newcomb spent as a lot of his lifestyles out of the observatory as in it, performing as a spokesman for the nascent yet restive medical group of his time.Newcomb observed the "scientific procedure" as a possible consultant for all disciplines and a foundation for all useful motion, and argued passionately that it was once of as a lot use within the halls of Congress as within the laboratory. In so doing, he not just sparked renowned aid for American technological know-how but additionally faced a large spectrum of social, cultural, and highbrow matters. this primary full-length learn of Newcomb strains the advance of his religion in technological know-how and levels over themes of significant public debate within the Gilded Age, from the reform of financial conception to the recasting of the controversy among technological know-how and faith. Moyer's portrait of a stressed, keen brain additionally illuminates the bustle of past due nineteenth-century the USA.

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Additional resources for A scientist's voice in American culture: Simon Newcomb and the rhetoric of scientific method

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He was Page 12 anxious to strengthen the institutional infrastructure of American natural science so that practitioners could take fuller advantage of the opportunities offered by the flourishing research programs of the day; consequently, he tried to cultivate deeper public support of science in the United States by convincing politicians and other influential citizens of the civic value not merely of the science itself but of its method. He sought to achieve this expansion of science's cognitive authority through precept (simply by extolling the merits of method and its potential public contributions) as well as example (by actually applying the method to public issues).

Influences of Comte, Darwin, and Mill 36 Auguste Comte 37 Charles Darwin 38 John Stuart Mill 41 A Textbook Statement on Method 45 Page viii 4. Interactions with Wright and Peirce 52 Chauncey Wright 52 Charles Sanders Peirce 58 Views of Wright and Peirce 62 5. Midcareer 66 Taking Charge of the Almanac Office 68 The Planets and the Moon 71 Professional Involvements 78 6. American Science, Scientific Method, and Social Progress 82 Institutional Deficiencies and Public Indifference 83 The Nation's Need for Scientific Method 86 Social Progress and the Scientific Use of Language 90 The Languages of Physics, Business, and Philosophy 94 7.

Of course, not all the children who were reared alongside Newcomb in the small towns and villages of Nova Scotia placed such a premium on the few books around them. Young Newcomb was, as he later bemoaned, something of a lusus naturae, a sport of nature, an eccentric given over to the life of the mind. 1 In his autobiography, he titled the chapter on his earliest years "The World of Cold and Darkness," an allusion to the discomfort he felt as a lone bookworm in a rustic society of farmers and laborers.

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A scientist's voice in American culture: Simon Newcomb and the rhetoric of scientific method by Albert E. Moyer


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