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Jeffrey R. Wigelsworth

9780719078729_4_005.qxd 11/26/08 10:34 Page 142 Chapter 5 Matter, motion, and Newtonian public science, 1720–41 B y the time Sir Isaac Newton died in 1727 contemporary enthusiasm for natural philosophy had ensured that it had crossed the threshold of the rooms at the Royal Society to become firmly established as part of a national discourse. We need only look at the newspapers of the day to see how far natural philosophy had captured imaginations and created a market niche. Advertisements offered consumers the opportunity to hold the world figuratively in

in Deism in Enlightenment England
Jeffrey R. Wigelsworth

9780719078729_4_003.qxd 11/26/08 10:33 Page 71 Chapter 3 Matter, motion, and Newtonian public science, 1695–1714 ‘T he manner, in which Sir Isaac Newton has published his philosophical discoveries, occasions them to lie very much concealed from all, who have not made the mathematics particularly their study’, concluded Henry Pemberton, editor of the third edition of the Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica (1726), regarding the contents of a book he knew better than perhaps only Newton himself. Newton’s refusal to explain his Principia, and in

in Deism in Enlightenment England
Derya Gurses Tarbuck

Hutchinsonianism, a set of ideas developed by John Hutchinson, did not necessarily command considerable respect among intellectuals in the eighteenth century. Hutchinson held that science was divine in origin and was rooted in the Old Testament. He denied the Newtonian principle of gravity and argued that God was necessary for the application of physical laws. He also developed a highly symbolic interpretation of religious ideas. George Horne (1730–92) was an exception in taking Hutchinsonianism seriously. Horne’s ideas aimed at uniting Christian orthodoxy against a common enemy, particularly those who undermined Trinitarian Christianity. This article examines Horne’s ideas as a Hutchinsonianism and explores his debt to Hutchinson. Horne also can be regarded as the most important representative of the Oxford Hutchinsonians of his generation, in the sense that his orthodoxy and adherence to Hutchinson’s ideas were aimed at finding a common ground between the two.

Bulletin of the John Rylands Library
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Rosalind Powell

, explained, manipulated, and applied in eighteenth-century literature and science. Newton is a frequent touchstone throughout this study, both by virtue of his scientific publications and because his name becomes a shorthand for empiricist enquiry in this period under the banner of Newtonianism. Whilst a few of the instances of observation that I examine in this book do involve the replication of experiments in acts of direct witnessing of the kind invoked by Newton, the majority of my examples – from topographical poems

in Perception and analogy
Samuel Clarke and the Trinity
Robert G. Ingram

Yet the issue remained important both to orthodox apologists like Waterland and to his polemical opponents because all thought that most everything else flowed from one’s stance on Christ’s divinity.19 This chapter reconstructs those mid-eighteenth-century Christological debates.20 It focuses especially on the Christological debates between Daniel Waterland and his era’s most influential Christologically heterodox polemical divine, Samuel Clarke. Firstly, it examines how Newtonianism or Lockeanism could produce different conceptions of God. Secondly, it anatomizes

in Reformation without end
Poetry, science, and religion in the eighteenth century
Author: Rosalind Powell

Perception and analogy explores ways of seeing scientifically in the eighteenth century. It discusses literary, theological, and didactic texts alongside popular works on astronomy, optics, ophthalmology, and the body to demonstrate how readers are prompted to take on a range of perspectives in their acquisition of scientific knowledge. With reference to topics from colour perception to cataract surgery, the book examines how sensory experience was conceptualised during the eighteenth century. It argues that by paying attention to the period’s documentation of perception as an embodied phenomenon we can better understand the creative methods employed by disseminators of diverse natural philosophical ideas. This book argues for the central role of analogy in conceptualising and explaining new scientific ideas. It centres on religious and topographical poetry by writers including James Thomson, Richard Blackmore, Mark Akenside, Henry Brooke, David Mallet, Elizabeth Carter, and Christopher Smart. Together with its readings of popular educational dialogues on scientific topics, the book also addresses how this analogical approach is reflected in material culture through objects – such as orreries, camera obscuras, and Aeolian harps – that facilitate acts of perception and tactile engagement within polite spaces. The book shows how scientific concepts become intertwined with Christian discourse through reinterpretations of origins and signs, the scope of the created universe, and the limits of embodied knowledge.

Rosalind Powell

scales, unseen forces, unimaginable speeds, and a whole plurality of worlds circling the fixed stars – so that these concepts can enter into the cognitive experience of amateur learners, reinforcing social, religious and national values and sometimes even prompting imaginative transports. Lady Chudleigh’s description of the vortices determining planetary orbits refers, of course, to Cartesian doctrine, which by 1710 had already been displaced by Newtonian theories in British natural philosophy. 2 The astronomical ideas

in Perception and analogy
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The importance of deist theology
Jeffrey R. Wigelsworth

impassioned plea fell on deaf ears and the sentence stood as delivered. These two episodes illustrate nicely the contemporary and frequent modern perception of deism and deists in England. Deists seemed to be godless, enemies of Newtonian philosophy, and a disruptive force in society. Were they really? This book is an attempt to offer an answer. Any study of deism must be sensitive to conceptions of eighteenth-century intellectual thought, otherwise known as Enlightenment. Indeed, depictions of deists often reflect conceptions of the Enlightenment. Current scholarship is 2

in Deism in Enlightenment England
An historical essay concerning witchcraft (1718)
Andrew Sneddon

over the idea of a confessional state, but used Newtonian reasoning to bolster the Whiggish notion of a polite, ordered, civil society. He did this by attacking what he believed threatened it, religious enthusiasm, of which witchcraft was a salient example, as it encouraged the lower orders to act in ways that threatened public, and thus social, order.9 Bostridge further argues that Hutchinson, panicked by the credulity of the Scottish elite in matters of witchcraft and by the conviction of Wenham, made plans to publish the Historical essay first in 1707 and then

in Witchcraft and Whigs
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Rosalind Powell

of the aesthetic utility of Newtonian optics for poets by considering perception, the role of the individual viewer, and analogical references. I focus in particular on the processes by which writers manipulate and train readers’ perception of colour through technical explanations of colour processes and creative analogies that establish the nature of colour’s production in relation to phenomena and individual perception. The next section of this chapter argues that Newton’s explanations of colour production and perception

in Perception and analogy