A Victorian Debate on Science and Society
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.
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