Cloth $65.00 ISBN: 9780226327327 Published June 2001
Paper $29.00 ISBN: 9780226327334 Published June 2001
E-book $7.00 to $29.00 About E-books ISBN: 9780226327365 Published November 2010

Victorian Relativity

Radical Thought and Scientific Discovery

Christopher Herbert

Victorian Relativity
Bookmark and Share

Christopher Herbert

264 pages | 6 x 9 | © 2001
Cloth $65.00 ISBN: 9780226327327 Published June 2001
Paper $29.00 ISBN: 9780226327334 Published June 2001
E-book $7.00 to $29.00 About E-books ISBN: 9780226327365 Published November 2010
One of the articles of faith of twentieth-century intellectual history is that the theory of relativity in physics sprang in its essentials from the unaided genius of Albert Einstein; another is that scientific relativity is unconnected to ethical, cultural, or epistemological relativisms. Victorian Relativity challenges these assumptions, unearthing a forgotten tradition of avant-garde speculation that took as its guiding principle "the negation of the absolute" and set itself under the militant banner of "relativity."

Christopher Herbert shows that the idea of relativity produced revolutionary changes in one field after another in the nineteenth century. Surveying a long line of thinkers including Herbert Spencer, Charles Darwin, Alexander Bain, W. K. Clifford, W. S. Jevons, Karl Pearson, James Frazer, and Einstein himself, Victorian Relativity argues that the early relativity movement was bound closely to motives of political and cultural reform and, in particular, to radical critiques of the ideology of authoritarianism. Recuperating relativity from those who treat it as synonymous with nihilism, Herbert portrays it as the basis of some of our crucial intellectual and ethical traditions.
Contents
Acknowledgments
Preface: Relativity and Ideology
Introduction: The Conspiracy against Truth
1. Difference, Unity, Proliferation
2. Relativity and Authority
3. The Relativity of Logic
4. Karl Pearson and the Human Form Divine
5. Frazer and Einstein
Afterword: Protagoras and History-Writing
Notes
Works Cited
Index
For more information, or to order this book, please visit http://www.press.uchicago.edu
Google preview here

Chicago Manual of Style |

Chicago Blog: Philosophy

Events in Philosophy

Keep Informed

JOURNALs