History and Philosophy Of Science | Victorian Science, Philosophy and Culture
X521 | 27275 | Jordi Cat


The course will survey and discuss a number of typical and atypical
developments, figures, institutions, places, objects, categories,
values, fictions, and interactions in British sciences and
philosophy during the Victorian period. Figures will include John
Herschel, Charles Darwin, Alexander Bain, S.T. Coleridge, Michael
Faraday, James Clerk Maxwell, Lord Kelvin, George Eliot, Mary
Somerville, Francis Galton, William Carpenter, J.S. Mill, William
Hamilton, William Whewell, Robert Willis, Jemima Blackburn, John
Ruskin, etc. Sciences will include physics, mathematics, chemistry,
geology, biology, medicine, psychology, sociology and political
economy. Philosophy will include Scottish and German metaphysics,
Baconianism and philosophy of science. Their developments will be
examined through their interactions, themes and contexts. Themes
will include, visibility/invisibility, materiality/immateriality,
natural/supernatural, natural/artificial, objectivity/ subjectivity,
spatiality (domestic, landed, academic, natural, urban, provincial,
metropolitan, colonial, imperialism, nationalism, internationalism,
travel), temporality (development, evolution and historicity,
irreversibility and probability), population and variation, role of
body, gender, class and species, construction and representation,
truth and fiction, word and number, text and image, precision and
uniformity, science and faith, professionalization, museum
collection, classification and display and laboratory manipulation,
measurement and demonstration. Contexts that fed into the sciences
and were fed by them will include social and political structures
and developments, the industrial revolution, the culture of
construction in industry and engineering (structures, models,
machines, instruments, standards, work, engines, working classes,
precision in manufacturing and accounting, electro-technology),
culture of design (architecture, manufacture, mechanical production
and reproduction, consumption, accumulation and display, aesthetics,
education, Great Exhibition, controversies), fine arts (drawing,
painting and sculpture, models and truth, criticism), crafts,
photography, literature and publishing (realist and romantic poetry
and fiction, journalism and criticism, popularization, self-help and
encyclopedism, printing), entertainment (displays and sports),
religion (conformism, sectarianism, spiritualism and moralism), and
education (didacticism, Mechanics Institutes, Scottish and English
Universities, classics and theology, Cambridge science tripos
examinations, romantic Trinity College, Apostles Club and Working
Menís College).