<history of philosophy, biography> British philosopher of science (1794-1866). In the Philosophy of the Inductive Sciences, Founded upon Their History (1840) and The Plurality of Worlds (1858) Whewell defended a hypothetico-deductive model of Baconian natural science, emphasizing the role of intellectual creativity in theory-formation and defending a strict scientific realism in opposition to the strictly empiricist views of Mill. Thus, he held that Newton's mechanics for celestial and terrestrial motion provides necessary truths about the structure of the universe. Whewell considered the implications of this view for ethics in The Elements of Morality (1856). Recommended Reading: Collected Works of William Whewell, ed. by Richard Yeo (Thoemmes, 2001); William Whewell, Mathematical Exposition of Some Doctrines of Political Economy (Augustus Kelley, 1971); William Whewell: Theory of Scientific Method, ed. by Robert E. Butts (Hackett, 1989); William Whewell: A Composite Portrait, ed. by Menachem Fisch and Simon Schaffer (Oxford, 1991); and Richard Yeo, Defining Science: William Whewell, Natural Knowledge, and Public Debate in Early Victorian Britain (Cambridge, 1993).
[A Dictionary of Philosophical Terms and Names]
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