The Archives of Scientific Philosophy website describes the holdings of important collections at the University of Pittsburgh. These collections act as archival resources for investigating the history of scientific philosophy, that is, philosophy that has been influenced by scientific thinking and practices. The archives themselves include the publications, notes, lectures, and correspondence of such influential figures as Rudolf Carnap, Hans Reichenbach, Frank Plumpton Ramsey, Paul Hertz, Herbert Feigl, and Rose Rand. In addition to these collections of physical documents, there are microfiches of some of Ludwig Wittgenstein's papers, and a 300-reel microfilm archive for the History of Quantum Physics. The website also has a page on some of the archive's smaller collections relevant to this topic, and a page of practical information for scholars needing to locate and access particular documents.
The Complete Works of Charles Darwin Online is a website providing unprecedented, comprehensive access to Darwin's published works and unpublished papers as well as to his private papers. With at least one exemplar of all known Darwin publications available here, this impressive resource provides over 40,000 pages of searchable text and over 150,00 images. Complementing these primary texts (which have either been scanned or transcribed, or both) are a number of other valuable resources. These include: the largest Darwin bibliography, based on the work of R.B.Freeman; the largest catalogue of Darwin manuscripts (from the University of Cambridge Library); hundreds of additional texts such as reviews of Darwin's works, obituaries, biographies, and works useful for studying Darwin; and editorial introductions to contextualise Darwin's work and aid understanding. As from April 2008, Darwin's private papers are also available, including his diaries, field notebooks, drafts, drawings and diagrams, photographs and much more.
The site may be navigated in a number of ways, including searching and browsing, as described on the User Guide page. Additions and improvements to the site are being made continually; more editions, translations and introductions are planned, and new materials added can be found in the 'What's New' section. MP3 files of some of the works may be downloaded for free, and a user guide is available to help make the most of this vast website. This immensely important and rich resource will appeal to anyone interested in the works of Charles Darwin, and represents a major contribution to the digital humanities.
The Culture and History of Science Page provides information and resources for students and scholars in this discipline. Written in a mixture of German and English, this site is the work of cultural anthropologist Hartmut Krech from the University of Bremen. A 'materials' section provides the user with a long index of German-language authors writing on the theory, history, and culture of science and the humanities. The site also hosts electronic versions of texts by Francis Bacon ('Of the Proficience and Advancement of Learning'), Immanuel Kant, and Auguste Comte. These are all reproduced in their original languages and edited by Dr. Krech. There is an illustrated list of Krech's own publications (including online materials) and a list of courses he has been involved with. The 'news' button links to 'Kultur-Express', a German website providing up-to-date news in all areas of the cultural sciences.
This is a very large site, mainly a primary resource for the work of Thomas Henry Huxley (1825-1895), zoologist, defender of Darwinian evolution, agnostic, educational reformer and advocate of the professionalisation of science. A comprehensive bibliography of Huxley's writings (originally prepared by Professor James Paradis, author of 'T.H. Huxley: Man's Place in Nature') is used as a medium for links to over two hundred online transcripts, mostly full text and in HTML. These include the entirety of the 1893-4 Collected Essays, plus much material, unpublished in print, held in the Huxley Archives at Imperial College London. In a similar fashion, the site provides bibliographies of nineteenth- and twentieth-century commentaries, reviews and critiques of Huxley and his work, many of which (such as the anonymous 1875 lampoon 'Protoplasm, Powheads, Porwiggles...') are transcribed in full where copyright permits. There are also numerous selections from letters written by Huxley throughout his life. The transcripts are supplemented by facsimiles where appropriate, and numerous illustrations by, of, or relating to Huxley are included in the text. These have a separate index. The material may be browsed chronologically via the bibliographies and letter index, or thematically via a series of narrative 'guides' devoted to Huxley's early marine voyages, ideas on university reform, agnosticism, his role as 'Darwin's bulldog' etc. A family tree and brief timeline are also provided. This website is the result of a collaboration between two faculty members at Clark University, Massachusetts, one a computer scientist, the other active in both English studies and biology. The design appears a little eccentric at first, but becomes increasingly easy to navigate. Historians of science may find the site's enthusiastic introduction off-puttingly presentist - judging Huxley by the standards he himself was instrumental in imposing. This cannot, however, detract from its considerable value as a primary document source.
HYLE is published by HYLE Publications, Karlsruhe, in cooperation with the University of Karlsruhe, Institute of Philosophy. It is a refereed international journal for the philosophy of chemistry, which covers epistemological, methodological, foundational, and ontological problems of chemistry and its subfields; the peculiarities of chemistry and relations to technology, other scientific and non-scientific fields; aesthetical, ethical, and environmental matters in chemistry; as well as philosophically relevant facets of the history, sociology, linguistics, and education of chemistry. Most articles are in English but some are in German. The journal is available electronically twice yearly, free, and may be purchased as an annual printed volume. The website also provides online bibliographies; book reviews; links to related sites; and contents lists for over 80 other journals (Science studies current contents service).
This website provides full-text access to 'HYLE', a refereed journal which focuses on the philosophical aspects of chemistry (ISSN 1433-5158). It also provides extensive scholarly and practical information on the philosophy of chemistry. Articles in HYLE deal with problems in the epistemology, methodology, foundations, and ontology of chemistry and its subfields, as a distinct branch within the philosophy of science. The journal provides a forum for discussion as well as book reviews. It has a substantial international scientific board clearly identified on the home page. Most articles are in English but some are in German. Additional features on the website include a bibliography of resources on philosophy of chemistry, biographies of some philosophers of chemistry, a book review service, a conference calendar, detailed conference reports, a journals section with links to the tables of content for related journals both electronic and print, and links to pertinent sites.
HOPOS, The International Society for the History of the Philosophy of Science, is devoted to better understanding developments in the philosophy of science. The Society's scope is not restricted to a particular culture or time period, and they work to a broad interpretation of their remit. HOPOS organises conferences and publishes a newsletter, so as to keep members informed of the latest research in the field. The website is divided into sections on governance (the committee and its bylaws); conferences; and online resources. The conference section publicises forthcoming conferences and provides details on past events back to 1996. The online resources include a page of links, and a dues form that may be viewed and downloaded in PDF format. There is an email discussion list (HOPOS-L) with online archives, although users will need to have registered in order to view these. The site also includes electronic versions of the HOPOS newsletters, which are usually fairly extensive, covering jobs, awards, calls for papers, and new book reviews.
'Jesuits and the sciences 1540-1995' offers a brief historical outline tracing the relationship between the Society of Jesus and scientific development over the last half-millennium. The site begins with an introduction and is then divided into a series of short historical sketches, each covering a few decades. The site deals with such thinkers as Clavius (1538-1612), Kircher (1602-1680), and Boscovich (1711-1787). Though this work is by no means comprehensive, it satisfactorily introduces students who are interested in the history of scientific development or the interaction between Christianity and science to a number of major figures and the arenas in which they operated. A short but useful bibliography accompanies this resource.
This website reprints the review of Karl Popper's (1902-1994) legacy to the philosophy of science which was first published in the 'Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy'. It sets out the central tenets of Popper's thought together with an analysis of the context in which it developed and some key biographical information. The webpage was compiled as a tribute to the life and work of a scholar 'regarded as one of the greatest philosophers of science of this century'. The author, Stephen Thornton of the University of Limerick, is also editor of 'Minerva: The Internet Journal of Philosophy' and there is a link to this site. The page sets out Popper's problem of the demarcation between 'science' and 'non-science' in terms of his engagement with traditional empiricism and situates the argument in the context of his social and political thought and the critique of historicism. It forms a useful introduction to Popper's thought for students of philosophy of science and related disciplines. There are links to relevant webpages and a bibliography of primary and secondary sources.
This online resource is a collection of translations from 17th century mathematical books and papers. It is likely to be of interest to researchers in the History and Philosophy of Science at all levels who need accessible primary source material. The resource is very simply and plainly laid out, with an opening page briefly listing the contents, with comments from the translator on the material's significance in the development on mathematical thinking. Each entry has a link to a contents document with annotations on individual chapters, which may then be accessed as a small PDF file. This format is useful in allowing researchers to look at particular aspects of the text without having to work through the whole. Works in the collection include, Arithmetica Logarithmica (1624), and Trigonmetria Britannica (1631), by Henry Briggs, Angulares Sectionares (1617), by Francisco Vieta, Optica Promota (1663), by James Gregory, and Opus Geometricum quadraturae circuli, Gregorius a St. Vincentio (1647). This is an understated and efficient resource which is straightforward to use. It requires Adobe Acrobat to read the PDF files.
The Metaphysics of Science is the name of is a major three-year AHRC-funded project based in the UK, exploring how natural and obvious classifications can be fitted into a coherent and unified worldview. The project website has an overview of the project, its staff and researchers, aims and outcomes, and partners (the Universities of Birmingham, Bristol, and Nottingham). There are details of five project workshops, most of the papers from a 2007 Birmingham conference titled 'Nature and its Classification: A Metaphysics of Science', and also details of the forthcoming conference 'Metaphysics of Science' to be held in September 2009. The website has many full-text papers, freely available for download as PDF files. These include: 'Natural Kinds: (Thick) Essentialism or Promiscuous Realism?'; 'Ayn Rand on Concepts'; 'Aristotle on the Ontological Basis of Zoological Classification'; and 'Natural kinds, Naturalistic Epistemology and Philosophical Method', among many others.
MuslimHeritage.com is a website dedication to improving knowledge of the contributions to science, technology, and the arts made by Muslims, particularly during the European (so-called) Dark Ages period. The site features articles explaining how the Islamic world both kept alive earlier technologies and ideas whilst developing new ones and promoting science during the period after the fall of the Western Roman Empire. It also argues that this period of intellectual history is not given the attention that it deserves.The site features: an interactive timeline; biographies of Muslim scholars and scientists; and features covering fields as diverse as medicine, agricultural technology, conflict between science and religion, and architecture.This is a site with a point to prove, and it contains a lot of fascinating information. Some of the articles do, however, fail to flag points that might be considered contentious, and sometimes one suspects that words such as science or agricultural revolution are being used rather loosely. Nevertheless, students of the history of science would be well advised to have a look at the perspectives here offered.The site does not appear to function properly in Netscape browsers, but its presentation under Internet Explorer is clean and effective.
This website offers the work of John Baptist Porta (Giambattista della Porta), "Magiae Naturalis" ("Natural Magick") in the original Latin and in the 1658 English translation. The Neapolitan playwright, alchemist, and general Renaissance polymath, Giambattista della Porta (1535-1615) claimed that the natural philosopher could learn to manipulate the world through practical experiment, and stated in his great work what could be achieved. "Magiae Naturalis" covers subjects as diverse as the generation of animals and plants, home economics, alchemy, cosmetics for women, cooking, cryptography, and mechanical experiments. The main Web page is a little untidy, but links to the two texts, and to several shorter biographical and critical sketches of the author and his works. The English translation features hyperlinks to a glossary of terms. The website is a labour of love by a former US Army officer who inherited a 1584 edition of della Porta's work from his grandmother. The site should prove a useful resource for those studying the history of scientific ideas during the early modern period.
This website is part of a wider site on pain, published by the Wellcome Trust as a companion to an exhibition held at the Science Museum. The site looks at concepts and approaches to pain in different historical eras and the discourses that surround pain in medical history. Featured are three articles written by academics on pain and medieval medicine, pain in Victorian England, and pain and surgery in the early twentieth century. In the first the spiritual and religious contexts of pain are explored, in the second the reassessment of pain in the light of medical and scientific advances, and the third discusses Unterschenkel-amputation, surgical film footage from the early twentieth century.
The Papers of Thomas Reid is an online archive of images scanned from Reid's manuscripts held at the University of Aberdeen, known as the Birkwood Collection (MSS. 2131/1-8). Reid (1710-1796) was an eighteenth-century divine and philosopher, concerned in particular with questions of ethics and epistemology but who also wrote and published works on logic and the arts. The Birkwood collection contains over 800 items altogether, 7 of which are available in full from this website. The materials here published are principally concerned with Euclidian mathematics. The images of the manuscript pages are scanned at a high resolution, and will therefore take time to download to computers with slow Internet connections. Strangely, no plain text versions of the manuscripts are given. The size of images does however render the script very readable (Reid was blessed with unusually modern and neat handwriting for an eighteenth-century scholar).This site will prove useful to scholars working on Reid who cannot get to view these manuscripts in person, and it is to be hoped that the University of Aberdeen will continue to add to the online collection.
The Brazilian Institute of Philosophy and Science Ramon Llull has made available a fair number of resources on the Majorcan philosopher and mystic. Author of over 250 works in Catalan, Arabic, and Latin, Lull devoted much of his life to converting the Saracens to Christianity through a unification of theology and philosophy. His most important work is the 'Ars Magna', which involved a mechanical logic machine. The front page of the site is available in English, German, or Catalan, but most of the actual content is in either Catalan or Portuguese. There is a biography and chronology of Lull's life, along with a map of his last voyage. Another section details the current state of research into Lull and the progress towards compiling a complete critical edition (in Latin and Catalan). There are links to a good number of primary and secondary texts. A catalogue is provided of the alchemical works of the Pseudo-Lull (there has been a long tradition of crediting Lull with an extensive body of occult works on alchemy). Links are provided to other sites that may be of interest to scholars studying Lull.
The Robert Boyle Project is a website devoted to one of Britain's most significant scientists, Robert Boyle (1627-1691). Boyle was a prolific and influential writer who published across a range of scientific disciplines and is credited with the invention of the modern experimental method. The site features a detailed introduction to the man and his works, including his chemical experiments, his use of scientific instruments such as the air-pump and his views on the relationship between science and religion. An online gallery of images illustrating Boyle's life, together with a 17th century timeline contextualizing Boyle's work, may be viewed on the site. Also of interest will be the site's section devoted to the current field of Boyle Studies, with details of new publications and research currently being undertaken. Furthermore, users may download PDFs of corrections, emendations and supplements to the Correspondence of Boyle and to his Works. There is an extensive bibliography of writings on Boyle since 1940 and a link to the online version of the Workdiaries of Boyle, now held at the AHRB Centre for Editing Lives and Letters website. Basic teaching materials are provided, including lesson plans and pathways for the study of digitized Boyle manuscripts. These manuscripts, scanned images of the core volumes of the Boyle papers held at the Royal Society, are accessible via this site. Overall, this is a substantial, crucial resource for researchers at all levels teachers working on Boyle and the history of science.
Sherlock Holmes and Probabilistic Induction is an online seminar paper written by Professor Soshichi Uchii of Kyoto University. It looks at nineteenth-century approaches to the philosophy of science by comparing the method of reasoning employed by Arthur Conan Doyle's fictional detective with the methods of the philosophers John Herschel, John Stuart Mill, William Whewell, Augustus de Morgan, and William Stanley Jevons. Uchii determines that Holmes's methods are similar to the approaches advocated by de Morgan and Jevons, which employed a "new symbolic logic and probabilistic theory of induction". The use of examples from the Sherlock Holmes stories works well, and provides an accessible route into the comparison of Victorian theories of induction and scientific epistemology. The paper should be of interest to students studying the history of the philosophy of science and inductive reasoning.
Luminarium's web page on Sir Francis Bacon (1561-1626) provides links to information on his life, works, and achievements. It also hosts several secondary essays about the author. Bacon is credited with the invention of modern scientific method in his unfinished 'Great Instauration', consisting of the 'Novum Organum' ('New Organon'), and his treatise on 'The Proficience and Advancement of Learning'. The website has five sections: quotations (from Bartleby); biography; works (online editions and extracts); essays (secondary essays, including one by Stephen Jay Gould); and links to other sites. This website provides a good way in to studying Bacon and should be of use to undergraduates.
'Sir Thomas Browne' is a website that provides a wide assortment of texts by Sir Thomas Browne (1605-1682), the 17th-century physician and writer best known for his reflective treatise 'Religio Medici'. That work is available here, both as a searchable electronic text and as a facsimile for readers to download (as a PDF file). Most of Browne's other major writings are also presented, among them: 'Pseudodoxia Epidemica' (1646); 'Hydriotaphia' (1658); and 'A Letter to a Friend' (1690). The site, maintained by James Eason of the University of Chicago, also offers valuable supplementary materials including: contemporary responses to Browne's writing; correspondence; and Samuel Johnson's Life of Browne. The site contains about a dozen or so 17th-century texts not directly related to Browne, including works by: Henry Peacham; Richard Jobson; and the translator Philemon Holland. Students and researchers would find this site of interest.
The Web Site "The Garden, the Ark, the Tower, the Temple : Biblical Metaphors of Knowledge in Early Modern Europe" is an online exhibition curated by the Museum of the History of Science in Oxford. It explores interpretations of symbolism derived from biblical sources in the sixteenth century. The exhibition has an introduction written by Cambridge scholar Dr Scott Mandelbrote, and the focus is on the intellectual group around Samuel Hartlib (c.1600-1662). Biblical themes influenced this circle greatly, in their discussion of linguistic, agricultural, theological and botanical matters. There are selected highlights of the exhibition and its images on the site, together with commentaries on the works. A search facility makes the site easier to navigate, and the user needs to be able to view large images. An excellent site for all those interest in intellectual history, the history of science, and the ealry modern period in Europe.
The website 'University of Bristol Special Collections' describes the special collections held by the University of Bristol Library. Covering a wide range of subjects the collections derive from a wide range of subject-specific personal and institutional libraries donated to the university. Particular strengths are in the history of architecture, non-conformist Christian movements, science and medicine as well as rare books, political pamphlets and social history. Other collections include various family archives, often related to the history of Bristol and the nationally important collection of material relating to Isambard Kingdom Brunel. The site informs about catalogues and archives and gives guidance regarding library policy and practical things to know for users.