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Author Stanley, Matthew, 1975- author.

Title Huxley's church and Maxwell's demon : from theistic science to naturalistic science / Matthew Stanley.

Publication Info. Chicago : The University of Chicago Press, 2015.

Item Status

Description 1 online resource
Bibliography Includes bibliographical references and index.
Contents Introduction -- Religious lives -- The uniformity of natural laws -- The limits of science -- The goals of science education: the working men's college -- Intellectual freedom -- Free will and natural laws -- How the naturalists "won" -- Conclusion.
Summary During the Victorian period, the practice of science shifted from a religious context to a naturalistic one. It is generally assumed that this shift occurred because naturalistic science was distinct from and superior to theistic science. Yet as Huxley's Church and Maxwell's Demon reveals, most of the methodological values underlying scientific practice were virtually identical for the theists and the naturalists: each agreed on the importance of the uniformity of natural laws, the use of hypothesis and theory, the moral value of science, and intellectual freedom. But if scientific naturalism did not rise to dominance because of its methodological superiority, then how did it triumph? Matthew Stanley explores the overlap and shift between theistic and naturalistic science through a parallel study of two major scientific figures: James Clerk Maxwell, a devout Christian physicist, and Thomas Henry Huxley, the iconoclast biologist who coined the word agnostic. Both were deeply engaged in the methodological, institutional, and political issues that were crucial to the theistic-naturalistic transformation. What Stanley's analysis of these figures reveals is that the scientific naturalists executed a number of strategies over a generation to gain control of the institutions of scientific education and to reimagine the history of their discipline. Rather than a sudden revolution, the similarity between theistic and naturalistic science allowed for a relatively smooth transition in practice from the old guard to the new.
Local Note eBooks on EBSCOhost EBSCO eBook Subscription Academic Collection - North America
Subject Maxwell, James Clerk, 1831-1879.
Huxley, Thomas Henry, 1825-1895.
Science -- Great Britain -- History -- 19th century.
Physicists -- Great Britain.
Naturalists -- Great Britain.
Naturalism -- History -- 19th century.
Religion and science -- Great Britain -- History -- 19th century.
Chronological Term 1800-1899
Genre/Form Electronic books.
Other Form: Print version: Stanley, Matthew, 1975- Huxley's church and Maxwell's demon 9780226164878 (DLC) 2014010890 (OCoLC)881386844
ISBN 9780226164908 (electronic bk.)
022616490X (electronic bk.)
9780226164878 (print)