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'That James Hutton's Investigation has been returned to print after more than two hundred years of neglect and obscurity is very welcome news for all who wish seriously to understand Scottish philosophy, psychology, and, yes, even geology at the end of the eighteenth century.
In its once almost unobtainable first and only edition, the Investigation was such a rare and demanding work that scholarly discussion of it scarcely seemed possibly. Now, however, the Thoemmes Press facsimile will permit any interested researcher actually to own a copy, as the careful study of any difficult text has always required. Hutton scholars everywhere will be grateful to the publishers of this most necessary edition and to the well qualified Jones duo for their helpful introduction'
Professor Dennis R. Dean, author of James Hutton and the History of Geology
'Thoemmes's new reprint of Hutton's major synthetic work, An Investigation of the Principles of Knowledge, is especially welcome, for it will make his contribution to the Scottish science of man more readily accessible.'
James Hutton (1726—97), often described as 'the father of geology', was one of the most important and influential figures of the eighteenth century. Best known as the author of Theory of the Earth (1795) and largely remembered today for his radical contributions to earth sciences, he was also concerned with investigating a wide range of natural and human phenomena, including agriculture, botany, physics and chemistry, the origin of language, the nature of government, and philosophy.
His Investigation of the Principles of Knowledge (1794), published towards the end of his life, was Hutton's third and longest book. A wide-ranging discussion of human knowledge written in response to the works of Hume, Locke and Berkeley, Hutton here expounds a metaphysical system in which an analysis of causation is central. Beginning with the basis of knowledge in sensation, perception, passion and action, he moves on to a discussion of the nature of ideas and reason, the different kinds of proof, power and matter. His conclusion is theistic but not Christian, and stresses that man must not allow religion to be corrupted by those ignorant of science and philosophy.
Hutton is a figure increasingly studied and appreciated by modern scholars. However, the primary texts are now very rare and access to his writings is usually through secondary discussions of his thought by popularizers such as Charles Lyell and John Playfair. As a result his thought is often misunderstood. This original text, never before reprinted, provides a long overdue opportunity to consider Hutton's contributions to the social sciences and humanities.
—a very rare work, found in only a few major libraries and never before reprinted
—important in the study of the history of geology, philosophy and science
—Hutton is one of the great thinker of the Enlightenment and increasingly studied by modern scholars
—new introduction by Professor Peter Jones and Jean Jones
"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.
Book Description Thoemmes Continuum, 1999. Hardcover. Condition: Used: Good. Facsimile of 1794 ed. Seller Inventory # SONG1855068117