Article ID: CBB575319905

Newtonian Optics and the Historiography of Light in the 18th Century: A critical Analysis of Joseph Priestley’s The History of Optics (2018)


In 1772, Joseph Priestley published The History and Present State of Discoveries Relating to Vision, Light and Colours, also known as The History of Optics. The book intended to present all the achievements in the matter of light and colors, from the Ancient times to the 18th century. This paper presents a study of the content of The History of Optics, in order to analyze how it sold Newtonian optics in the historiography of light. It will comprise discussions on Priestley’s views on History, his involvement with optical studies, his perceptions on Newtonian optics and the Biographical Chart included in the book. This analysis can add new elements for the current Historiography on Priestley, clarifying other aspects that demonstrate his commitment to a Newtonian view of the History of Optics, as well as an example of the prestige that Newton’s Natural Philosophy had throughout the 18th century.

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Authors & Contributors
P. L. , Simms
Hinkley, D. L
Eisenstaedt, Jean
Kuhno, Toshiya
Schofield, Robert E.
Brock, William H.
Notes and Records: The Royal Society Journal of the History of Science
Annals of Science: The History of Science and Technology
化学史研究 [Kagakushi kenkyū; Journal of the Japanese Society for the History of Chemistry]
Bulletin for the History of Chemistry
Perspectives on Science
Journal for the History of Astronomy
I. B. Tauris
Natural philosophy
Experiments and experimentation
Priestley, Joseph
Newton, Isaac
Gregory, David
Blair, Robert
Smith, Robert
Stukeley, William
Time Periods
18th century
17th century
19th century
13th century
Great Britain
Royal Society of London
Ikhwān al-Ṣafā (Brethren of Purity)

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