A Short Biographical Dictionary of English Literature/Whewell, William

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Whewell, William (1794-1866). -- Philosopher, theologian and mathematician, s. of a joiner at Lancaster, where he was b., ed. at Camb., where he had a brilliant career. He became Prof. of Mineralogy at Camb. 1828, of Moral Theology 1838, was Master of Trinity from 1841 until his death, and he held the office of Vice-Chancellor of the Univ. in 1843 and 1856. W. was remarkable as the possessor of an encyclopædic fund of knowledge, perhaps unprecedented, and he was the author of a number of works of great importance on a variety of subjects. Among the chief of these may be mentioned his Bridgewater Treatise on Astronomy and General Physics considered with Reference to Natural Theology (1833), History of the Inductive Sciences (1837), The Philosophy of the Inductive Sciences (1840), Essay on Plurality of Worlds (anonymously), Elements of Morality (1845), History of Moral Philosophy in Englandpage 403 (1852), and Platonic Dialogues. In addition to these he wrote innumerable articles, reviews, and scientific papers. It was as a co-ordinator of knowledge and the researches of others that W. excelled; he was little of an original observer or discoverer. He is described as a large, strong, erect man with a red face and a loud voice, and he was an overwhelming and somewhat arrogant talker.