Robert Hooke's Methodology of Science as exemplified in his ‘Discourse of Earthquakes’

British Journal for the History of Science 6 (2):109-130 (1972)
  Copy   BIBTEX


A number of authors have drawn attention to the contributions to geology of Robert Hooke, and it has been pointed out that in several ways his ideas were more advanced than those of Steno, who is sometimes taken to be the founder of geology as a scientific discipline. Moreover, it has been argued that in a number of instances Hooke should receive the credit for ideas which are usually believed to have originated in the work of James Hutton. This recognition of the significance of Hooke's work is regarded by the present writer as being well founded. But, by contrast, the relationship between Hooke's geological ideas and his views on the proper methods for conducting scientific enquiries has been largely overlooked, and his views on the methodology of science, as revealed in his Posthumous works, have received little discussion. Moreover, on one of the few occasions on which they were discussed, by William Whewell, they were belittled. Whewell regarded Hooke's methodological contribution as merely ‘an attempt to adapt the Novum organon to the age which succeeded its publication’, 5 and he implied that the ‘same imperfections’ were to be found in the writings of both Hooke and Bacon. The influence of Bacon is, to be sure, most obvious in Hooke's general philosophy. Nevertheless, it will be argued that Hooke had a much clearer idea than did Bacon of the importance of so-called ‘hypothetico-deductive’ methods in science, and that in many ways his methodological views represent a significant advance on those of Bacon



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 94,517

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library


Added to PP

54 (#292,127)

6 months
28 (#133,074)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

References found in this work

Novum Organum.Francis Bacon, Peter Urbach & John Gibson - 1996 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 47 (1):125-128.
Development of Scientific Method in the School of Padua.John Herman Randall - 1940 - Journal of the History of Ideas 1 (1/4):177.
Renaissance Concepts of Method.Eugene F. Rice - 1962 - Philosophical Review 71 (2):263.
The Aristotelianism of Bacon's Novum Organum.Robert E. Larsen - 1962 - Journal of the History of Ideas 23 (4):435.

View all 9 references / Add more references