Henry James Sumner Maine
Sir Henry James Sumner Maine, was a British Whig comparative jurist and historian. He is famous for the thesis outlined in his book Ancient Law that law and society developed "from status to contract." According to the thesis, in the ancient world individuals were bound by status to traditional groups, while in the modern one, in which individuals are viewed as autonomous agents, they are free to make contracts and form associations with whomever they choose. Because of this thesis, Maine can be seen as one of the forefathers of modern legal anthropology, legal history and sociology of law. Maine was the son of Dr. James Maine, of Roxburghshire, he was educated at Christ's Hospital, where a boarding house was named after him in 1902. From there he went up to Pembroke College, Cambridge, in 1840. At Cambridge, he was noted as a classical scholar and won the Chancellor's Gold Medal for poetry in 1842, he won a Craven scholarship and graduated as senior classic in 1844, being senior chancellor's medallist in classics.
He was a Cambridge Apostle. Shortly afterwards, he accepted a tutorship at Trinity Hall. In 1847, he was appointed regius professor of civil law, he was called to the bar three years later. Meanwhile, in 1852 he had become one of the readers appointed by the Inns of Court; the post of legal member of council in India was offered to Maine in 1861. The following year Maine was persuaded to accept, it turned out that India suited him much better than Cambridge or London, he was asked to prolong his services beyond the regular term of five years, he returned to England in 1869. The subjects on which it was Maine's duty to advise the government of India were as much political as legal, they ranged from such problems as the land settlement of the Punjab, or the introduction of civil marriage to provide for the needs of unorthodox Hindus, to the question of how far the study of Persian should be required or encouraged among European civil servants. Plans of codification were prepared, shaped, under Maine's direction, which were implemented by his successors, Sir James Fitzjames Stephen and Dr Whitley Stokes.
Maine became a member of the secretary of state's council in 1871 and remained so for the rest of his life. In the same year he was gazetted a K. C. S. I. In 1869, Maine was appointed to the chair of historical and comparative jurisprudence newly founded in the University of Oxford by Corpus Christi College. Residence at Oxford was not required, the election amounted to an invitation to the new professor to resume and continue in his own way the work he had begun in Ancient Law. In 1877, the mastership of Trinity Hall, where Maine had been tutor, became vacant. There were two strong candidates whose claims were so nearly equal that it was difficult to elect either, his acceptance entailed the resignation of the Oxford chair, though not continuous residence at Cambridge. Ten years he was elected to succeed Sir William Harcourt as Whewell Professor of International Law at Cambridge. Maine's health, which had never been strong, gave way towards the end of 1887, he went to the Riviera under medical advice, died at Cannes, France, on 3 February 1888.
He left a wife and two sons, of whom the elder died soon afterwards. Maine wrote journalism in 1851 for the Morning Chronicle, edited by John Douglas Cook. With Cook and others, in 1855, he founded and edited the Saturday Review, writing for it to 1861. Like his close friend James Fitzjames Stephen, he enjoyed occasional article-writing, never quite abandoned it. Maine contributed to the Cambridge Essays an essay on Roman law and legal education, republished in the editions of Village Communities. Lectures delivered by Maine for the Inns of Court were the groundwork of Ancient Law, the book by which his reputation was made at one stroke, its object, as stated in the preface, was "to indicate some of the earliest ideas of mankind, as they are reflected in ancient law, to point out the relation of those ideas to modern thought." He published the substance of his Oxford lectures: Village Communities in the West. In all these works, the phenomena of societies in an archaic stage are brought into line to illustrate the process of development in legal and political ideas.
As vice-chancellor of the University of Calcutta, Maine commented on the results produced by the contact of Eastern and Western thought. Three of these addresses were published, wholly or in part, in the editions of Village Communities. An essay on India was his contribution to the composite work entitled The Reign of Queen Victoria, his brief work in international law is represented by the posthumous volume International Law. Maine had published in 1885 his one work of speculative politics, a volume of essays on Popular Government, designed to show that democracy is not in itself more stable than any other form of government and that there is no necessary connexion between democracy and progress. In 1886, there appeared in the Quarterly Review an article on the posthumous work of J. F. McLennan and completed by his brother, entitled "The Patriarchal Theory"; the article, though unsigned by the rule of the Quarterly at the time, was Maine's reply to the McLennan brothers' attack on the historical reconstruction of the Indo-European family system put forward in Ancient Law and supplemented in Early Law and Custom.
Maine charged McLennan in
A scientist is someone who conducts scientific research to advance knowledge in an area of interest. In classical antiquity, there was no real ancient analog of a modern scientist. Instead, philosophers engaged in the philosophical study of nature called natural philosophy, a precursor of natural science, it was not until the 19th century that the term scientist came into regular use after it was coined by the theologian and historian of science William Whewell in 1833. The term'scientist' was first coined by him for Mary Somerville because the term "man of science", more custom at that time, was inappropriate here. In modern times, many scientists have advanced degrees in an area of science and pursue careers in various sectors of the economy such as academia, industry and nonprofit environments; the roles of "scientists", their predecessors before the emergence of modern scientific disciplines, have evolved over time. Scientists of different eras have had different places in society, the social norms, ethical values, epistemic virtues associated with scientists—and expected of them—have changed over time as well.
Accordingly, many different historical figures can be identified as early scientists, depending on which characteristics of modern science are taken to be essential. Some historians point to the Scientific Revolution that began in 16th century as the period when science in a recognizably modern form developed, it wasn't until the 19th century that sufficient socioeconomic changes occurred for scientists to emerge as a major profession. Knowledge about nature in classical antiquity was pursued by many kinds of scholars. Greek contributions to science—including works of geometry and mathematical astronomy, early accounts of biological processes and catalogs of plants and animals, theories of knowledge and learning—were produced by philosophers and physicians, as well as practitioners of various trades; these roles, their associations with scientific knowledge, spread with the Roman Empire and, with the spread of Christianity, became linked to religious institutions in most of European countries.
Astrology and astronomy became an important area of knowledge, the role of astronomer/astrologer developed with the support of political and religious patronage. By the time of the medieval university system, knowledge was divided into the trivium—philosophy, including natural philosophy—and the quadrivium—mathematics, including astronomy. Hence, the medieval analogs of scientists were either philosophers or mathematicians. Knowledge of plants and animals was broadly the province of physicians. Science in medieval Islam generated some new modes of developing natural knowledge, although still within the bounds of existing social roles such as philosopher and mathematician. Many proto-scientists from the Islamic Golden Age are considered polymaths, in part because of the lack of anything corresponding to modern scientific disciplines. Many of these early polymaths were religious priests and theologians: for example, Alhazen and al-Biruni were mutakallimiin. During the Italian Renaissance scientists like Leonardo Da Vinci, Galileo Galilei and Gerolamo Cardano have been considered as the most recognizable polymaths.
During the Renaissance, Italians made substantial contributions in science. Leonardo Da Vinci made significant discoveries in anatomy; the Father of modern Science,Galileo Galilei, made key improvements on the thermometer and telescope which allowed him to observe and describe the solar system. Descartes was not only a pioneer of analytic geometry but formulated a theory of mechanics and advanced ideas about the origins of animal movement and perception. Vision interested the physicists Young and Helmholtz, who studied optics and music. Newton extended Descartes' mathematics by inventing calculus, he investigated light and optics. Fourier founded a new branch of mathematics — infinite, periodic series — studied heat flow and infrared radiation, discovered the greenhouse effect. Girolamo Cardano, Blaise Pascal Pierre de Fermat, Von Neumann, Khinchin and Wiener, all mathematicians, made major contributions to science and probability theory, including the ideas behind computers, some of the foundations of statistical mechanics and quantum mechanics.
Many mathematically inclined scientists, including Galileo, were musicians. There are many compelling stories in medicine and biology, such as the development of ideas about the circulation of blood from Galen to Harvey. During the age of Enlightenment, Luigi Galvani, the pioneer of the bioelectromagnetics, discovered the animal electricity, he discovered that a charge applied to the spinal cord of a frog could generate muscular spasms throughout its body. Charges could make frog legs jump if the legs were no longer attached to a frog. While cutting a frog leg, Galvani's steel scalpel touched a brass hook, holding the leg in place; the leg twitched. Further experiments confirmed this effect, Galvani was convinced that he was seeing the effects of what he called animal electricity, the life force within the muscles of the frog. At the University of Pavia, Galvani's colleague Alessandro Volta was able to reproduce the results, but was sceptical o
John Westlake was an English law scholar. He was born at Lostwithiel, the son of a Cornish wool-stapler, he was educated at Lostwithiel and, from 1846, at Trinity College, where he graduated BA in 1850. He was a fellow of Trinity from 1851 to 1860, called to the bar at Lincoln's Inn in 1854, became a bencher of the Inn in 1874. In 1885 he was elected to Parliament as Liberal member for the Romford Division of Essex. In 1864 he married Alice Hare and key supporter of the women's suffrage movement, he was connected with the Christian Socialist Movement, being a member of the Committee of Teaching and Publication. He is considered to be one of the founders of the Working Men's College in 1854, where he taught mathematics for many years, he was an honorary president of the Institute of International Law. His works, of the highest importance in their field, include: A Treatise on Private International Law. London: W. Maxwell. 1858. Retrieved 3 July 2018 – via Internet Archive.. Chapters on the Principles of International Law.
Cambridge: At the University Press. 1894. Retrieved 3 July 2018 – via Internet Archive. International Law Part I - Peace. Cambridge: At the University Press. 1904. Retrieved 3 July 2018 – via Internet Archive.. Cambridge: At the University Press. 1907. Retrieved 3 July 2018 – via Internet Archive.. Cambridge: At the University Press. 1910. Retrieved 3 July 2018 – via Internet Archive.. Cambridge: At the University Press. 1913. Retrieved 3 July 2018 – via Internet Archive.. Jno. W.. "International Law". The Encyclopaedia Britannica. XIV. Cambridge and New York: At the University Press. Pp. 701–705. Retrieved 16 July 2018 – via Internet Archive, his Collected Papers on Public International Law were edited by L. Oppenheim in 1914. Gustave Rolin-Jaequemyns This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Gilman, D. C.. "article name needed". New International Encyclopedia. New York: Dodd, Mead. Memories of John Westlake. London: Smith, Elder & Co. 1914. Retrieved 15 February 2019 – via Internet Archive.
Hansard 1803–2005: contributions in Parliament by John Westlake Works by or about John Westlake at Internet Archive Painting by or after John Westlake at the Art UK site Portraits of John Westlake at the National Portrait Gallery, London
A philosopher is someone who practices philosophy. The term "philosopher" comes from the Ancient Greek, φιλόσοφος, meaning "lover of wisdom"; the coining of the term has been attributed to the Greek thinker Pythagoras. In the classical sense, a philosopher was someone who lived according to a certain way of life, focusing on resolving existential questions about the human condition, not someone who discourses upon theories or comments upon authors; these particular brands of philosophy are Hellenistic ones and those who most arduously commit themselves to this lifestyle may be considered philosophers. A philosopher is one who challenges what is thought to be common sense, doesn’t know when to stop asking questions, reexamines the old ways of thought. In a modern sense, a philosopher is an intellectual who has contributed in one or more branches of philosophy, such as aesthetics, epistemology, metaphysics, social theory, political philosophy. A philosopher may be one who worked in the humanities or other sciences which have since split from philosophy proper over the centuries, such as the arts, economics, psychology, anthropology and politics.
The separation of philosophy and science from theology began in Greece during the 6th century BC. Thales, an astronomer and mathematician, was considered by Aristotle to be the first philosopher of the Greek tradition. While Pythagoras coined the word, the first known elaboration on the topic was conducted by Plato. In his Symposium, he concludes. Therefore, the philosopher is one. Therefore, the philosopher in antiquity was one who lives in the constant pursuit of wisdom, living in accordance to that wisdom. Disagreements arose as to what living philosophically entailed; these disagreements gave rise to different Hellenistic schools of philosophy. In consequence, the ancient philosopher thought in a tradition; as the ancient world became schism by philosophical debate, the competition lay in living in a manner that would transform his whole way of living in the world. Among the last of these philosophers was Marcus Aurelius, regarded as a philosopher in the modern sense, but refused to call himself by such a title, since he had a duty to live as an emperor.
According to the Classicist Pierre Hadot, the modern conception of a philosopher and philosophy developed predominately through three changes: The first is the natural inclination of the philosophical mind. Philosophy is a tempting discipline which can carry away the individual in analyzing the universe and abstract theory; the second is the historical change through the Medieval era. With the rise of Christianity, the philosophical way of life was adopted by its theology. Thus, philosophy was divided between a way of life and the conceptual, logical and metaphysical materials to justify that way of life. Philosophy was the servant to theology; the third is the sociological need with the development of the university. The modern university requires professionals to teach. Maintaining itself requires teaching future professionals to replace the current faculty. Therefore, the discipline degrades into a technical language reserved for specialists eschewing its original conception as a way of life.
In the fourth century, the word philosopher began to designate a man or woman who led a monastic life. Gregory of Nyssa, for example, describes how his sister Macrina persuaded their mother to forsake "the distractions of material life" for a life of philosophy. During the Middle Ages, persons who engaged with alchemy was called a philosopher – thus, the Philosopher's Stone. Many philosophers still emerged from the Classical tradition, as saw their philosophy as a way of life. Among the most notable are René Descartes, Baruch Spinoza, Nicolas Malebranche, Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz. With the rise of the university, the modern conception of philosophy became more prominent. Many of the esteemed philosophers of the eighteenth century and onward have attended and developed their works in university. Early examples include: Immanuel Kant, Johann Gottlieb Fichte, Friedrich Wilhelm Joseph Schelling, Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel. After these individuals, the Classical conception had all but died with the exceptions of Arthur Schopenhauer, Søren Kierkegaard, Friedrich Nietzsche.
The last considerable figure in philosophy to not have followed a strict and orthodox academic regime was Ludwig Wittgenstein. In the modern era, those attaining advanced degrees in philosophy choose to stay in careers within the educational system as part of the wider professionalisation process of the discipline in the 20th century. According to a 1993 study by the National Research Council, 77.1% of the 7,900 holders of a PhD in philosophy who responded were employed in educational institutions. Outside academia, philosophers may employ their writing and reasoning skills in other careers, such as medicine, business, free-lance writing and law; some known French social thinkers are Claude Henri Saint-Simon, Auguste Comte, Émile Durkheim. British social thought, with thinkers such as Herbert Spencer, addressed questions and ideas relating to political economy and social evolution; the political ideals of John Ruskin were a precursor of social economy. Important German philosophers and social thinkers included Immanuel Kant, Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel, Karl Marx, Max Weber, Georg Simmel, Martin Heidegger.
Important Chinese philosophers and social thinke
University of Cambridge
The University of Cambridge is a collegiate public research university in Cambridge, United Kingdom. Founded in 1209 and granted a Royal Charter by King Henry III in 1231, Cambridge is the second-oldest university in the English-speaking world and the world's fourth-oldest surviving university; the university grew out of an association of scholars who left the University of Oxford after a dispute with the townspeople. The two'ancient universities' share many common features and are referred to jointly as'Oxbridge'; the history and influence of the University of Cambridge has made it one of the most prestigious universities in the world. Cambridge is formed from a variety of institutions which include 31 constituent Colleges and over 100 academic departments organised into six schools. Cambridge University Press, a department of the university, is the world's oldest publishing house and the second-largest university press in the world; the university operates eight cultural and scientific museums, including the Fitzwilliam Museum, as well as a botanic garden.
Cambridge's libraries hold a total of around 15 million books, eight million of which are in Cambridge University Library, a legal deposit library. In the fiscal year ending 31 July 2018, the university had a total income of £1.965 billion, of which £515.5 million was from research grants and contracts. In the financial year ending 2017, the central university and colleges had combined net assets of around £11.8 billion, the largest of any university in the country. However, the true extent of Cambridge's wealth is much higher as many colleges hold their historic main sites, which date as far back as the 13th century, at depreceated valuations. Furthermore, many of the wealthiest colleges do not account for “heritage assets” such as works of art, libraries or artefacts, whose value many college accounts describe as “immaterial”; the university is linked with the development of the high-tech business cluster known as'Silicon Fen'. It is a member of numerous associations and forms part of the'golden triangle' of English universities and Cambridge University Health Partners, an academic health science centre.
As of 2018, Cambridge is the top-ranked university in the United Kingdom according to all major league tables. As of September 2017, Cambridge is ranked the world's second best university by the Times Higher Education World University Rankings, is ranked 3rd worldwide by Academic Ranking of World Universities, 6th by QS, 7th by US News. According to the Times Higher Education ranking, no other institution in the world ranks in the top 10 for as many subjects; the university has educated many notable alumni, including eminent mathematicians, politicians, philosophers, writers and foreign Heads of State. As of March 2019, 118 Nobel Laureates, 11 Fields Medalists, 7 Turing Award winners and 15 British Prime Ministers have been affiliated with Cambridge as students, faculty or research staff. By the late 12th century, the Cambridge area had a scholarly and ecclesiastical reputation, due to monks from the nearby bishopric church of Ely. However, it was an incident at Oxford, most to have led to the establishment of the university: two Oxford scholars were hanged by the town authorities for the death of a woman, without consulting the ecclesiastical authorities, who would take precedence in such a case, but were at that time in conflict with King John.
The University of Oxford went into suspension in protest, most scholars moved to cities such as Paris and Cambridge. After the University of Oxford reformed several years enough scholars remained in Cambridge to form the nucleus of the new university. In order to claim precedence, it is common for Cambridge to trace its founding to the 1231 charter from King Henry III granting it the right to discipline its own members and an exemption from some taxes. A bull in 1233 from Pope Gregory IX gave graduates from Cambridge the right to teach "everywhere in Christendom". After Cambridge was described as a studium generale in a letter from Pope Nicholas IV in 1290, confirmed as such in a bull by Pope John XXII in 1318, it became common for researchers from other European medieval universities to visit Cambridge to study or to give lecture courses; the colleges at the University of Cambridge were an incidental feature of the system. No college is as old as the university itself; the colleges were endowed fellowships of scholars.
There were institutions without endowments, called hostels. The hostels were absorbed by the colleges over the centuries, but they have left some traces, such as the name of Garret Hostel Lane. Hugh Balsham, Bishop of Ely, founded Peterhouse, Cambridge's first college, in 1284. Many colleges were founded during the 14th and 15th centuries, but colleges continued to be established until modern times, although there was a gap of 204 years between the founding of Sidney Sussex in 1596 and that of Downing in 1800; the most established college is Robinson, built in the late 1970s. However, Homerton College only achieved full university college status in March 2010, making it the newest full college. In medieval times, many colleges were founded so that their members would pray for the souls of the founders, were associated with chapels or abbeys; the colleges' focus changed in 1536 with the Dissolution of the Monasteries. King Henry VIII ordered the university to disband its Faculty of Canon Law and to stop teaching "scholastic philosophy".
In response, colleges changed
William Harcourt (politician)
Sir William George Granville Venables Vernon Harcourt, KC was a British lawyer and Liberal statesman. He served as Member of Parliament for various constituencies and held the offices of Home Secretary and Chancellor of the Exchequer under William Ewart Gladstone before becoming Leader of the Opposition. A talented speaker in parliament, he was sometimes regarded as aloof and possessing only an intellectual involvement in his causes, he failed to engender much emotional response in the public and became only a reluctant and disillusioned leader of his party. Harcourt was the second son of the Rev. Canon William Vernon Harcourt, of Nuneham Park and his wife Matilda Mary Gooch, daughter of Colonel William Gooch, his father was himself the fourth son and heir of Edward Harcourt, Archbishop of York and his wife Lady Anne Leveson-Gower. Anne was a daughter of Granville Leveson-Gower, 1st Marquess of Stafford and his second wife Lady Louisa Egerton, her maternal grandparents were Scroop Egerton, 1st Duke of Bridgewater and his second wife Rachel Russell.
Rachel was a daughter of Wriothesley Russell, 2nd Duke of Bedford and the rich heiress Elizabeth Howland, daughter of John Howland of Streatham. William was therefore born a Vernon, by his connection with the old families of Vernon and Harcourt was related to many of the great English houses, a fact of which he was proud. In life his descent from the Plantagenets was a joke among his political opponents. William's childhood was an austere one, educated at home by a Swiss governess, he was sent to a private school at Southwell, Nottinghamshire when he was eight. William's father denied him a public school education, sending him to be educated in classics at the small class of Rev. John Owen Parr. In 1840, Parr moved to Preston and William witnessed the Preston bread riots there in 1842, he left Parr in 1844 and, after two more years' study at home, William entered Trinity College, Cambridge to pursue his interest in mathematics. At Cambridge he became an Apostle, graduated with first-class honours in the classics tripos in 1851, but he did not enjoy the mathematics, graduating only senior optime.
At Cambridge, William rejected his family's Tory instincts and began to write for the Morning Chronicle in support of Sir Robert Peel. William's father encouraged him to seek a Cambridge fellowship or a career in politics but William chose law and journalism, he entered Lincoln's Inn in 1852 and was called to the bar at the Inner Temple in 1854. He made his mark as a speaker, his reception into London society being eased by his uncle George Harcourt and aunt Frances Waldegrave. From 1855 William started to write for the Saturday Review, becoming a follower of William Ewart Gladstone and an opponent of Lord Palmerston, he practised in railway law, commentating in The Times on international law. In 1862, he wrote some famous letters to The Times over the signature of "Historicus," supporting Britain's neutrality in the American Civil War and condemning the widespread public sympathy for the Confederate States, he wrote on the Trent Affair and the Alabama controversy. He became a Queen's Counsel in 1866, was appointed Whewell professor of international law at the University of Cambridge in 1869.
Harcourt entered parliament as Liberal member for Oxford, sat from 1868 to 1880, being appointed Solicitor General and knighted in 1873. He was re-elected in the Liberal victory at the United Kingdom general election, 1880 and, though he had not been a strong supporter of Gladstone in opposition, he was appointed Home Secretary. A mandatory re-election was required on acceptance of such an office and Harcourt was defeated by Alexander William Hall by just 54 votes. Though Hall was subsequently unseated for political corruption, a seat was found for Harcourt at Derby, by the voluntary retirement of Samuel Plimsoll, he continued to represent that constituency until 1895, having been defeated at the general election, he found a seat in West Monmouthshire. His name became connected with the passing of the Ground Game Act 1880 and the Arms Act 1881; as Home Secretary at the time of the Phoenix Park killings and the subsequent London bombings he reacted and the Explosive Substances Act 1883 was passed through all its stages in the shortest time on record.
His robust stand on law and order brought him into conflict with the Irish members. In 1884 he introduced an aborted bill for unifying the municipal administration of London, and was responsible for demanding the prosecution in the survival cannibalism case of R v. Dudley and Stephens. In 1885 he was responsible for commuting John'Babbacombe' Lee's death penalty to life imprisonment after his execution failed three times, he was further the victim of the embarrassing stunts of the Harcourt interpolation and the Home Office Baby. He was recognised as one of the ablest and most effective leaders of the Liberal party and when, after a brief interval in 1885, Gladstone returned to office in 1886, Harcourt was made Chancellor of the Exchequer, an office which he again filled from 1892 to 1895. Between 1880 and 1892 Harcourt acted as Gladstone's political deputy. A first-rate party fighter, his services were of huge value. However, in spite of his great success as a platform speaker, he was felt to be speaking from an "advocate's brief", did not impress the public as a conviction politician.
It was he who coined the phrase about "stewing in Parnellite juice", when the split came in the Liberal party on the Irish question those who gave Gladstone and John Morley the credit of being convinced Home Rulers could not be persuaded that Harcourt had followed anything but the line of party expediency. In 1894 he introduced and carried a memorable budget
Rev Dr William Whewell DD HFRSE was an English polymath, Anglican priest, philosopher and historian of science. He was Master of Cambridge. In his time as a student there, he achieved distinction in mathematics. What is most remarked about Whewell is the breadth of his endeavours. In a time of increasing specialisation, Whewell appears as a vestige of an earlier era when natural philosophers dabbled in a bit of everything, he researched ocean tides, published work in the disciplines of mechanics, geology and economics, while finding the time to compose poetry, author a Bridgewater Treatise, translate the works of Goethe, write sermons and theological tracts. In mathematics, Whewell introduced what is now called the Whewell equation, an equation defining the shape of a curve without reference to an arbitrarily chosen coordinate system. One of Whewell's greatest gifts to science was his wordsmithing, he corresponded with many in his field and helped them come up with new terms for their discoveries.
Whewell contributed the terms scientist, linguistics, catastrophism, uniformitarianism, astigmatism amongst others. Whewell died in Cambridge in 1866 as a result of a fall from his horse. Whewell was born in the son of John Whewell and his wife, Elizabeth Bennison, his father was a master carpenter, wished him to follow his trade, but William's success in mathematics at Lancaster and Heversham grammar schools won him an exhibition at Trinity College, Cambridge. In 1814 he was awarded the Chancellor's Gold Medal for poetry, he was Second Wrangler in 1816, President of the Cambridge Union Society in 1817, became fellow and tutor of his college, and, in 1841, succeeded Christopher Wordsworth as master. He was professor of mineralogy from 1828 to 1832 and Knightbridge Professor of Philosophy from 1838 to 1855. Whewell married, firstly, in Cordelia Marshall, daughter of John Marshall. In 1858 he married again, to Everina Frances, widow of Sir Gilbert Affleck, 5th Baronet who had died in 1865, he himself died in Cambridge in 1866 as a result of a fall from his horse..
A window dedicated to Lady Affleck, his second wife, was installed in her memory in the chancel of All Saints' Church and made by Morris & Co. His best-known works are two voluminous books which attempt to systematize the development of the sciences, History of the Inductive Sciences and The Philosophy of the Inductive Sciences, Founded Upon Their History. While the History traced how each branch of the sciences had evolved since antiquity, Whewell viewed the Philosophy as the "Moral" of the previous work as it sought to extract a universal theory of knowledge through history. In the latter, he attempted to follow Francis Bacon's plan for discovery, he examined ideas and by the "colligation of facts" endeavoured to unite these ideas with the facts and so construct science. Whewell analysed inductive reasoning into three steps: The selection of the idea, such as space, cause, or likeness. Upon these follow special methods of induction applicable to quantity: the method of curves, the method of means, the method of least squares and the method of residues, special methods depending on resemblance, such as the method of gradation and the method of natural classification.
In Philosophy of the Inductive Sciences Whewell was the first to use the term "consilience" to discuss the unification of knowledge between the different branches of learning. Here, as in his ethical doctrine, Whewell was moved by opposition to contemporary English empiricism. Following Immanuel Kant, he asserted against John Stuart Mill the a priori nature of necessary truth, by his rules for the construction of conceptions he dispensed with the inductive methods of Mill; as stated, one of Whewell's greatest gifts to science was his wordsmithing. He corresponded with many in his field and helped them come up with new terms for their discoveries. In fact, Whewell came up with the term scientist itself in 1833, it was first published in Whewell's anonymous 1834 review of Mary Somerville's On the Connexion of the Physical Sciences published in the Quarterly Review.. Whewell was prominent not only in scientific research and philosophy, but in university and college administration, his first work, An Elementary Treatise on Mechanics, cooperated with those of George Peacock and John Herschel in reforming the Cambridge method of mathematical teaching.
His work and publications helped influence the recognition of the moral and natural sciences as an integral part of the Cambridge curriculum. In general, however in years, he opposed reform: he defended the tutorial system, in a controversy with Connop Thirlwall, opposed the admission of Dissenters, he opposed the appointment of the University Commission, wrote two pamphle