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From Republic to RestorationLegacies and Departures$
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Janet Clare

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780719089688

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: September 2018

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9780719089688.001.0001

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Projecting the Experiment: science and the Restoration

Projecting the Experiment: science and the Restoration

(p.185) Chapter 9 Projecting the Experiment: science and the Restoration
From Republic to Restoration

Ted McCormick

Manchester University Press

This chapter examines the fate of Commonwealth-era science during the Restoration through two connected examples: Thomas Sprat’s History of the Royal-Society (1667), and William Petty’s naval project, the ‘Double Bottom’ (1662-1664). In different ways, both examples reveal a similar set of deep ambiguities in the Restoration’s reception of the scientific legacy of the Civil War, Commonwealth, and Protectorate (and in particular of work associated with the Hartlib Circle). In each case, a deliberate excision of political radicalism from the pursuit of productive scientific work is in tension with essential continuities in the nature of the scientific work undertaken, in the articulation of its practical potential, as well as in the problems besetting their execution and preventing their success.

Keywords:   science, projecting, Royal Society, Hartlib Circle, William Petty, Thomas Sprat

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