DARWIN WOULD BE INFLUENCED BY HERSCHEL’S WRIGHTINGS IN DEVELOPING HIS THEORY ADVANCED IN THE ORIGIN OF SPECIES
SIR JOHN F. W. HERSCHEL (1792-1871) SIGNED CARD, “J. F. W. Herschel”, on a card 3.5 x 1.25, English astronomer, mathematician, chemist, inventor, and experimental photographer who invented the blueprint, and did botanical work. His Preliminary Discourse (1831) which advocated and inductive approach to scientific experiment and theory-building, was an important contribution to the philosophy of science. Herschel’s A Preliminary Discourse on the Study of Natural Philosophy (1831) set out methods of scientific investigation with an orderly relationship between observation and theorizing. He described nature “as being governed by laws which were difficult to discern or state mathematically, and the highest aim of natural philosophy was understanding these laws through inductive reasoning, finding a single unifying explanation for a phenomenon.” This became an authoritative statement with wide influence on science. In 1838 he published Results of Astronomical Observations Made at the Cape of Good Hope in 1837 in which he proposed the names still used today for the seven then-known satellites of Saturn. A few years later he proposed the names still used today for the four then-known satellites of Uranus. He also made numerous important contributions to photography: He pioneer celestial photography, carried out research on photo-active chemicals, and the wave theory of light. He also coined the terms “photography” and “positive” and “negative” photographic images. This rare signature is in fine condition, with minor age toning and is attached to an acid-free backing.