Show simple item record

Files in this item


Item metadata

dc.contributor.authorJenkins, Bill
dc.identifier.citationJenkins , B 2021 , ' The mind's magic lantern : David Brewster and the scientific imagination ' , History of European Ideas , vol. 47 , no. 7 , pp. 1094-1108 .
dc.identifier.otherPURE: 272576887
dc.identifier.otherPURE UUID: ccb184f9-4d64-4e0d-9209-767c90d06275
dc.identifier.otherORCID: /0000-0002-0625-2685/work/90567969
dc.identifier.otherScopus: 85100839493
dc.identifier.otherWOS: 000617988300001
dc.descriptionThis work was supported by the Leverhulme Trust [grant number RPG-2018-017].en
dc.description.abstractThe imagination has always been thought to operate primarily in conjunction with the sense of vision, imagined objects and scenes being conjured up before the ‘mind’s eye’. In early nineteenth-century Scotland the natural philosopher David Brewster developed a theory of the imagination that explained its operation through a reversal of the normal processes of visual perception. These ideas were rooted in the mental philosophy of the eighteenth-century Scottish Enlightenment. For Brewster the mind’s eye was also the eye of the body, and images from the memory and imagination were projected onto the retina in the same manner that images were projected onto the screen in a magic lantern show. This theory underpinned his belief that imagination played an essential role in scientific discovery. Brewster believed that this process was as essential to the discoveries of science as it was to the creation of great poetry. The writings of Brewster can tell us a great deal about the connections between science and literature in the early nineteenth century, as well as showing that the philosophy of science in contemporary Britain was far from monolithic.
dc.relation.ispartofHistory of European Ideasen
dc.rightsCopyright © 2021 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. This work has been made available online in accordance with publisher policies or with permission. Permission for further reuse of this content should be sought from the publisher or the rights holder. This is the author created accepted manuscript following peer review and may differ slightly from the final published version. The final version is available at
dc.subjectDavid Brewsteren
dc.subjectCommon sense philosophyen
dc.subjectScottish Enlightenmenten
dc.subjectNatural philosophyen
dc.subjectPhilosophy of scienceen
dc.subjectB Philosophy (General)en
dc.subjectBF Psychologyen
dc.subjectQ Scienceen
dc.titleThe mind's magic lantern : David Brewster and the scientific imaginationen
dc.typeJournal articleen
dc.contributor.institutionUniversity of St Andrews. School of Historyen
dc.description.statusPeer revieweden

This item appears in the following Collection(s)

Show simple item record