Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
British Weather and the Climate of Enlightenment$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Jan Golinski

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780226302058

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: March 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226302065.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM CHICAGO SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.chicago.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Chicago Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CHSO for personal use.date: 05 August 2021

Barometers of Enlightenment

Barometers of Enlightenment

Chapter:
(p.108) 4 Barometers of Enlightenment
Source:
British Weather and the Climate of Enlightenment
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226302065.003.0005

This chapter presents a description on barometers of Enlightenment. Thermometers and barometers became the most widely circulated accessories of “polite science.” Among weather instruments, the barometer exerted a special fascination, because it appeared to be able to predict changes before they happened. It was generally seen as only dubiously trustworthy; it was regarded as liable to impose upon the gullible. The barometer became an instrument for studying the weather in the early 1660s. The barometer's unique appeal for consumers was as a luxury household object that was also a philosophical curiosity. The aura of feminine folly surrounding the barometer was directly connected with its use as a means of prediction. The barometer came to represent the limits of human knowledge as much as its triumphs, the less than universal reach of enlightened reason, and the troubling survival of beliefs and attitudes supposedly consigned to the past.

Keywords:   barometers, Enlightenment, polite science, weather prediction

Chicago Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.