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ORIGINS OF MODERNITY

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Priestley, Joseph (1733-1804)
The history and present state of electricity : with original experiments.
The second edition, corrected and enlarged.
London : Printed for J. Dodsley ..., J. Johnson and J. Payne ..., and T. Cadell, 1769.

Image from Priestley's History and present state of electricity

Joseph Priestley's (1733-1804) book on electricity was important as a contribution to electrical experimentation and the manner in which it showed that electrical theory could become an exact science. However, it is equally important in so far as it contains one of the first defences of the study of the history of science and many reflections on scientific method. While Priestley's writings in chemistry and theology have tended to overshadow his work on electricity, The History and Present State of Electricity is testament to the fact that by the late eighteenth century early modern science had emerged as an object of historical inquiry.

Another image from Grotius' History and present state of electricity
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