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Ileana Chinnici

In Decoding the Stars, Ileana Chinnici offers an account of the life of the Jesuit scientist Angelo Secchi (1818-1878). As well as providing an invaluable account of Secchi’s life and work—something that has been sorely lacking in the English-language scholarship—this biography will be especially stimulating for those interested in the evolution of astrophysics as a discipline from the nineteenth century onward. Despite his eclecticism, reminiscent of the natural philosophers of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, Secchi was in many ways a very modern scientist: open to innovation and cooperation, and a promoter of popularization and citizen science. Secchi also appears fully inserted in the cultural context of his time: he participated in philosophical and scientific debates, spread new theories and ideas, but also suffered the consequences of political events that marked those years and impacted on his life and activities.
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Tamás Demeter

David Hume has a canonical place in the context of moral philosophy, but his insights are less frequently discussed in relation to natural philosophy. David Hume and the Culture of Scottish Newtonianism offers a discussion of Hume’s methodological and ideological commitments in matters of knowledge as reflected in his language and outlook. Tamás Demeter argues that several aspects of Hume’s moral philosophy reflect post-Newtonian tendencies in the aftermath of the Opticks, and show affinities with Newton-inspired Scottish physiology and chemistry. Consequently, when Hume describes his project as an 'anatomy of the mind' he uses a metaphor that expresses his commitment to study human cognitive and affective functioning on analogy with active and organic nature, and not with the Principia’s world of inert matter.