Passages from the Life of a Philosopher

Passages from the Life of a Philosopher

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The mathematician and engineer Charles Babbage (1791-1871) is best remembered for his 'calculating machines', which are considered the forerunner of modern computers. Over the course of his life he wrote a number of books based on his scientific investigations, but in this volume, published in 1864, Babbage writes in a more personal vein. He points out at the beginning of the work that it 'does not aspire to the name of autobiography', though the chapters sketch out the contours of his life, beginning with his family, his childhood and formative years studying at Cambridge, and moving through various episodes in his scientific career. However, the work also diverges into his observations on other topics, as indicated by chapter titles such as 'Street Nuisances' and 'Wit'. Babbage's colourful recollections give an intimate portrait of the life of one of Britain's most influential inventors.
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Product details

  • Electronic book text
  • Cambridge University Press (Virtual Publishing)
  • Cambridge, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 1 b/w illus.
  • 1139103679
  • 9781139103671

Table of contents

Preface; 1. My ancestors; 2. Childhood; 3. Boyhood; 4. Cambridge; 5. Difference engine no. 1; 6. Statement relative to the difference engine, drawn up by the late Sir H. Nicolas from the author's papers; 7. Difference engine no. 2; 8. Of the analytical engine; 9. Of the mechanical notation; 10. The exhibition of 1862; 11. The late Prince Consort; 12. Recollections of the Duke of Wellington; 13. Recollections of Wollaston, Davy, and Rogers; 14. Recollections of Laplace, Biot, and Humboldt; 15. Experience by water; 16. Experience by fire; 17. Experience amongst workmen; 18. Picking locks and deciphering; 19. Experience in St. Giles's; 20. Theatrical experience; 21. Electioneering experience; 22. Scene from a new after-piece; 23. Experience at courts; 24. Experience at courts; 25. Railways; 26. Street nuisances; 27. Wit; 28. Hints for travellers; 29. Miracles; 30. Religion; 31. A vision; 32. Various reminiscences; 33. The author's contributions to human knowledge; 34. The author's further contributions to human knowledge; 35. Results of science; 36. Agreeable recollections; Appendix; List of Mr. Babbage's printed papers.
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Rating details

25 ratings
4.08 out of 5 stars
5 36% (9)
4 40% (10)
3 20% (5)
2 4% (1)
1 0% (0)
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