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Department of Philosophy

Staff

Publication details for Dr Matthew Daniel Eddy

Eddy, Matthew D. (2017). 'The Politics of Cognition: Liberalism and the Evolutionary Origins of Victorian Education'. British Journal for the History of Science 50(4): 677-699.

Author(s) from Durham

Abstract

In recent years the historical relationship between scientific experts and the state has received increasing scrutiny. Such experts played important roles in the creation and regulation of environmental organizations and functioned as agents dispatched by politicians or bureaucrats to assess health-related problems and concerns raised by the public or the judiciary. But when it came to making public policy, scientists played another role that has received less attention. In addition to acting as advisers and assessors, some scientists were democratically elected members of local and national legislatures. In this essay I draw attention to this phenomenon by examining how liberal politicians and intellectuals used Darwinian cognitive science to conceptualize the education of children in Victorian Britain.