Playfair, John 17481819
Overview
Works:  128 works in 592 publications in 3 languages and 5,124 library holdings 

Genres:  History Biography Illustrated works 
Roles:  Author, Editor, Translator 
Classifications:  QE26, 550 
Publication Timeline
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Most widely held works about
John Playfair
 A comparative view of the Huttonian and Neptunian systems of geology by J Murray( Book )
 Observations on a passage in Mr. Playfair's letter to the Lord Provost of Edinburgh relative to the mathematical pretensions of the Scottish clergy by Thomas Chalmers( Book )
 On Playfair's Law by Barbara A Kennedy( Book )
 Some account of the character and merits of the late professor Playfair( Book )
 Principal James Playfair : life and legacy by Hugh Playfair( Book )
 Papers relating to the history of the theory of evolution by Charles Darwin( )
 Memoir of Professor Playfair( Book )
 John Playfair. Stipple engraving by Holl( Visual )
 John Playfair. Stipple engraving by R. Cooper, 1816, after H. Raeburn by Henry Raeburn( Visual )
 Professor John Playfair by James Thomson( Visual )
 The distinguished men of science 18078: a key to the identities of the sitters. Photograph of engraving by W. Walker, 1862( Visual )
 Ruthwell, to Thomas Carlyle by Robert Mitchell( )
 John Playfair. Stipple engraving by J. Thomson, 1819( Visual )
 John Playfair manuscript material : 1 item by John Playfair( )
 [Letter] 1813 August 31, Edinburgh [to] Thomas Allan, London by John Playfair( Book )
 [Letter and reply] 1802 October 11 [to] Cadell and Davies, London by John Playfair( Book )
 John Playfair. Line engraving by Stewart, 1819, after P. Morris( Visual )
 John Playfair's monument and the New Observatory on Calton Hill, Edinburgh. Line engraving by A. Cruse after T. H. Shepherd by Thomas H Shepherd( Visual )
 Catalogue of the library of the late John Playfair ... : comprising a valuable collection of mathematical, philosophical and miscellaneous books, maps, &c. &c., with a few philosophical instruments : to be sold, without reserve, by Mr Ballantyne ... on Thursday the 20th of January, 1820, and ensuing days by James Ballantyne and Co( Book )
 La géologie au debut du XIXe siècle : Lamarck et Playfair by Archibald Geikie( Book )
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Most widely held works by
John Playfair
Illustrations of the Huttonian theory of the earth; a facsimile reprint, with an introduction by George W. White by
John Playfair(
Book
)
76 editions published between 1802 and 2011 in 3 languages and held by 1,062 WorldCat member libraries worldwide
John Playfair (17481819) was a Scottish mathematician and geologist best known for his defence of James Hutton's geological theories. He attended the University of St Andrews, completing his theological studies in 1770. In 1785 he was appointed joint Professor of Mathematics at the University of Edinburgh, and in 1805 he was elected Professor of Natural Philosophy. This highly influential book, first published in 1802, contains Playfair's clarification and summary of Hutton's geological concepts. Playfair concisely explains Hutton's theories on erosion and geothermal heat in rock formation and the concept of uniformitarianism in geology, illustrating these theories with his own precise observations on different types of rock strata. The clarity of Playfair's explanations was instrumental in popularising Hutton's geological theories, many of which are now recognised as key principles of modern geology. Playfair's strident defence of Hutton's ideas formed part of a controversial debate between Hutton's supporters and his detractors
76 editions published between 1802 and 2011 in 3 languages and held by 1,062 WorldCat member libraries worldwide
John Playfair (17481819) was a Scottish mathematician and geologist best known for his defence of James Hutton's geological theories. He attended the University of St Andrews, completing his theological studies in 1770. In 1785 he was appointed joint Professor of Mathematics at the University of Edinburgh, and in 1805 he was elected Professor of Natural Philosophy. This highly influential book, first published in 1802, contains Playfair's clarification and summary of Hutton's geological concepts. Playfair concisely explains Hutton's theories on erosion and geothermal heat in rock formation and the concept of uniformitarianism in geology, illustrating these theories with his own precise observations on different types of rock strata. The clarity of Playfair's explanations was instrumental in popularising Hutton's geological theories, many of which are now recognised as key principles of modern geology. Playfair's strident defence of Hutton's ideas formed part of a controversial debate between Hutton's supporters and his detractors
The first six books of the Elements of Euclid : in which coloured diagrams and symbols are used instead of letters for the
greater ease of learners by
John Playfair(
Book
)
188 editions published between 1790 and 2000 in English and held by 1,005 WorldCat member libraries worldwide
This title presents the elements of Euclid in living color. This is a rare and beautiful geometry primer from the 19th century. In 1847, Charles Whittingham of the Chiswick Press published an extraordinary edition on Euclidean geometry, authored by an obscure mathematician called Oliver Byrne. As Surveyor of Her Majesty's Settlements in the Falkland Islands, Byrne had already published mathematical and engineering works, but never anything like this. Written and designed by Byrne to simplify Euclid's propositions, this remarkable example of Victorian printing has been described as one of the oddest and most beautiful books of the 19th century. Each proposition is set in Caslon italic, with a four line initial: the rest of the page is a unique riot of red, yellow and blue: on some pages letters and numbers only are printed in color, sprinkled over the pages like tiny wild flowers, demanding the most meticulous register: elsewhere, solid squares, triangles and circles are printed in gaudy and theatrical colors, attaining a verve not seen again on the pages of a book until the era of Dufy, Matisse and Derain
188 editions published between 1790 and 2000 in English and held by 1,005 WorldCat member libraries worldwide
This title presents the elements of Euclid in living color. This is a rare and beautiful geometry primer from the 19th century. In 1847, Charles Whittingham of the Chiswick Press published an extraordinary edition on Euclidean geometry, authored by an obscure mathematician called Oliver Byrne. As Surveyor of Her Majesty's Settlements in the Falkland Islands, Byrne had already published mathematical and engineering works, but never anything like this. Written and designed by Byrne to simplify Euclid's propositions, this remarkable example of Victorian printing has been described as one of the oddest and most beautiful books of the 19th century. Each proposition is set in Caslon italic, with a four line initial: the rest of the page is a unique riot of red, yellow and blue: on some pages letters and numbers only are printed in color, sprinkled over the pages like tiny wild flowers, demanding the most meticulous register: elsewhere, solid squares, triangles and circles are printed in gaudy and theatrical colors, attaining a verve not seen again on the pages of a book until the era of Dufy, Matisse and Derain
System of the earth, 1785. Theory of the earth, 1788. Observations on granite, 1794. Together with Playfair's Biography of
Hutton by
James Hutton(
Book
)
5 editions published between 1970 and 1973 in English and held by 381 WorldCat member libraries worldwide
5 editions published between 1970 and 1973 in English and held by 381 WorldCat member libraries worldwide
A short, simple, and plain method of demonstrating the fifth book of Euclid's Elements by
John Playfair(
Book
)
9 editions published between 1812 and 1815 in English and held by 224 WorldCat member libraries worldwide
9 editions published between 1812 and 1815 in English and held by 224 WorldCat member libraries worldwide
Outlines of natural philosophy : being heads of lectures delivered in the University of Edinburgh by
John Playfair(
Book
)
38 editions published between 1812 and 2015 in English and Undetermined and held by 201 WorldCat member libraries worldwide
38 editions published between 1812 and 2015 in English and Undetermined and held by 201 WorldCat member libraries worldwide
The works of John Playfair ... with a memoir of the author by
John Playfair(
Book
)
7 editions published in 1822 in English and held by 172 WorldCat member libraries worldwide
7 editions published in 1822 in English and held by 172 WorldCat member libraries worldwide
James Hutton & Joseph Black : biographies by
John Playfair(
Book
)
10 editions published in 1997 in English and held by 121 WorldCat member libraries worldwide
10 editions published in 1997 in English and held by 121 WorldCat member libraries worldwide
Dissertation second, exhibiting a general view of the progress of mathematical and physical science, since the revival of
letters in Europe by
John Playfair(
Book
)
24 editions published between 1800 and 2016 in English and held by 110 WorldCat member libraries worldwide
24 editions published between 1800 and 2016 in English and held by 110 WorldCat member libraries worldwide
Letter to the author of the examination of Professor Stewart's short statement of facts, with an appendix by
John Playfair(
Book
)
6 editions published in 1806 in English and held by 29 WorldCat member libraries worldwide
6 editions published in 1806 in English and held by 29 WorldCat member libraries worldwide
Elements of geometry : containing the first six books of Euclid, with two books on the geometry of solids. To which are added,
Elements of plane and spherical trigonometry. by
John Playfair(
Book
)
2 editions published in 1795 in English and held by 22 WorldCat member libraries worldwide
2 editions published in 1795 in English and held by 22 WorldCat member libraries worldwide
Description of the slide of Alpnach by
John Playfair(
Book
)
2 editions published in 1822 in English and held by 20 WorldCat member libraries worldwide
2 editions published in 1822 in English and held by 20 WorldCat member libraries worldwide
Dissertations on the history of metaphysical and ethical, and of mathematical and physical science by
Dugald Stewart(
Book
)
10 editions published between 1835 and 2009 in English and held by 19 WorldCat member libraries worldwide
"When I ventured to undertake the task of contributing a Preliminary Dissertation to the Encyclopædia Britannica, my original intention was, after the example of Jean le Rond D'Alembert, to have begun with a general survey of the various departments of human knowledge. The outline of such a survey, sketched by the comprehensive genius of Francis Bacon, together with the corrections and improvements suggested by his illustrious disciple, would, I thought, have rendered it comparatively easy to adapt their intellectual map to the present advanced state of the sciences; while the unrivalled authority which their united work has long maintained in the republic of letters, would, I flattered myself, have softened those criticisms which might be expected to be incurred by any similar attempt of a more modern hand. On a closer examination, however, of their labours, I found myself under the necessity of abandoning this design. Doubts immediately occurred to me with respect to the justness of their logical views, and soon terminated in a conviction that these views are radically and essentially erroneous. Instead, therefore, of endeavouring to give additional currency to speculations which I conceived to be fundamentally unsound, I resolved to avail myself of the present opportunity to point out their most important defects;defects which, I am nevertheless very ready to acknowledge, it is much more easy to remark than to supply. The critical strictures which, in the course of this discussion, I shall have occasion to offer on my predecessors, will, at the same time, account for my forbearing to substitute a new map of my own, instead of that to which the names of Bacon and D'Alembert have lent so great and so wellmerited a celebrity; and may perhaps suggest a doubt, whether the period be yet arrived for hazarding again, with any reasonable prospect of success, a repetition of their bold experiment. For the length to which these strictures are likely to extend, the only apology I have to offer is the peculiar importance of the questions to which they relate, and the high authority of the writers whose opinions I presume to controvert. It is necessary to comprehend, in one general scheme, all the various departments of study; to arrange them into proper classes; and to point out their mutual relations and dependencies. Such a scheme is sometimes likened by D'Alembert to a map or chart of the intellectual world; sometimes to a Genealogical or Encyclopedical Tree, indicating the manifold and complicated affinities of those studies, which, however apparently remote and unconnected, are all the common offspring of the human understanding. For executing successfully this chart or tree, a philosophical delineation of the natural progress of the mind may (according to D'Alembert) furnish very useful lights"Introduction. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2009 APA, all rights reserved)
10 editions published between 1835 and 2009 in English and held by 19 WorldCat member libraries worldwide
"When I ventured to undertake the task of contributing a Preliminary Dissertation to the Encyclopædia Britannica, my original intention was, after the example of Jean le Rond D'Alembert, to have begun with a general survey of the various departments of human knowledge. The outline of such a survey, sketched by the comprehensive genius of Francis Bacon, together with the corrections and improvements suggested by his illustrious disciple, would, I thought, have rendered it comparatively easy to adapt their intellectual map to the present advanced state of the sciences; while the unrivalled authority which their united work has long maintained in the republic of letters, would, I flattered myself, have softened those criticisms which might be expected to be incurred by any similar attempt of a more modern hand. On a closer examination, however, of their labours, I found myself under the necessity of abandoning this design. Doubts immediately occurred to me with respect to the justness of their logical views, and soon terminated in a conviction that these views are radically and essentially erroneous. Instead, therefore, of endeavouring to give additional currency to speculations which I conceived to be fundamentally unsound, I resolved to avail myself of the present opportunity to point out their most important defects;defects which, I am nevertheless very ready to acknowledge, it is much more easy to remark than to supply. The critical strictures which, in the course of this discussion, I shall have occasion to offer on my predecessors, will, at the same time, account for my forbearing to substitute a new map of my own, instead of that to which the names of Bacon and D'Alembert have lent so great and so wellmerited a celebrity; and may perhaps suggest a doubt, whether the period be yet arrived for hazarding again, with any reasonable prospect of success, a repetition of their bold experiment. For the length to which these strictures are likely to extend, the only apology I have to offer is the peculiar importance of the questions to which they relate, and the high authority of the writers whose opinions I presume to controvert. It is necessary to comprehend, in one general scheme, all the various departments of study; to arrange them into proper classes; and to point out their mutual relations and dependencies. Such a scheme is sometimes likened by D'Alembert to a map or chart of the intellectual world; sometimes to a Genealogical or Encyclopedical Tree, indicating the manifold and complicated affinities of those studies, which, however apparently remote and unconnected, are all the common offspring of the human understanding. For executing successfully this chart or tree, a philosophical delineation of the natural progress of the mind may (according to D'Alembert) furnish very useful lights"Introduction. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2009 APA, all rights reserved)
On the origin and investigation of porisms by
John Playfair(
)
12 editions published between 1792 and 2005 in English and held by 19 WorldCat member libraries worldwide
12 editions published between 1792 and 2005 in English and held by 19 WorldCat member libraries worldwide
Biographical account of James Hutton, M.D.F.R.S. Ed. by
John Playfair(
Book
)
8 editions published between 1797 and 2011 in English and held by 15 WorldCat member libraries worldwide
8 editions published between 1797 and 2011 in English and held by 15 WorldCat member libraries worldwide
Elements of geometry: containing the first six books of Euclid, with a supplement ... to which are added, elements of plane
and sphericale trigonometry ... From the last London ed., enℓ by
John Playfair(
Book
)
3 editions published in 1866 in English and held by 12 WorldCat member libraries worldwide
3 editions published in 1866 in English and held by 12 WorldCat member libraries worldwide
Elements of geometry ; containing the first six books of Euclid, with two books on the geometry of solids. To which are added,
elements of plane and spherical trigonometry. By John Playfair by
Euclid(
Book
)
7 editions published in 1795 in English and held by 11 WorldCat member libraries worldwide
7 editions published in 1795 in English and held by 11 WorldCat member libraries worldwide
Elements of plane geometry according to Euclid : with several new improvements and additions by
Andrew Bell(
Book
)
4 editions published between 1836 and 1845 in English and held by 6 WorldCat member libraries worldwide
4 editions published between 1836 and 1845 in English and held by 6 WorldCat member libraries worldwide
Dissertation ... exhibiting a general view of the progress of mathematical and physical science, since the revival of letters
in Europe by
John Playfair(
Book
)
4 editions published in 1820 in English and held by 5 WorldCat member libraries worldwide
4 editions published in 1820 in English and held by 5 WorldCat member libraries worldwide
Elements of geometry, containing the first six books of Euclid, with a supplement on the quadrature of the circle, and the
geometry of solids; to which are added, Elements of plane and spherical trignonometry by
John Playfair(
Book
)
2 editions published in 1875 in English and held by 2 WorldCat member libraries worldwide
2 editions published in 1875 in English and held by 2 WorldCat member libraries worldwide
Elements of geometry : containing the first six books of Euclid, with two books on the geometry of solids. To which are added,
elements of plane and spherical trigonometry. By John Playfair, F.R.S. Edin. Professor of Mathematics in the University of
Edinburgh by
Euclid(
)
1 edition published in 1795 in English and held by 0 WorldCat member libraries worldwide
1 edition published in 1795 in English and held by 0 WorldCat member libraries worldwide
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Related Identities
 Euclid Author
 Hutton, James 17261797 Other Author
 Playfair, James George 1786?1857 Editor
 Murray, J. (John) 1820 Author
 Werner, Abraham Gottlob 17491817
 Ferguson, Adam 17231816
 Craig, G. Y. (Gordon Younger) Other
 Black, Joseph 17281799 Other
 Leslie, John Sir 17661832
 Basset, CésarAuguste Translator Bookplate designer
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Associated Subjects
Astronomy Black, Joseph, Byrne, Oliver Church and college Church of Scotland Circlesquaring Clergy College teachers De Morgan, Augustus, Elections Elements (Euclid) Euclid's Elements Eyeglasses Families Geologists Geology Geometry Geometry, Solid Hutton, James, Huxley, Thomas Henry, Leslie, John,Sir, Log transportation Lyell, Charles,Sir, Marcet, Alexander, Mathematicians Mathematics Mathematics, Greek Mechanics Neptunian theory Philosophy Physical scientists Physics PhysicsPhilosophy Playfair, John, Religion Rivers Science Scientists Scotland ScotlandEdinburgh ScotlandSt. Andrews Theory of the earth (Hutton, James) Trigonometry United Colleges of St. Salvator and St. Leonard (University of St. Andrews) Universities and collegesFaculty University of Edinburgh University of St. Andrews Valleys Werner, Abraham Gottlob, Whewell, William,
Alternative Names
John Playfair britisk matematikar
John Playfair britisk matematiker
John Playfair Brits wiskundige
John Playfair brittisk matematiker
John Playfair matematico e filosofo scozzese
John Playfair schottischer Mathematiker und Geologe
Джон Плейфеър
Плейфэр, Джон
جان پلیفیر ریاضیدان بریتانیایی
جون بلايفير
ჯონ პლეიფერი
ჯონ პლეიფერი შოტლანდიელი გეოლოგი და მათემატიკოსი
ジョン・プレイフェア
约翰·普莱费尔
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