Edinburgh Review,  1 (1802–03), 201–16.

Art. XXVI. [Review of Illustrations of the Huttonian Theory of the Earth, by John Playfair]

[Francis Jeffrey] * / [William G Maton?] *



Publications reviewed:

Playfair 1802a


Geology, Mineralogy, Chemistry, Stratigraphy

People mentioned:

Richard Kirwan, Jean A Deluc, Abraham G Werner, Robert Jameson

    Observes: 'The Huttonian theory of the earth, which it is the object if the volume before us to explain and support, is not referable to either of those classes into which geological treatises have been commonly divided. Its author cannot be considered either as a Vulcanist purely, or a Neptunist, since he has asserted the agency both of fire and water, in his system' (201). Later concludes: 'The ability with which he [John Playfair] has combined the complicated materials of his subject, and the correct and luminous order he has observed in the statement of a loose and analogical argument, have given a precision and scientific unity to the system of Dr Hutton, in which it was formerly deficient. The task, therefore, both of its advocates and its adversaries, will be hereafter comparatively easy; since it is scarcely possible for any question to remain, either as to the tenets it maintains, or the arguments by which they are to be supported' (216).

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