Joseph Priestley was a polymath of the late eighteenth century, who contributed original work to a diverse number of fields. He worked as a dissenting minister and a tutor in a dissenting academy. In religion he was a key figure in the English Unitarian movement, the author of a number of works of ecclesiastical history and a prominent spokesman on the religious controversies of his age. In science he published pioneering research on the study of gases, and played an instrumental role in the discovery of oxygen. In philosophy he advocated a theory of philosophical necessity and argued for a materialistic monism against the dualism of orthodox Christianity. Priestley also published works on political philosophy, history, education and …

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Citation:
Mills, Simon Antony. "Joseph Priestley". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 14 February 2007
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/speople.php?rec=true&UID=3640, accessed 21 October 2014.]