James Hutton: Letters, Field Trips and Mineral Prospecting (example of use of documents to understand the history of science)

Pedro Wagner Gonçalves


This paper describes the construction of a research subject for the field of History of Science. It reveals how the difficulties met require a strategic analysis of documents and sources. To do so, it is used as case-study the contribution of James Hutton (1726-1797) to the development of a method of mineral prospection still used by modern geologists.

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