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Journal Articles; Reports - Research
This paper discusses the findings of a search for the intellectual tools used by Joseph Priestley (1733-1804) in his chemistry, education, and theology documents. Priestley's enquiring democratic view of knowledge was applicable in all three areas and constitutes a significant part of his lifework. Current epistemological issues in science education are examined from the point of view of the nature of theory and experiment as observed in Priestley's writings and as espoused in modern philosophy of science. Science and religious faith issues in the context of science education are examined from the point of view of one's understanding of sacred texts, and the suggestion is made that a Priestleyan model of "the liberty to think for oneself" and "to hold knowledge with humility and virtue" could prove helpful in dealing with the known divergent opinions in relation to science, education, and religion.