Title: Theory of the Earth
Author: James Hutton
Published in: Transactions of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, vol. I, Part II, pp.209-304, plates I and II.
Edition Used: Edinburgh: Printed for J. Dickson, Bookseller to the Royal Society. Sold in London by T. Cadell, in the Strand.
First published: 1788
Hutton's Theory was first read at the March 7 and April 4, 1785, meetings of the Royal Society of Edinburgh. The reader on March 7 was the chemist Dr. Joseph Black, a good friend of Hutton's. Hutton finished the reading himself on April 4.
The full version of what was read in 1785 was not published until 1788, and this is what is presented here.
Finally, stung by criticism, especially that of Richard Kirwan, who accused him of atheism and poor logic, among other things, Hutton published a two volume, roughly 1200-page version of his theory in 1795. The 1788 version of his theory (with slight additions) forms the first chapter of volume 1, and a good deal of the remainder of that volume is drawn from shorter papers Hutton already had to hand on various subjects, such as the origin of granite. Chapters 2 and 3 present a reply to Kirwan and review alternative theories, such as Burnet's and Buffon's. The second volume is almost entirely devoted to what we call today, geomorphology. A third volume was never completed.
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