Edgar Allan Poe, Eureka, and Scientific Imagination

SUNY Press (2017)
  Copy   BIBTEX


Explores the science and creative process behind Poe’s cosmological treatise. Silver Winner for Philosophy, 2017 Foreword INDIES Book of the Year Awards In 1848, almost a year and a half before Edgar Allan Poe died at the age of forty, his book Eureka was published. In it, he weaved together his scientific speculations about the universe with his own literary theory, theology, and philosophy of science. Although Poe himself considered it to be his magnum opus, Eureka has mostly been overlooked or underappreciated, sometimes even to the point of being thought an elaborate hoax. Remarkably, however, in Eureka Poe anticipated at least nine major theories and developments in twentieth-century science, including the Big Bang theory, multiverse theory, and the solution to Olbers’ paradox. In this book—the first devoted specifically to Poe’s science side—David N. Stamos, a philosopher of science, combines scientific background with analysis of Poe’s life and work to highlight the creative and scientific achievements of this text. He examines Poe’s literary theory, theology, and intellectual development, and then compares Poe’s understanding of science with that of scientists and philosophers from his own time to the present. Next, Stamos pieces together and clarifies Poe’s theory of scientific imagination, which he then attempts to update and defend by providing numerous case studies of eureka moments in modern science and by seeking insights from comparative biography and psychology, cognitive science, neuroscience, and evolution. David N. Stamos teaches philosophy at York University in Toronto. He is the author of several books, including Darwin and the Nature of Species, also published by SUNY Press.



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 92,369

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

Edgar Allan Poe, a Critical Biography.Arthur Hobson Quinn & Edgar Allan Poe - 1943 - Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 2 (8):101.
‘The potent magic of verisimilitude’: Edgar Allan Poe within the mechanical age.John Tresch - 1997 - British Journal for the History of Science 30 (3):275-290.
Capturing the scientific imagination.Fiora Salis & Roman Frigg - 2019 - In Arnon Levy & Peter Godfrey-Smith (eds.), The Scientific Imagination. New York, US: Oup Usa.
Imagination: A Sine Qua Non of Science.Michael T. Stuart - 2017 - Croatian Journal of Philosophy (49):9-32.
The Productive Anarchy of Scientific Imagination.Michael T. Stuart - 2020 - Philosophy of Science 87 (5):968-978.


Added to PP

10 (#1,200,215)

6 months
10 (#278,909)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Citations of this work

No citations found.

Add more citations